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Transgender girl’s murder sparks outrage across UK

Two teenagers have been arrested in connection with Brianna Ghey’s death



Brianna Ghey (Family photo)

The body of 16-year-old Brianna Ghey was discovered this past Saturday afternoon in the Linear Park in Culcheth, a small community located between the port city of Liverpool and metropolitan Manchester. She had been repeatedly stabbed and was pronounced dead at the scene by police and paramedics who responded.

Ghey, who lived in Birchwood, Cheshire, and was a junior at Birchwood Community High School had been bullied for her transgender identity, according to comments left on social media posts by friends and fellow students.

Her friends alleged she had been bullied and gang beaten at Birchwood Community High School for several years over the “simple reason of being trans.” In another post one claimed that school administrators, staff and faculty was aware of the bullying “refused to intervene.” 

Cheshire Constabulary Detective Chief Supt. Mike Evans told British media outlets: “At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that the circumstances surrounding Brianna’s death are hate related,” adding “Patrols have been stepped up in the local area and officers will remain in the Culcheth area to provide reassurance and address any concerns that residents may have.”

On Monday Evans said that police believe the death of Ghey was “targeted” and that two teenagers, a 15-year-old boy and girl, both local residents, have since been arrested on suspicion of murder and are currently in custody.

Evans told reporters that a full investigation into the death are underway and that his officers are “doing all that we can to establish the exact circumstances of what has happened.”

“At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that the circumstances surrounding Brianna’s death are hate-related,” he stated. 

As news coverage of the 16-year-old’s death spread, several British press outlets misgendered and deadnamed her, which drew the ire and criticism of LGBTQ advocacy groups including the Trans Safety Network which posted on Twitter: “We are appalled to note that @thetimes have now updated their article on the killing of Brianna Ghey to remove all references to her being a girl and to add her deadname.”

Ash Sarkar, a a senior editor at London-based Novara Media and a leading feminist progressive voice in U.K. politics, tweeted her anger at the misgendering:

As a result of the outcry, the Times did revise its coverage, although other outlets including the BBC News and Sky News failed to mention that Ghey was trans in their initial reporting.

A Trans Safety Network spokesperson told Britain’s leading LGBTQ media outlet PinkNewsUK:

“Whatever the specific circumstances leading to Brianna Ghey’s death, we are currently living through a period of unprecedented moral repugnance towards trans people, largely channelled through a compliant media which shows less and less respect for trans peoples’ lives and humanity.

“We have seen how even in death, the press has chosen to compound this harm by publicly disrespecting Brianna’s identity until public outcry forced them to reconsider.

“It shouldn’t take a public show of grief to value the lives of trans children, and her life should have been valued enough to not have been taken in the first place,” the spokesperson added.

The local MP, Charlotte Nichols, told PinkNewsUK that the local community is “reeling from the news” of Ghey’s death.

“Brianna’s family have been very clear in their statement who Brianna was: ‘a much-loved daughter, granddaughter and baby sister’. That should be the starting point for any coverage, and how we all talk about her,” Nichols told PinkNewsUK.

“Brianna was trans, and at this point it is not clear whether that was relevant to the circumstances surrounding her death, but there is absolutely no need whatsoever for anyone to publish her deadname when identifying her as trans in media coverage.”

“The least we can all do for Brianna is remember her for who she was, and not who she wasn’t, out of respect not only for Brianna but for her grieving family and friends,” she added.

Brianna Ghey (Family photo)

“Brianna was a much loved daughter, granddaughter and baby sister. She was a larger than life character who would leave a lasting impression on all that met her. Brianna was beautiful, witty and hilarious. Brianna was strong, fearless and one of a kind,” her parents said in a statement released over the weekend.

“The loss of her young life has left a massive hole in our family, and we know that the teachers and her friends who were involved in her life will feel the same.

“We would like to thank everyone for their kind words and support during this extremely difficult time. We would like to thank the police for their support, and witnesses for helping with the investigation.”

A GoFundMe fund to assist the family has already raised £73,083 ($88841.16).


United Kingdom

LGBTQ ally Humza Yousaf becomes Scotland’s next first minister

Nicola Sturgeon resigned in February



Humza Yousaf, right, and charity worker during a March 20, 2023, event at Who Cares? Scotland in the group's Glasgow offices. (Photo courtesy of Humza Yousaf's office/Facebook)

Humza Yousaf, in a tumultuous election race for leadership of the Scottish National Party pitted against socially conservative rivals Kate Forbes and Ash Regan, was elected Monday as SNP leader. He becomes the first Muslim to lead a major U.K. political party and the first Muslim to lead a European democracy.

In a vote in the Scottish Parliament (Holyrood) on Tuesday, Yousaf was confirmed as Scotland’s next first minister, replacing Nicola Sturgeon. Sturgeon had resigned as the SNP leader and Scotland’s first minister last month, setting off a close contest within the party to succeed her. 

Her decision was tied to two key political challenges: The future of the independence campaign and changes to Scotland’s gender recognition laws. In January Sturgeon castigated the conservative government of U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for blocking the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill from being signed into law by King Charles III.

The Gender Recognition Reform bill introduced by the Scottish government in Holyrood last spring was passed in a final 86-39 vote days before this past Christmas. The sweeping reform bill modifies the Gender Recognition Act, signed into law in 2004, by allowing transgender Scots to gain legal recognition without the need for a medical diagnosis.

The measure further stipulates that age limit for legal recognition is lowered to 16.

The Guardian noted the most pressing question is how a change of leadership affects the Scottish government’s plans to contest the U.K.’s decision to block the bill, which it did using section 35 of the Scotland Act 1998, described by sources as “the nuclear option.” Scottish ministers have three months from the date the section 35 order was laid — Jan. 16 — to contest it.

PinkNewsUK reported that Yousaf had received a tidal wave of support and well wishes after his victory was announced. SNP MP John Nicolson said that Yousaf led a “positive and bold campaign.”

“Humza knows that young voters love our party’s vision of a liberal, progressive, egalitarian independent Scotland,” Nicolson said. “His campaign promised a progressive agenda of fair taxation, defending LGBT+ rights from Westminster attack, and support for the vulnerable at home and abroad.”

Speaking to PinkNews, Nicolson added: “I think young people want a Scotland which is socially progressive and liberal. And for young people, independence isn’t about a face, but it’s about the kind of country that they imagine independent Scotland could be — a progressive country — and Humza very deliberately tapped into that in the course of the election campaign and made it very clear what his views were and championed that.”

During the campaign Yousaf had promised voters, “If elected Scottish National Party (SNP) leader and Scotland’s next first minister, I’ll build on our track record of promoting and protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ people by: (1) banning conversion practices and (2)  embedding LGBTQ+ rights in an independent Scotland’s constitution.”

A political commentator and SNP source told the Washington Blade on Monday they are “happy with the result and motivated by what is to come. Humza has secured the continuation of a progressive agenda. I think he will be more popular as he becomes more well-known.”

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United Kingdom

UK government says it plans to block efforts to reform Wales gender recognition law

Westminster last month blocked similar statute in Scotland



Welsh Parliament (Senedd Cymru) Building in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Leighton R/Bigstock)

The Tory government of U.K. Prime Minster Rishi Sunak will block any effort by the government of Wales to push forward plans to reform gender-recognition laws that would allow transgender Welsh to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate without a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria, a government spokesperson told Britain’s leading LGBTQ news outlet.

In a statement to PinkNewsUK, a spokesperson from the Equalities Office told the LGBTQ+ news outlet the Tory-led government wants to ensure that “LGBT people are treated equally” but would not budge on permitting devolved reform of the GRA (Gender Recognition Act) in Wales.

On Tuesday, the Welsh government (Llywodraeth Cymru) in Cardiff announced that it had launched its LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales. Deputy Social Partnership Minister Hannah Blythyn said that Wales’ plan aims to improve the rights of LGBTQ people such as banning all aspects of so-called conversion therapy practice. She did acknowledge that but currently the Welsh Parliament (Senedd Cymru) cannot make its own gender recognition laws.

The plans for improvement of the Gender Recognition Act to affect trans Welsh that has the backing of the Senedd Cymru is based on similar legislation put forward and by the Scottish Parliament.

Four weeks ago the conservative U.K. government in Westminster blocked the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill from being signed into law by King Charles III.

The Gender Recognition Reform bill introduced by the Scottish government in Parliament (Holywood) last spring was passed in a final 86-39 vote days before this past Christmas. The sweeping reform bill modifies the Gender Recognition Act, signed into law in 2004, by allowing trans Scots to gain legal recognition without the need for a medical diagnosis.

The measure further stipulates that age limit for legal recognition is lowered to 16.

There are those in and out of government in Britain and Wales claiming that reform would mean a safety issue for women and children.

“Ensuring that LGBT people are treated equally is a priority for this government. In recent months, we have committed to an inclusive ban on conversion practices, and we are taking steps to improve health care and eliminate new transmissions of HIV by 2030,” an Equalities Office spokesperson told PinkNews.

“We share the concerns that others have set out with proposed reforms to the GRC application process, particularly around safety issues for women and children.

“As a result of this, there are no plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act in England or Wales.”

Having a GRC allows trans people to update their birth certificate, get married or form a civil partnership in their affirmed gender, update their marriage or civil partnership certificate, and have their affirmed gender on their death certificate.

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United Kingdom

Transgender Gen Zer dies by suicide after wait on U.K. healthcare system list

Alice Litman’s parents said daughter could not access gender-affirming care



Alice Litman (Family photo)

Alice Litman was a high school junior when she told her family she wanted to live as a woman. Barely for years later at age 20 she died by suicide. According to her parents Peter and Caroline Litman, she died partly because of the inaccessibility of gender-affirming healthcare in the U.K. 

The BBC reported that an inquest is to be held into the death of Litman, who died by suicide while on a National Health Service waiting list for almost three years for gender-affirming healthcare. She had been referred to the NHS Gender Identity Development Service in August 2019, but was still waiting for an initial assessment when she died by suicide at the age of 20.

BBC News reported that the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, where the gender-identity clinic is based, as saying it was “deeply saddened” by Litman’s death but it was “not appropriate to comment while the inquest is ongoing.”

The clinic’s website, which currently only shows data from the same month that Litman died, reveals the waiting list to be 11,407 people long.

Assistant coroner Sarah Clarke will examine issues relating to her death in the coroner’s inquest due to take place this upcoming September.

Peter and Caroline Litman (Screenshot/BBC South East)

Peter and Caroline Litman hope lessons will be learned from their daughter’s death the couple told the BBC. They said in a statement: “We believe that Alice died partly because of the inaccessibility of gender-affirming healthcare in the U.K.”

“We want the inquest to examine this to ensure we can get justice for Alice, and change for all the trans people who are facing the same issues.”

“It’s not just Alice. It’s too late for her. There are lots of other young transgender people out there and they need our help.”

Last month PinkNewsUK journalist Patrick Kelleher reported LGBTQ people already face disproportionately worse healthcare outcomes in the U.K. — and that’s without an NHS in crisis.

The crisis is a dangerous threat to everybody who relies on free healthcare, reports PinkNewsUK.

For LGBTQ people specifically, it’s compounded by existing barriers — the NHS has acknowledged that outcomes are disproportionately poor for the queer community.

In the government’s 2017 National LGBT Survey, 16 percent of LGBTQ people said they had a negative experience when accessing public health services because of their sexual orientation, while 38 percent had a bad experience on the basis of their gender identity. More than half (51 percent) faced waits for mental health care, while years-long waiting lists for gender-affirming care are well-documented.

Cleo Madeleine, communications officer for trans charity Gendered Intelligence, told PinkNewsUK:

“LGBT+ people already have worse access to healthcare than the general population, with both physical and mental health outcomes falling across the board. Some of this stems from a lack of education on LGBT+ people or an excess of stigma around specific needs like sexual health and gender identity services.

“Elsewhere we find that LGBT+ people — as many as 25 percent — avoid seeking necessary care because they fear reprisal, or because they have been denied healthcare because of their identity before.” 

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