Jahaira DeAlto was “the mother who raised the children whose rainbow sparkled too brightly and blinded their birth moms”. A trans activist, member of the local ballroom community, and advocate for marginalized communities, Jahaira immigrated from Beirut to the United States at three months old. She spent her years fighting for victims of domestic violence and was a member of the Simmons University class of 2023, where she was studying social work.

She was a friend of many here at Fenway Health and across the state. A founding organizer of Trans Resistance MA, Jahaira has spoken at the Ryan White National Youth Conference, Shades of Color, and the Live Out Loud Conference. She “got her start in social justice in 1997 after the trial for the murder of Chanelle Pickett, a trans woman who was fatally beaten in a Watertown apartment in 1995” and had been fighting ever since, according to the Boston Globe.

Her life was cruelly ended far too soon on Sunday, May 2nd.

“This is a big loss for the trans community and the ballroom community here and I think a lot of folks are in shock,” said Fari Shakur, a Fenway Health Violence Recovery Program Outreach Worker and Advocate. “She was an activist, larger-than-life personality, hilarious, and passionate about making sure that trans people, our voices, and existence no longer remained invisible.”

Author: Freddie.Anne Willing