We’re getting word of another trans-American who has passed away.
Bonaire “Bonnie” Black was found dead on December 31, 2020, in Atlanta, Georgia at the age of 19 and seven days before she would have turned 20. The investigation into Black is still ongoing, according to the National Black Justice Coalition. The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office says that Black died of natural causes, but the toxicology report and autopsy are currently unavailable. Plus, friends and advocates say foul play was involved.
“What we’re hearing is that a guy at the party, they got in some kind of argument, and he broke her neck,” said Marshall Rancifer of the Justice for All Coalition. “She had dreams and aspirations that are not going to come to fruition – all because some stupid son of a b**** decided to take her life over an argument.”
Trans activist Jesse Pratt López, founder of the Trans Housing Coalition, added on Facebook, “Details surrounding her death are unclear and the assailant has not been caught.”
“In a case like this, the medical examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death. If the cause of death is determined to be criminal, [we] will investigate,” said TaSheena Brown of the Atlanta Police Department in response to these allegations.
Black was found by a parking lot attendant and the manager of the Georgian Terrace on Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta. They found her unresponsive with her fist clenched under a blanket. Then, Bonnie Black was misgendered and deadnamed by law enforcement and her obituary.
Friends have, however, spread kind words about Bonnie Black online.
“She loved doing her makeup and going out into the world making sure she looked her best,” Toni Bryce, an employee of the National AIDS Education & Services for Minorities (NAESM), said. “Every day we were open, she would come in and utilize the services we had. She was a young girl taken very soon.”
Other friends have come forward to say that Bonnie was “an artist, songwriter, anime lover, makeup enthusiast and a young girl trying to figure out her purpose in life.” She originally was born in Savannah and moved to Atlanta at the age of 17 because of a hostile family. Bonnie Black then had an unstable housing situation.
“Black transgender women and girls like Bonnie experience the highest rates of violent death due to transphobia and misogynoir,” said David J. Johns, executive director at the National Black Justice Coalition. “What feels like acceptable and normalized forms of violence has deep roots in the ways our communities have been dehumanized for centuries. We have to help people love themselves and love one another so they can hold space for every member of our beautifully diverse community. Bonnie should be with us today.”
Bonnie Black’s death is the sixth murder or questionable death of a trans or gender non-conforming person in Georgia since March 2020. She also was the 52nd known trans or non-binary person killed in 2020. That averages to one violent death each week of the year. And, unfortunately, the death rate continues. Here’s the current list of transgender, gender-noncomforming, and non-binary Americans who have been lost to violence in 2021, according to PghLesbian.
- Tyianna Davarea Alexandra – Chicago, Illinois. January 6, 2021. Age 28.
- Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín – Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. January 9, 2021. Age 21.
- Natasha Keianna – Detroit, Michigan, January 12, 2021. Age 37.
- Dominique Jackson – Jackson, Mississippi. January 25, 2021. Age 30.