British authorities are investigating the killing of 16-year-old Brianna Ghey, who was stabbed to death in a park in northwestern England this past weekend.
Ghey, who was transgender, maintained a popular TikTok account with thousands of followers where she posted dance and lip-synching videos. She posted her final video hours before she was killed in Cheshire on Saturday.
“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 family said in a statement.
“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.”
Two 15-year-old teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of murder, police said, adding that the suspects, a boy and a girl from the area, are currently in custody and cooperating with the investigation. A chief detective told the Times, a British newspaper, that Ghey’s murder was “a targeted attack,” but her death is not being treated as a hate crime.
As news of Ghey’s death spread across the UK, many British publications misgendered Ghey and used her deadname in their coverage.
Some advocates have noted that because the country’s Conservative government chose not to allow trans people to self-identify their gender on official documents, Ghey will likely not have her chosen name and gender marker on her death certificate.
In the wake of her death, friends of Ghey’s family set up a GoFundMe to support her funeral costs, and many have spoken out to share their condolences and support of Ghey’s family.
Nadia Whittome, a Labour MP, tweeted that “Brianna deserved a chance to become a beautiful adult woman, and to live to see a world where trans people are safe and respected.”
Whittome also criticized British media for their anti-trans coverage of her death.