Brianna Ghey funeral: Family pay tribute to transgender teen stabbed to death

In UK News


Grieving loved ones of a transgender teenager stabbed to death in a park have been paying their final respects at her funeral, hailing her as a ‘true one-off’. 

Scores of tearful family and friends arrived for the service of 16-year-old Brianna Ghey, who was knifed to death last month. 

Brianna, from Birchwood, Warrington, was found with stab wounds on a path in Culcheth Linear Park on the afternoon of February 11.

The service, including poems, music and heartfelt tributes, heard of Brianna’s unique character, how much she was loved and is missed and sprinkled with memories of her enjoyment of clothing, make-up, jewellery and social media.

Prayers were also said, asking for ‘the courage to love one another’, and saying Brianna will ‘endure no more suffering… you can be whatever you want’.

A horse-drawn carriage carrying the coffin arrives at the funeral of Brianna Ghey, a 16-year-old transgender girl, in Warrington

A horse-drawn carriage carrying the coffin arrives at the funeral of Brianna Ghey, a 16-year-old transgender girl, in Warrington

Mourners are pictured lifting the teenager's casket at her funeral in Warrington today

Mourners are pictured lifting the teenager’s casket at her funeral in Warrington today 

Brianna Ghey, 16, (pictured) from Warrington, in Cheshire, was found in Culcheth Linear Park

Brianna Ghey, 16, (pictured) from Warrington, in Cheshire, was found in Culcheth Linear Park

Mourners had been asked to wear pink, in keeping with the teenager’s colourful personality, and all shades of the colour could be seen as people arrived for her funeral at St Elphin’s Parish Church in Warrington.

Brianna’s mother Esther wore a pink trouser suit, other family wore pink ties and dresses while other mourners carried pink balloons and flowers.

Brianna’s pink coffin, topped with pink and white roses and carnations, was borne in a carriage drawn by two white horses festooned in pink plumes.

The Order of Service at the funeral read: ‘Brianna’s family would like to thank all relatives and friends for the kind messages of sympathy and support during this difficult time, and thank you for joining them at this service.’ 

It added that donations in memory of Brianna can be made to charity Mindfulness in Schools Project

The Order of Service shared photographs of Brianna during happy times, including a candid shot of the teenager smiling in a summer dress and two others spending time with pet dogs. 

Lana Del Rey’s song Video Games played as the cortege arrived for the service before fading as church bells tolled.

Reverend Debbie Lovatt told mourners the service would be a celebration of Brianna’s life.

The front page of the Order of Service at Brianna's funeral today

The front page of the Order of Service at Brianna’s funeral today

The back page of the Order of Service for Brianna's funeral today said: 'Brianna's family would like to thank all relatives and friends for the kind messages of sympathy and support during this difficult time, and thank you for joining them at this service'

The back page of the Order of Service for Brianna’s funeral today said: ‘Brianna’s family would like to thank all relatives and friends for the kind messages of sympathy and support during this difficult time, and thank you for joining them at this service’ 

She asked for prayers for the family and friends and for ‘light in the darkness.’

Ms Lovatt added: ‘Give us the courage to love each other. Inspire us to create a world where all people are valued and safe and all your creation is honoured.’

Bible readings were given and the hymn Amazing Grace was sung before a series of tributes and poems, reflecting Brianna’s life, were read.

These included one, ‘from Grandma’ read by Ms Lovatt.

It said: ‘As you embark on life’s greatest adventure in the company of angels, you will endure no more suffering in that place of light and love where there is no sin.

‘You can be whatever you want and will be accepted with love and celebration. I miss you and keep you in my heart forever. Granny.’

A boy and a girl, both aged 15, have been charged with her murder and are due to go on trial at Liverpool Crown Court on July 10. Neither accused can be named because of their age.

The Year 11 pupil, at Birchwood Community High School, was hailed as a larger-than-life character who was ‘beautiful’ and loving. 

Dozens of Brianna’s friends paid tribute to her during the funeral service, sharing memories of shopping trips with the teen or FaceTime calls.

Friends have paid tribute to Brianna as her family described the teen as 'fearless'. Pictured is Brianna's funeral cortege arriving

Friends have paid tribute to Brianna as her family described the teen as ‘fearless’. Pictured is Brianna’s funeral cortege arriving 

Tearful: one mourner in pink appears to wipe away a tear as she attends the funeral for 'true one-off' Brianna Ghey

Tearful: one mourner in pink appears to wipe away a tear as she attends the funeral for ‘true one-off’ Brianna Ghey

Family and friends from across Warrington have arrived to pay their final respects to the teenager

Family and friends from across Warrington have arrived to pay their final respects to the teenager

A tribute from Amelia, one of Brianna’s friends, read: ‘I love you so much, my heart is more than broken.

‘We have grown together and progressed through our transition together.

‘You made me laugh when I was down. I just can’t believe that this is real. I just want to hug you and know that you are OK. My sister.’

A letter from Daisy, describing Brianna as her ‘best friend’, said: ‘We used to go shopping and she would recommend make-up for me and I would recommend new clothing styles for her to try… She was my biggest supporter.’

And a letter from Birchwood High School, where Brianna was a student, spoke of her ‘bravery and courage, determination and grit… we will miss her wit and humour.

‘We learnt so much about strength, about determination to be one’s true self and that is something we will all carry with us,’ it said.

Heartbroken family and friends of the transgender 16-year-old were wearing pink to attend the service

Heartbroken family and friends of the transgender 16-year-old were wearing pink to attend the service

Mourners are pictured arriving at Brianna's funeral, with dozens of school children and teenager among the congregation

Mourners are pictured arriving at Brianna’s funeral, with dozens of school children and teenager among the congregation 

Family members had asked those attending the teenager's send off to wear pink, with some mourners bringing flowers to the ceremony

Family members had asked those attending the teenager’s send off to wear pink, with some mourners bringing flowers to the ceremony

As the service closed more music was played with the song For the First Time by Mac DeMarco followed by Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

Mourners filed out of the church with Brianna’s family in four black limousines following the horse-drawn carriage for a private service at the crematorium.

After Brianna’s death thousands of people attended candlelit vigils across the country.

A Go Fund Me page set up with the aim of raising £4,216 for Brianna’s family has now raised more than £113,000.

Her family is raising money for a project, Mindfulness In Schools, to train school staff in mindfulness, as a lasting legacy for Brianna.

Dozens of people arrived to pay their final respects to Brianna, including many of her classmates

Dozens of people arrived to pay their final respects to Brianna, including many of her classmates

She arrived at St Elphin's Parish Church in Warrington in a horse drawn carriage

She arrived at St Elphin’s Parish Church in Warrington in a horse drawn carriage

Friends of Brianna say the transgender teen was ‘bullied for years’ because of her gender identity.

The 16-year-old death was labelled a ‘targeted attack’ by her loved ones. It came just days after she posted a TikTok video revealing she had been ‘excluded from school.’

Brianna was described as someone who ‘brought a lot of laughter’ and was looking forward to progressing with school. 

Her family say the death of ‘strong, fearless and kind’ Brianna has ‘left a massive hole’ in their hearts.

She was found dead at around 3.13pm on Saturday, in Linear Park, Warrington. Police confirmed the 16-year-old, who went to Birchwood Community High School, was stabbed to death. 

Heartbroken mourners hug one another during Brianna's funeral service, which was attended by dozens of her schoolfriends

Heartbroken mourners hug one another during Brianna’s funeral service, which was attended by dozens of her schoolfriends 

In a touching moment, Brianna's grandmother said 'goodbye my beautiful granddaughter' and added: 'You can be whatever you want and will be accepted with love and celebration.' Pictured are mourners at the funeral

In a touching moment, Brianna’s grandmother said ‘goodbye my beautiful granddaughter’ and added: ‘You can be whatever you want and will be accepted with love and celebration.’ Pictured are mourners at the funeral

Brianna's casket was carried into St Elphin's Church, Warrington, while her heartbroken friends and family watched on silently

Brianna’s casket was carried into St Elphin’s Church, Warrington, while her heartbroken friends and family watched on silently  

Officers have alleged there is no evidence that Brianna was the victim of a hate crime. However, the teen’s friends have taken to social media alleging she had been ‘bullied and gang beaten’ at school for several years over the ‘simple reason of being trans.’

The reports of alleged bullying came after the teen, who had amassed a large social media following, claimed she ‘got excluded from school.’

In a video on her now-deleted TikTok account, Brianna, wearing her school uniform, announced her exclusion. It was posted five days before her murder.

Hundreds gathered at vigil tonight near the park where 16-year-old Brianna Ghey (pictured) was murdered last week as they remembered and honoured the transgender teen

Friends of Brianna Ghey (pictured) say the transgender teen was ‘bullied for years’ because of her gender identity

Floral tributes were left on Brianna's casket as she was transport to her funeral today

Floral tributes were left on Brianna’s casket as she was transport to her funeral today

Emma Mills, Head Teacher at the school, told the newspaper the Birchwood community is ‘shocked and truly devastated’ by Brianna’s death.

‘This is understandably a very difficult and distressing time for many and we will do our utmost to support our pupils and wider school community,’ Ms Mills said.

In the meantime, detectives have urged calm amid fears among the LGBT community that the attack was motivated by transphobia. 

One concerned person commented: ‘Honestly terrified of getting murdered for simply daring to be who I am.’

Detective Chief Superintendent Mike Evans has said that enquiries into Brianna’s death are underway and that 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. 

‘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.’

A post-mortem examination was taking place yesterday to confirm a cause of death, but police have said Brianna had suffered multiple stab wounds. 

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact police. Officers have also launched an appeal for people and businesses within the community to check any CCTV or dashcam footage for anything that may aid the investigation.

Detectives have urged calm amid fears among the LGBT community that the attack was motivated by transphobia. Pictured: Mourners at Brianna's funeral today

Detectives have urged calm amid fears among the LGBT community that the attack was motivated by transphobia. Pictured: Mourners at Brianna’s funeral today

Patrols were stepped up in the wake of the teenager's killing. Pictured: Brianna's funeral

Patrols were stepped up in the wake of the teenager’s killing. Pictured: Brianna’s funeral 

Brianna’s family also issued tribute to their daughter, describing her as ‘beautiful, witty and hilarious’.

They said: ‘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.

‘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. The continuation of respect for privacy is greatly appreciated.’

A police officer stands next to floral tributes at the entrance to Linear Park where 16-year-old Brianna Ghey was found with multiple stab wounds on a path in Culcheth

A police officer stands next to floral tributes at the entrance to Linear Park where 16-year-old Brianna Ghey was found with multiple stab wounds on a path in Culcheth

To help the family, loved ones have set up fundraising page in memory of Brianna. It raised more than £100,000. Pictured: Floral tributes left at the park

To help the family, loved ones have set up fundraising page in memory of Brianna. It raised more than £100,000. Pictured: Floral tributes left at the park

Members of the public found trans teenager Brianna ‘unresponsive’ in a park before her mother identified her body, an inquest into her death heard. 

A boy and a girl, both aged 15, have been charged with her murder and are due to go on trial at Liverpool Crown Court on July 10. They cannot be named due to their age,

Anybody with information about Brianna’s death should contact Cheshire Police by calling 101. Information can also be reported anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800555111.



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