The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) released its annual report yesterday, and the numbers show an alarming increase in hate-related homicides against LGBTQ individuals over 2017.
According to the report, anti-LGBTQ homicides in the US rose 86 percent over the past year, compared to 2016. The report found 52 instances of anti-LGBTQ homicides in 2017 compared to 28 in 2016 (the count does not include the Pulse Nightclub shooting that killed 49 people in 2016, as it only counts single-incident murders).
Some of the key findings as reported by HuffPo are below:
67 percent of the victims were age 35 and under.
59 percent of the victims were killed with guns.
45 percent of the homicides of queer, bi or gay cisgender men were related to hookup violence, typically related to ads placed on personal websites and apps.
The report also found that there were 27 hate-violence related homicides of transgender and gender non-conforming people this year, compared to 19 reports for 2016, and that 22 of these homicides were of transgender women of color.
An overwhelming majority of victims (71 percent) were people of color, and 60 percent of victims were black.
NCAVP executive director Beverly Tillery told HuffPo that Trump's election and the spike in hate crimes may be related. "Trump won the election by saying it was time to take back America for people feeling pushed out by LGBTQ people, immigrants and people of color," Tillery said. "It was a tactical move to attack those communities. It worked, and there are more instances of violence because the climate in the country has changed. It has given an opening for people to feel like they can commit acts of hate-based violence without much repercussion."
She said that a second report would be released later this year that covers all incidents o hate-based violence (not just murder), adding that those numbers appear to be rising too. She also said the total number of LGBTQ homicides is likely much higher because cases are often reported incorrectly. For example, law enforcement agencies may mischaracterize lesbians as friends or roommates, or victims may be identified by the name and gender on their driver's license rather than the name and gender they identify with, adding confusion to statistics.
Tillery added, "I don't know whether all this is based on Trump's beliefs or not, but at this point, it feels hard to imagine not."
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