A 16-year-old trans girl has gone missing just days after coming out as trans, having last been seen in London five days ago.
Maya hasn’t been seen since arriving at Liverpool Street station in London at 8.40am in the morning on 3 September.
She had travelled from her house in Stansted, Essex, before 7.30am. CCTV images show her wearing a pink face mask, pink shoulder-length wig, pink top, white skit, white tights and white trainers. She was carrying a black Puma rucksack and had a black wheelie suitcase.
“We have no idea where Maya has gone,” reads the missing person flyer circulating on social media. “This is extremely out of character. She is a vulnerable trans girl who only ‘came out’ Friday morning’.”
Munroe Bergdorf, the model and author, shared the missing persons flyer about Maya on Instagram, writing: “Maya – If you are reading this lovely, please let someone know that you are safe. I know how difficult and oppressive growing up in a small town like Stansted can be when you don’t fit the status quo.
“But please let someone know that you are ok, so that we can help you with whatever you need. We are all worried and just want to know that you’re okay. You are not alone.”
They added: “Disclosing somebody’s gender identity without their permission is not something that I would ordinarily condone or recommend. But the fact that Maya is both a minor and transgender, alone in a major city, places her at considerable risk of danger.
“So it’s important that we have all of the facts to fully understand her situation and the gravity of why we need to find her as soon as possible to ensure her safety.”
Young trans people at risk of violence and homelessness
Trans people in the UK are vulnerable to physical violence motivated by transphobia, with reports to the police of transphobic hate crimes quadrupling between 2015 and 2020.
Young trans people are also at risk of family rejection, with a quarter of LGBT+ youth having been homeless.
Dr Ronx, an emergency medicine doctor and BBC presenter, also shared Maya’s missing person flyer on social media, adding: “This will be one of the most dangerous times in this trans girls’ life. Her risk of death by suicide / risk of abuse / maltreatment/ decline in MH / poverty and drug use will be high.
“If you spot her remember that your presence may be intimidating for her. Be mindful that helping another person can outwardly be difficult for the other person to process, being met with aggression can be the response of a very scared human trying to survive.
“Ultimately this girl is 16, she is vulnerable, she will need help but please be mindful that she still has the right to not receive your individual bystander help.
“So what do we do? It’s hard. Ultimately the police can be called. Police interaction can be hard and triggering for people, for all kinds of reasons.
“I don’t have the gold standard answers but I do want this young person found saved and well and supported. This right now is the most dangerous time of this trans girls life.”
The missing person flyer for Maya asks for any sightings or information to be reported to the police by calling 999 and quoting MPC/4367/21.