Tonya Harvey (“Kita”)Age 35
6 Feb 2018
Buffalo, New York (USA)
TDoR list ref: tgeu/6-Feb-2018/Tonya Harvey
Tonya was shot in the street in late afternoon. Initial police and local news reports misgendered her.
“R.I.P Kita aka Tonya Harvey she was murdered this week and misgendered by media , i knew her since i started transitioning, she was so sweet and loving, always told her she was the black Cameron Diaz, Honestly I feel like im loosing all my trans elders to violence and drug abuse, we have to be more careful, do better and live better, this is so sad… sleep in peace angel.”
“When I first seen her I was traumatized how beautiful she was,” said Kita’s friend Ealise Watson, who recalled meeting her before her own male-to-female transition at age 15. “She was the epitome of looking like a woman.” Watson said Harvey was more of a “showgirl” than a “ballroom girl,” meaning she would perform in a cabaret style in nightclubs rather than “walk” in a ballroom fashion competition.
In her transition, Kita was a fearless trailblazer. “I talked to her and she gave me a lot of advice on how she started her transition,” Johnson said. “She went to Mexico and when she came back, she set this LGBT community on fire.” To Johnson, she was a “sister.” They lived together, traveled together, and helped each other to survive.
“Throughout the years she gave me, you know, tactics—what I needed to do. She was a big staple in the LGBT community here in Western New York. She brought back a lot of things, she inspired a lot of young trans women that came out in this community around this time.”
She was bold, and bright, a talented singer, lyricist, and dancer. “Honestly, she was an entertainer,” said Mciver. “She was very good. We used to call her the rig queen because she could rig anything. She could take a T-shirt and turn it into a doll. She was very, very creative, very articulate.”
The Buffalo News and Huffington Post, 09.02.2018