Dozens attend sombre vigil to mourn trans woman Yahira Nesby, brutally murdered in New York City

Yahira Nesby, 33, was found murdered, marking her as, at least, the 25th trans person killed in the US in 2019. (Facebook)

On an warm December evening, the sidewalks of a New York City avenue were softly lit by countless tea lights, illuminating photographs of a 33-year-old trans woman.

Her name was Yahira Nesby, whose name was plastered onto placards and signs printed with ‘rest in power’ and ‘never forgotten’.

Around 30 people attended the vigil for Nesby, who was tragically murdered earlier this month. Loved ones and allies dotted the street of the apartment complex where she once called home, GayCityNews reported, on December 23.

Based in the Bronx, Nesby was a former sales clerk at Macy’s who was a regular in the city’s ballroom scene, being a member of the House of Chanel.

The New York City Anti-Violence Project contacted Nesby’s friends to confirm her identity following her death.

What happened to Yahira Nesby?

Just more than one week ago on December 19, Nesby died from fatal gun shot wounds on 178 Rockaway Parkway in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn.


At around 4:20pm, she was pronounced dead due to gunshot wounds on her chest and leg.

Authorities quickly rushed to the neighbourhood, shortly after arresting a 39-year-old man found tucked behind the back of the block.

He had broken his foot after jumping from the first floor of the building.

According to detectives, the victim was shot by her boyfriend. Although, it remains unclear whether the suspect arrested – who is still hospitalised – is Nesby’s partner.

Family members, friends and the world come together to mourn trans woman’s murder. 

Her death ruptured the sense of holiday spirit across the community, with Nesby’s passing drawing attention across the globe.

Pose star Indya Moore tweeted about Nesby’s passing hours following her death: “Her name was Yahira Nesby, [also known as] Yaya.

“My thoughts are with her family.

“New York fam, please please, please, please be watchful and careful of these men. I beg of you.”

Nesby’s family and friends are currently fundraising for her funeral, which is scheduled for January 3 in the upcoming year.

“Black Trans Lives Matter!”, the page author wrote, “Say Her Name!”

Yahira Nesby is, at least, the 25th trans person killed in the US this year, activists say.

Her body was found inside an abandoned car, burned beyond recognition.

Her body was dragged out of a lake.

Her body was found with multiple gun wounds, having been beaten “like a punching bag” just a month before in broad daylight in front of groups of men.

This year has seen around 25 trans and gender-diverse people be killed this year, according to a report from the Human Rights Campaign.

However, these numbers understate the problem, activists warn.

Local officials are not required to report killings to central databases in the US, and as authorities may misgender, many trans people’s deaths may go unreported.