A person at a Brianna Ghey vigil holding a sign that reads, "Protect trans youth."

Two Teens Found Guilty of Murdering Brianna Ghey

Warning: This article contains distressing content in relation to transphobia and child murder.

Recommended Videos

Today, two teenagers, who cannot be named because of their age, were found guilty of murdering transgender teen Brianna Ghey in February 2023, in Warrington in the U.K. Brianna was lured to her death and killed by “Girl X” and “Boy Y” in a horrific stabbing the Crown Prosecution Service called “a frenzied and ferocious attack.”

The judge, Justice Yip, will sentence the teenagers in the new year and said she will impose life sentences on both of them. This is a decision supported by Brianna’s mother, who said outside court,

Prior to the trial I had moments where I felt sorry for the defendants because they had ruined their own lives as well as ours. But now, knowing the true nature and seeing neither display an ounce of remorse for what they have done to Brianna, I have lost all sympathy that I may have previously had for them. And I am glad that they will spend many years in prison and away from society.

It’s thought that the murderers’ names may also be released in the coming week following an application by the British media.

Some very distressing details regarding the murder came out during the trial. The court was shown an exchange of dehumanizing, transphobic text messages about Brianna between Girl X and Boy Y, and more.

The police did not treat Brianna’s murder as a transphobic hate crime, but it’s impossible to hold that transphobia didn’t play a role. When the boy was questioned about why he spoke about Brianna that way, the boy answered, “I don’t know. It’s what I’ve learned from people at school, how they talk about people, which I picked up.”

 “Girl X and Boy Y appear to have been a deadly influence on each other and turned what may have started out as dark fantasies about murder into a reality,” Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor Ursula Doyle of CPS Mersey Cheshire said in a statement. “The pages and pages of WhatsApp messages between the two, planning and plotting to kill people, talking of murder, torture and cruelty were very difficult to read.” The teens had made a “kill list” of children they wanted to murder and made a different attempt on Brianna’s life before the stabbing, attempting to poison her with an overdose.

Transphobia is still rampant in the U.K.

A petition circulating requesting that Brianna’s legal gender be changed to female after her death was rejected by the Tory government. Their response to the petition read as follows:

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.

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.

That alleged “long-standing record of protecting the rights of individuals against unlawful discrimination” has been severely and irrevocably damaged by the relentless tide of transphobia in the United Kingdom, encouraged by the Tory party. One day before Brianna’s killers were found guilty, the government released a “guidance” for schools about gender transition. This document begins with comments on “gender identity ideology” and calls it a “highly sensitive, complex issue.”

According to this guidance, which is not legally enforceable, a teacher should inform parents if a child wishes to socially transition, thus outing them and potentially putting them in danger. The Guardian notes that although the government wishes to collect views from “parents, teachers, and school leaders” about the guidance, it does not mention the views of actual trans people or seek their contributions at all.

Kemi Badenoch, Minister for Women and Equalities, responded to the backlash in an article for—where else?—the Daily Mail. She wrote, “The rights of one group do not trump the rights of another… We should be wary of those who speak casually about ‘trans children.’”

Well, no-one will ever again speak casually about Brianna Ghey. Because she was murdered at the age of 16.

(featured image: Family handout/Cheshire police)

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Sarah Barrett
Sarah Barrett
Sarah Barrett (she/her) is a freelance writer with The Mary Sue who has been working in journalism since 2014. She loves to write about movies, even the bad ones. (Especially the bad ones.) The Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the Star Wars prequels changed her life in many interesting ways. She lives in one of the very, very few good parts of England.