Tonya Harvey was a 35-year-old Black trans woman living in Buffalo, New York. According to the Buffalo News, she was fatally shot on a dead-end street around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday and declared dead at the scene. (References to misgendering and deadnaming at the link.)
At 5:30 in the afternoon. She was killed in the light of day on the street. Buffalo police spokesperson Michael J. DeGeorge told Mic on Thursday that the investigation into Harvey’s death was “in the very early stages” and that “police are looking at some possible early leads.”
Tonya was known as Kita by some of her friends. She is described in Facebook tributes with love and joy, as strong and determined.
She is the 3rd transgender woman, the 2nd trans woman of color, and the first Black trans woman that we know of to be killed in 2018 in the United States.
Rest in power, Kita. Your too-brief time in this world touched many people who are grieving your death. You deserved so much more love and joy.
The list of trans people killed in 2018 thus far. Note that people have different numbers based on different factors. The most important thing that unites us all is that we want the violence to stop. We need to keep asking ‘Where is the outrage?’ During 2017, we lost at least 25 trans neighbors. May 2018 be more merciful.
- Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien – Massachusetts (January 6) 42 years old
- Viccky Gutierrez – Los Angeles (January 9), 33 years old
- Tonya ‘Kita’ Harvey – Buffalo (February 6), 35 years old