Tory government rejects calls for ‘dignity in death’ for trans people after Brianna Ghey killing

Brianna Ghey dignity in death petition

A petition calling for posthumous changes to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA), launched following the death of Brianna Ghey and to respect trans people after they die, has been rejected by the government.

Campaigners wanted 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.

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.

A campaign with the hashtag #DignityForBrianna was started, with the goal of obtaining Ghey a posthumous GRC.

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.

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Despite a petition reaching more than 13,000 signatures, the UK government has rejected any possibility of change to the GRC.

“The Government is committed to upholding Britain’s long-standing record of protecting the rights of individuals against unlawful discrimination and wants people who are transgender to be able to live their lives as they wish,” the government response read.

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“As announced in 2020, we believe the Gender Recognition Act 2004 is effective, strikes the right balance and allows for those who wish to legally change their sex.

“We have no plans to change it.”

Despite trans violence and discrimination on the rise all over the UK and around the world, the Tory government fails address the topic of posthumous identification in its lengthy response.

‘The final disrespect’

The person behind the petition, Mimi (not her real name) told PinkNews after launching the campaign, she was 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.

“I decided to channel that into something that could help her get the dignity she deserves,” she said at the time.

“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.”

People took to Twitter to share their shock at the government’s unwillingness to pay Brianna the decent respect even after her death.

Brianna’s funeral was held on Wednesday (16 March), where mourners wore pink and her family paid respects to the “‘prettiest, most perfect girl.”

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