Ballroom Legend, Victim’s Advocate, and Trans Woman of Color Jahaira M. DeAlto Stabbed to Death

Jahaira M. DeAlto
Via Facebook

Just days after confirmation that the murder rate of trans folx in the United States had surged up to 20 comes word of yet another loss. Activist Jahaira DeAlto died after being stabbed on Sunday.

On Sunday, in Boston a 34-year-old man named Marcus Chavis was arrested in connection with murder charges in the death of two women. The women were reportedly stabbed. One died on the scene while the other suffered serious injuries, was transported to a hospital, and later died. A dog was was also injured. It is believed that one of the women was DeAlto. 

When officers arrived at the Taft Street home, two young children pointed them to where 42-year-old Jahaira DeAlto and 27-year-old Fatima Yasin had been stabbed.

DeAlto was pronounced dead at the scene after being stabbed in the neck. Yasin was rushed to Boston Medical Center but did not survive.

Born in Achrafie, Beyrouth, Lebanon, Jahaira relocated to Brooklyn and Connecticut before settling in Boston, Massachusetts. She studied at Berkshire Community College and Simmons University. Professionally, she was a tireless advocate against interpersonal violence and was most recently working as a Coordinator at Casa Myrna.

Jahaira began her transition at age 16 and spent the rest of her life advocating and educating the general community. She was also well known for nuturing younger members of the Ballroom community and younger trans folx. According to her Facebook profile, she was fluent in five languages: Spanglish, English language, Arabic, French and American Sign Language. Via YouTube, Jahaira has been vlogging about her life from 2010-2013, speaking out on social justice issues, and also talking about the lives of trans women.

“Present. Counted. Visible. Here.
#tdo2021 #girl”slikeus” via Facebook

Jahaira was a legendary part of the House of Balenciago. According to Out.com, she made her name in Boston, and became a legend for the category of realness. In her subcategory, fem queen realness, trans women competed to pass for cisgender women. DeAlto’s specialty was everyday realness. She also built her own devoted personal family, helping to nurture other members of the community.

Tributes are pouring through social media.

Rest in power, Jahaira. The seeds of love, understanding, and visibility you nutured will continue to flourish, giving permanent honor to your life. You deserved so much more time to do your work. May their be justice in your name. 

May your memory be a revolution.


Our list of transgender, gender-nonconforming, and non-binary neighbors lost to violence in 2021. Please do not copy or share this list without attribution.

  1. Tyianna Davarea Alexandra – Chicago, Illinois. January 6, 2021. Age 28.
  2. Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín – Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. January 9, 2021. Age 21.
  3. Dominique Jackson – Jackson, Mississippi. January 25, 2021. Age 30.
  4. Bianca ‘Muffin’ Bankz – Atlanta, Georgia. January 21, 2021. Age 31.
  5. Fifty Bandzzz – Baton Rouge, Louisiana. January 28, 2021. Age 21.
  6. Alexus “Kimmy” Braxton – Miami, Florida. February 4, 2021. Age 45.
  7. Chynaa Carrillo – New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. February 18, 2021. Age 24.
  8. Jeffrey ‘JJ’ Bright – Ambridge, Pennsylvania. February 22, 2021. Age 16.
  9. Jasmine Cannady – Ambridge, Pennsylvania. February 22, 2021. Age 22.
  10. Jenna Franks – Jacksonville, North Carolina, February 24, 2021. Age 34. **
  11. Diamond Nicole ‘Kyree’ Sanders – Cincinnati, Ohio. March 3, 2021. Age 23.
  12. Rayanna Pardo – Los Angeles, California, March 17, 2021. Age 26. ***
  13. Aidelen Evans – Port Arthur, Texas, March 2021. Age 24 ****
  14. Dominique Lucious – Springfield, Missouri, April 8, 2021. Age 26.
  15. Jaida Peterson – Charlotte, North Carolina, April 4, 2021. Age 29.
  16. Remy Fennell – Charlotte, North Carolina, April 15, 2021. Age 28.
  17. Tiara Banks – Chicago, Illinois, April 21, 2021. Age 26.
  18. Natalia Smüt Lopez – San Jose, California, April 23, 2021. Age 24.
  19. Tiffany Thomas – Dallas, Texas, April 21, 2021. Age 38.
  20. Iris Santos – Houston, Texas, April 23, 2021. Age 22.
  21. Jahaira M. DeAlto – Boston, Massachusetts, May 2, 2021. Age 43.

We are also still monitoring these suspicious deaths from 20/21 (in addition to the 44 documented killings.)

Trans lives