The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs 2017 Report on LGBTQ Hate Violence Homicides reports the highest number of homicides in the 20 years NCAVP has been recording this data.
According to the report, released Jan. 22, 52 LGBTQ people in the U.S. were murdered in hate-related homicides last year, a shocking 86% increase from 2016.
Of the 52 victims, 71% were people of color, and 22 victims were trans women of color. Over the last five years, the number of murders of trans women of color has continued to increase. There were 10 more reports in 2017 as compared to 2013.
Queer, bisexual, or gay cisgender men were also among the most victimized. Particularly jarring is the sharp increase in homicides of this demographic, with 20 reports in 2017 compared to only 4 in 2016. Additionally, 55% of cisgender male victims were men of color, and 45% of cisgender male victims were targets of hook-up violence.
"Most of these were related to hooking up online or through personal ads," the report explains. "There appears to be a trend of targeting queer, bi, or gay cisgender men for violence, robbery and homicides, and other cisgender men are using these sites to identify and harm them. Furthermore, there are ways that stigma, shame, and societal pressure may be contributing factors in hook up homicides where both individuals are queer, bi, or gay men."
Overall, 60% of the 52 LGBTQ victims were Black, 23% were white, 8% were Latinx, 4% were Asian, and 2% were Native. The NCAVP was unable to find out the races of two of the victims.
The total number of homicides targeting trans or gender non-conforming people also saw a vast increase since the previous year, from 19 in 2016 to 27 in 2017. "Over the last five years, NCAVP has reported a consistent if not steady rise of reports of homicides of transgender and gender non-conforming people," notes the report.
NCAVP was only able to determine 34 of the 52 victims' relationships to their attackers, but from those 34 it found that 32% of victims knew their attacker and were not killed for hook-up related reasons, 32% of homicides were the result of hook-up violence, 26% of victims did not know their attacker and were not killed for hook-up related reasons, and 10% of homicides were connected to police violence.
Finally, 38% of the victims were between the ages of 26 and 35, and 21% of the victims were between the ages of 19 and 25.
"While much of this violence is not new, but rather amplified, this past year has sparked a national conversation about the escalation of hate violence against so many marginalized communities," the report says. "NCAVP hopes that sharing this information now will encourage people to reject anti-LGBTQ bias whenever it occurs, and to resist any hateful rhetoric or policies put forward by this administration or by legislators."
"This report is a wake-up call for all of us," said Beverly Tillery, executive director of the Anti-Violence Project. "Our communities live in an increasingly hostile and dangerous climate, after a year of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and policies coming from the White House, federal government agencies, state and local sources and in our communities across the country. Anti-LGBTQ violence has long been a crisis, but NCAVP has watched the escalation of violence this past year with great concern. I urge everyone to read the stories and look at the photos of the 52 individuals lost to hate violence in 2017they are our friends, family, co-workers and fellow LGBTQ community members. NCAVP will continue to say their names and re-commits to doing all we can to prevent hate violence and support survivors. We must bring more attention and action to deal with this epidemic of violence and work across all of our diverse communities to protect those most vulnerable and stand up to the hostile forces that have created this unacceptable climate of hate."
NCAVP is urging people to take action by calling their representatives and demanding they do everything in their power to make communities safer for the LGBTQ community.
See avp.org/ncavp/ .
View at avp.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/NCAVP-A-Crisis-of-Hate-Final.pdf .