Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Drag Queen Murdered in NC


Jimmy McCollough, also known as Imaje Devera

Jimmy McCollough, also known as Imaje Devera


Fayetteville, NC – “Ms. Jimmy,” also known on stage as Imaje Devera was found stabbed to death outside Club Emages, a local gay and lesbian night spot around midnight on April 14, 2009.  Jimmy McCollough, 34, was a talented female impersonator who struggled to make ends meet in the recession economy.  Police are investigating the murder as a hate crime, but since North Carolina does not have hate crime legislation addressing LGBT hate crime violence, and neither does the federal government, resources to investigate and prosecute such a crime are slim in the Old North State.

Transgender community leader Janice Covington, wrote in response to Ms. Jimmy’s murder:  “This morning, April 14, 2009, the murdered body of Image Devereux (Ms. Jimmy) was found on Joseph Street behind the old Club Spektrum in Fayetteville, N.C. She was a local Drag Queen who many of us knew as a friend. She will be missed but not forgotten. My prayers go out to her family.”  


An underreported aspect of this story is the high degree of anti-LGBT prejudice in hiring practices in Fayetteville and around the nation.  The proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, now transgender inclusive, is necessary to confront and begin to rectify the desperate situation so many trans and gender-non-conforming men find themselves in today.  Southerners On New Ground (SONG), founded by Black and White lesbians in order to advance Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer multi-racial, multi-issued education, commented on Ms. Jimmy’s death: “Mr. McCollough was presumably simply working the streets on the night he was murdered, trying to pay his bills. Like too many in our communities, he was a gender non-conforming person of color in the South, known to be a sex worker, and a presence in the community. SONG continues to be committed to working for a day when folks like Mr. McCollough are not victims of violence, and when lives and livelihoods such as his as seen as just as important and precious as any other life.”

April 21, 2009 - Posted by | African Americans, gay men, Heterosexism and homophobia, Legislation, Lesbian women, North Carolina, stabbings, transgender persons

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