NCAVP mourns the death of Kendall “Bonaire” Sawyers, an 18-year-old Black trans woman in Atlanta, GA

NCAVP mourns the death of Kendall “Bonaire” Sawyers, an 18-year-old Black trans woman who was murdered on December 31 in Atlanta, GA. Details on her death have not been released, and the assailant has reportedly not been caught.

Similar to the death of another Black trans woman in the area, Bianca “Muffin” Banks [will link to this], Kendall’s death has been covered largely by Trans Housing Coalition, a nonprofit founded during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to get trans and nonbinary people off the streets and into safe housing. Kendall was not a client of THC, but friends with many of the girls in the program.

Kendall struggled with housing insecurity, and slept in tents on nature trails. She moved to Atlanta at age 17 after being rejected by her family, and relied on orgs such as Lost n Found Youth and Covenant House for housing. Unfortunately, she had recently become unhoused a few months ago before her passing. The assault occurred 9 days before her 17th birthday.

THC writes that Kendall was a very lively girl, who enjoyed her nickname “Bonaire” because it was gender neutral. She was a rapper, a freestyler, and a songwriter. THC encourages anyone with more info, or who knew Kendall personally, to message them for more details.

NCAVP stands in solidarity with Black trans women, and we know that it is always hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. We know this can be even more painful when there continues to be an unchecked epidemic of homicides of Black trans women, as police violence is escalating against Black and brown people, and our nation continues to be grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic that highlights long standing healthcare disparities for Black and brown communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach our free bilingual national hotline at 212-714-1141 or report online for support.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.