TikTok is brimming with queer musical talent and the latest viral sensation is MegaGoneFree, a 21-year-old Black and LGBTQ+ artist who started posting on the platform in 2019.
On April 3, Mega posted the first of many in a series of TikTok videos promoting her new song “Talking ‘Bout Bri.” The video, while only 14 seconds long, was more than long enough to launch the catchy song into the public’s orbit. The subject of the song, Mega’s deadname, was ultimately what got the most attention. “That name is dead to me […] so if you see me IRL don’t call me that again.” Mega grabbed the deadname by the horns and used it to send a powerful message: Brianna is dead, and I, Mega, killed her.
The immediate response to the song was overwhelmingly positive, taking root in the trans community. Within a day a trend began to form, as other trans users took it upon themselves to share their own stories. Many shared older pictures of themselves pre-transition, with some participants choosing to include their deadname and others omitting it. They would end the video as their present selves, standing proudly in their identity with the same message, that person is dead and I killed them.
Mega’s initial video reached over three million views, and the creator herself has risen to over 5 million followers. The trend itself has amassed over 30 thousand videos; including one from notable Black trans TikTok creator Veondre, who has a similarly large following. Some users have even started to pair the song with fictional characters, engaging in the trend without choosing to share their own story.
The trend itself is not without risk, as is the risk when sharing personal stories. Mega herself has even expressed their frustration on Twitter, as transphobes have been using the song as means to refer to them by their deadname. Yet, the song’s message has proven itself to be stronger than any hate that presents against it, as thousands continue to engage and support Mega’s work.
While the progress of the trend has slowed, Mega has been continuing to hype the song by sharing the photoshoot of the cover art and announcing the official release date for the full version of the song: May 6. It’s available to pre-save now.