UK government urged to give Brianna Ghey posthumous gender recognition: ‘The dignity she deserves’

Brianna Ghey in front of the trans flag

Campaigners want Brianna Ghey to be given a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) so her death certificate reflects her true gender.

Brianna Ghey, a 16-year-old trans girl, was stabbed to death in a park in Warrington on Saturday (11 February). Two teenagers, both aged 15, have been charged with murder.

As vigils take place across the country, many have pointed out that Ghey will be misgendered in death as she wouldn’t have been able to have her gender legally recognised during her lifetime.

Under UK law, only those aged 18 and over are able to obtain a GRC, which allows a trans person’s gender to be recorded on birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates.

Mimi – not her real name – has launched a campaign with the hashtag #DignityForBrianna with the goal of getting Ghey a posthumous GRC.

She recalls being overwhelmed with “sadness which swiftly turned into a searing anger” when she realised Ghey had died without ever being afforded the opportunity of gender recognition.

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“I decided to channel that into something that could help her get the dignity she deserves,” she tells PinkNews.

Brianna Ghey, a trans girl who was killed in a park in Warrington.
Brianna Ghey was found in a Warrington park with multiple stab wounds on Saturday 11 February 2023. (Supplied)

“Everyone aside from trans people takes for granted that in death they’ll have the dignity of being remembered for who they were in life. If a trans person does not have a GRC then this is something that is not afforded, especially if under 18.”

Brianna Ghey was proud to be trans, and would speak about her identity on TikTok.

Friends have spoken about how she would share advice with other young trans women, and was “constantly looking out” for her peers.

One friend told Vice: “She helped me find ways to access medical care for my transition safely. She would always make sure that we were in good hands.”

Mimi thinks the government should issue Brianna with a GRC “because this young girl fought hard to be herself in a world that is filled with so much hate and ridicule for people like her”.

“She had her life stolen from her in such a horrific and tragic way,” she added. “The last act of this nation for her should not be disrespecting who she was and denying her the dignity in death that everyone else is entitled to by default.”

More broadly, Mimi would like to see the government amend the law so that if a trans person hadn’t obtained a GRC in life, “they could be issued one in death to maintain dignity”.

“I believe it’s the human thing to do.”

Vigil for Brianna Ghey in Liverpool
A vigil was held in Liverpool for trans teenager Brianna Ghey (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Mimi is calling on trans people and their allies to email their MPs and speak to their loved ones about the campaign in the hope that it will gain traction and capture the attention of the government.

The campaign is already taking off on Twitter, under the hashtag #DignityForBrianna.

A spokesperson for the Government Equalities Office said it doesn’t comment on individual applications for a GRC, adding that the process is only open to those aged 18 and over.

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