Increasing anti-LGBTQ killings in Trump’s first year
It’s getting harder and harder for the LGBTQ community to live under a Trump presidency, given the surge of anti-LGBTQ killings that has been happening in the past year.
This was the discovery of the New York City Anti-Violence Project’s annual Crisis of Hate report, which reported an upsurge of hate-based killings targeting LGBTQ people of 86 percent.
Trump climate pushing anti-LGBTQ violence
The report noted the increase in hate violence homicides in the US for 2017 makes it the deadliest year yet for the LGBTQ community.
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, a coalition of community-based anti-violence groups, pointed out the escalation toward the end of the presidential election cycle and cited President Donald Trump as the cause.
Beverly Tillery, executive director of the Anti-Violence Project, told HuffPost: “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.”
“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,” Tillery said.
“It has given an opening for people to feel like they can commit acts of hate-based violence without much repercussion,” she added.
Breakdown on data of anti-LGBTQ killings
According to the report, there was a record of 52 LGBTQ hate-based homicides in 2017. This is an average of one a week, higher than the 28 single-incident anti-LGBTQ homicides in 2016.
The Pulse Nightclub shooting, which happened in 2016 and killed 49 people, was not included in the calculation.
Of the total number of homicides in 2017, 71 percent of the victimes were people of color while 23 percent were white.
However, the majority of the victims were transgender women and queer, bi, or gay cisgender men.
Likewise, more than half of the homicides happened in Florida, Georgia, New York, Louisiana, and Texas.
Anti-LGBTQ killings could be higher
Tillery said the total number of LGBTQ homicides may be higher because of incorrect documentation of cases by law enforcement agencies.
These include lesbians being mischaracterized as friends or roommates, while trans victims are identified by the name and gender of their driver’s license.
“We know the numbers we report are not taking into account everything that’s happening across the country,” Tillery said.
In another report to be submitted later this 2017, the Project will detail incidents of hate-based violence (and not just homicides) that occur in the LGBTQ community.
These numbers are also rising, reported Tillery.
“We are calling on decent people across this country to speak out against hateful speech, threats, and violence against LGBTQ people whenever it occurs,” she said.