Murder Raises Concerns for Transgender Community
The Coast’s transgender community is expressing concerns over the murder in Jackson County.
As the transgender community still recovers from the mass shooting in Orlando, the murder of a transgender woman here on the Coast is a tough blow to take. MS Rainbow Center President Molly Kester said, “I was afraid it was one of the people I knew. I mean, that struck really close to home. I had people reach out to me that thought it might have been me.”
Brutally stabbed and found dead in a Best Western hotel room in St. Martin, authorities tell News 25 it’s possible that 25-year-old Dee Whigham of Clarke County was the victim of a hate crime. These words raise concern for Kester and other transgender locals in fear of what could happen next. “I had several girls reach out to me saying they’re very scared now. They’re afraid to go out in public. They’re questioning their visibility.”
Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell tells News 25 authorities arrived at the hotel a little after 8 p.m. They say Whigham was in town visiting friends. Resident Pammy Cobb said, “Where were her friends and family that came down with her? I mean was she in the room alone with this gentleman and whoever was supposed to be with her that did this? It just makes me worried.”
In a statement from Forrest General Hospital where Whigham worked, co-workers remember her as an excellent nurse, well-loved by her patients.
“To know it could happen this close and on the Coast where by and large, we’re pretty much accepted and respected. It was devastating,” said Kester.
The Mississippi Rainbow Center and other local organizations will hold a candle light vigil for Whigham Wednesday night at 7 at the Lighthouse Community Church in Biloxi.