Brianna Ghey: Trans girl ‘bullied and struggled with mental health’ before being killed, friends say

Brianna Ghey pictured outdoors wearing a light-coloured hoodie. Her hair is long and auburn and she is smiling and wearing thick-rimmed glasses. Trees can be seen in the background.

Friends of trans teenager Brianna Ghey have paid tribute to her and spoken out about how she’d dealt with being bullied.

Those who knew her have also described how Brianna helped them with accessing medical care and referred to her as one of their trans sisters.

Fellow teen Channah, who lives in Cornwall, first met Brianna in 2022 in an Instagram group chat.

Speaking to Vice, Channah, 16, explained how it was clear that Brianna was struggling with her mental health – both online and in real life.

“We’re both trans women from small villages, so our support network is all internet-based, and people don’t understand how big that network is. We all know and support each other,” she said.

“Brianna was one of the most open people I’ve ever met. It’s obvious she was struggling with her mental health and being bullied – online and in real life – there’s no denying that, but she kept going. It didn’t ever stop her doing anything.

You may like to watch

“I’m just so angry and sad. The sweetest 16-year-old girl who was a beacon of positivity, now gone.”

Brianna was quick to help others looking for support and advice surrounding their personal transitions, other friends said.

Tiana, a 16-year-old from Nottingham, met Brianna in an online chat for trans people and told Vice: “Brianna would constantly look out for the girls in the chat. She helped me find ways to access medical care for my transition safely. She would always make sure that we were in good hands.”

‘I’m scared to leave my house now’

Amelia, from Edinburgh, told Vice she had planned to meet Brianna, and said the pair had been making plans to live together in the future.

“We were supposed to be meeting up later this year, and we’d been planning for months how we wanted to have a life together,” Amelia said.

“We would plan our future apartment and how we’d go and get our hair done, have our surgeries. But now I’m having to think about doing all of that by myself.”

A vigil was held in Liverpool on Tuesday (14 February) to remember Brianna. It was one of many planned in the days after her death. (Credit: Getty Images)

Another friend, Jade, revealed that Brianna’s death had made her fear for her own safety.

“I’m scared to leave my house now, and I’m scared I could just walk down the street and be killed. Cis people need to make us feel safer,” she said.

What happened to Brianna Ghey? 

Brianna was found dying on a path in Linear Park, in Culcheth, Warrington, on Saturday (11 February). A boy and a girl, both aged 15, have been charged with her murder.

Police have said the case is also being investigated as a possible hate crime, and on Tuesday (15 February) were given a 30-hour extension to question the two suspects.

Cheshire police has told PinkNews it has “not been made aware of any previous reports or allegations of bullying in relation to Brianna”.

The police also urged people not to share any information online that might prejudice ongoing investigations.

Vigils have been held across the UK to remember Brianna, with many more planned in the coming week. A GoFundMe to support the Ghey family has surpassed £87,000 in donations.