Say Their Names: Honoring Black Trans Lives lost in 2020

By Kelly McDonnell and Becca Damante

This article was first published November 21, 2020 in Tagg Magazine here.

As of November 2020 there have been at least 21 murders of Black trans people this year. Let’s take the time to honor them by saying their names remembering their legacies.


Monika Diamond was a 34-year-old Black transgender woman killed on March 18, 2020 in Charlotte, NC. According to HRC, Diamond was “active in the Charlotte LGBTQ and nightlife community” and was “co-CEO of the International Mother of the Year Pageantry System—a pageant that honors LGBTQ mothers.”


Lexi was a 33-year old Black transgender woman who was killed in Harlem, New York City on March 28, 2020. Her friend Lavonia Brooks noted Lexi’s love of poetry, fashion, and makeup and said: “I really looked up to [Lexi] because of her tolerance and respect. Lexi had a beautiful heart, she was very gifted.”


Nina Pop was a 28-year old Black transgender woman killed in Sikeston, Missouri on May 3, 2020. Pop was well- known in the area, and a friend shared that she was “always happy.”


Tony McDade was a 38-year old Black transgender man who was killed by police in Tallahassee, Florida on May 27, 2020. Friends shared that he had “such a big heart” and his “energy would lift [their] spirits.”


Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells was a 27- year old Black transgender woman who was killed in Philadelphia, PA on June 9, 2020. A friend shared that “Dom was a unique and beautiful soul who [they were] lucky to have known personally.”


Riah Milton was a 25-year-old Black transgender woman who was killed in Liberty Township, Ohio on June 9, 2020. She was a home health aide and a loving sister and aunt.


Brayla Stone was a 17-year old Black transgender young woman who was killed in Little Rock, Arkansas on June 25, 2020. In honoring her memory, people have said that “Brayla was someone who always held space for others to be themselves and express their identities.”


Merci Mack was a 22-year-old Black transgender woman who was killed in Dallas, Texas on June 30, 2020. According to her Facebook page, she was a restaurant worker and loved baking cookies and relaxing in the jacuzzi.


Tatiana Hall was a 21-year old Black transgender woman who was killed in New Jersey on or near June 30, 2020. Not much is known about Tatiana at this time.


Draya McCarty was a Black transgender woman who was killed in Baton Rouge in late June or early July 2020. Not much is known about Draya at this time, but she was from Hammond, Louisiana.


Shakie Peters was a 32-year old Black transgender woman who was found dead close to Baton Rouge, Louisiana on July 1, 2020. Shakie’s friend shared that Shakie was “a very independent person and very loyal to her friends” and was also “full of laughter and an abundance of life.”


Bree Black was a 27-year old Black transgender woman who was killed in Pompano Beach, Florida on July 3, 2020. Not much is known about Bree at this time, but local activists set up an altar for Bree and are hoping to get in touch with her family.


Brian Powers, also known as Egypt, was killed in Akron, OH on June 13. Powers, 43 years old, was a passionate chef and worked for a catering company. He also had a love of dance.


Queasha Hardy, 24 years old, was killed in Baton Rouge, LA on July 27. Hardy owned a hair salon business, “So Federal Styles,” that she had recently started. Friends said she was unapologetic about her identity.


Tiffany Harris, who also went by the name Dior H Ova, was 32 years old when she died in the Bronx borough of New York City on July 26. Her Facebook page noted her hometown as Kingston, Jamaica, and showed a love for fashion.


Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears, also known as Rocky Rhone, was 34 years old when she was killed at a vigil for a homicide victim in Portland, OR on July 28. She had studied at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and she was the owner and founder of her own clothing brand in Portland. She was active on social media against racial injustice.


Isabella Mia Lofton, 21 years old, died on September 7 in Brooklyn, NY. She was originally from Chicago, IL. Her sister said she was kind to everyone despite hardships.


Aerrion Burnett was killed on September 19 in Independence, MO at 37 years old. She died several days before her birthday. At a vigil, a friend said, “She was a goddess.”


Mia Green, 29 years old, was killed in Philadelphia, PA on September 28. A friend said, “Her smile was so perfect and so contagious.”


Felycya Harris was killed in Augusta, GA on October 3. The 33-year-old was an interior decorator with her own business. Her social media showed her love of dance and fashion.


Brooklyn DeShuna, a 20-year-old who also used the name Brooklyn DeShauna Smith, was killed in Shreveport, LA on October 7. She studied cosmetology at Bossier Parish Community College. A friend described her as a “genuinely a good person.”

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