Dee WhighamAge 25
23 Jul 2016
St. Martin, Jackson County, Mississippi (USA)
TDoR list ref: tgeu/23-Jul-2016/Dee Whigham
Dee was found stabbed 119 times in a hotel room in the Best Western hotel in St. Martin, Mississippi. She had travelled to the town to attend the Gulf Coast Black Rodeo (GCBR) rodeo with friends.
Two days after she was killed, a 20-year-old Navy seaman in training named Dwanya Hickerson was charged with capital murder for the crime. In July 2017 he was sentanced to 40 years for murder and 15 for robbery.
For the last several years, the media has tracked the murders of transgender women in the United States. Since its creation last summer, Broadly has followed these crimes. There are several common threads that run throughout the killings of transgender women. The killers are nearly always men, the crimes often happen in the context of a sexual or romantic relationship, and the degree of violence perpetrated on their victims is extreme. For instance, running someone over and over with a truck, or stabbing someone 119 times. In December of 2015, Broadly asked the acclaimed gender theorist Judith Butler what the extreme nature of this violence might indicate. This was her reply:
"It indicates that we are all living in a society in which such hideous and horrible things happen, and that there is nowhere near enough media attention paid to such matters. In fact, the popular media deflects from this aspect of trans existence when it should be raising our awareness and helping us to organize a systematic resistance to such violence. Perhaps the man who drives over the trans woman time and again cannot quite make her dead enough. At a certain point, she is already dead, but he is not finished killing her. Why? It is because he wants to obliterate any trace of his own relation to that living person, obliterating a part of himself and living person at the same time. But also establishing his absolute power, and his own masculinity as the site of that power. Perhaps he is rebuilding his gender as he continues to try to take apart and efface that trans woman who never deserved to die. He is seeking as well to establish a world in which no one like her exists."
TvT project: SunHerald & The Advocate 24.07.2016