Sumaya Dalmar

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Sumaya Dalmar
Born 1988/1989
Died (aged 26)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Other names Sumaya YSL
Occupation Activist, model

Sumaya Dalmar, also known as Sumaya YSL,[1] was a Somali-Canadian transgender activist[2] and model.


Sumaya was born in Somalia and left during the outbreak of the Somali Civil War at the age of three.[3] Sumaya's biological parents disowned her when she came out as trans to them in 2011.[4] The Toronto-based[5] Muslim[6] died in mysterious circumstances on 22 February 2015 at the age of 26. It was an event that was compared to other acts of violence against trans women of colour,[7] especially during the early months of 2015 when such incidents were reportedly occurring at a particularly high rate,[8] but police have since discounted the occurrence of a homicide.[1] In 2013, she was the primary actor for a play and documentary that attempted to intersect the relationship between the Somali ethnicity, religiosity, and its correlation to masculinity during a project called "An Intimate Portrait of Somalian Trans-Woman" by Abdi Osman.[2][3] By 2014, she was the subject of an art exhibition and had become qualified as a speech therapist.[9] Sumaya, who had the middle name Dasia,[1] also featured in other ventures, such as scheduling to begin employment at an LGBT community center called The 519.[10] One commentator has indicated on her enduring notability that comes from being the first prominently known Somali transgender individual the writer knows and the degree of visibility she has given the trans community.[11] In 2018 friends and community members established in recognition of her life’s work the Sumaya Dalmar Award for trans students of colour.[12]


  1. ^ a b c "Toronto Police: Trans Woman of Color's Death Was Not Homicide". The Advocate. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b College of Arts and Science Ellen Trish Salah, September 7, 2015
  3. ^ a b "Police investigating the death of young Somali trans woman in Canada". PinkNews. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Sumaya Ysl's Friends Speak Out About Her Death". Planet Transgender. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  5. ^ "Remembering Sumaya Dalmar". CBC. 20 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  6. ^ Adam Withnall (25 February 2015). "Sumaya Ysl death: Toronto police investigate death of young Somali trans woman in Canada". The Independent. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Happy Women's Equality Day! The good, the bad and the work-in-progress". FASHION Magazine. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  8. ^ "A Transgender person is being murdered every 29 hours. Can you stop killing us for just one week?". Planet Transgender. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  9. ^ "Another Heartbreak: Somali-Canadian Trans Woman Sumaya Dalmar Found Dead in Toronto This Weekend". Autostraddle. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  10. ^ "Sumaya Dalmar had 'so much more life to live'". Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  11. ^ Unanswered Questions Following Death of Toronto Trans Woman of Colour Muna Mire, retrieved 8 September
  12. ^ New award to help racialized trans students,, retrieved 19 March 2018.