When researching statistics about hate crimes against gays, it becomes immediately apparent that there are large holes missing in the data. You see, the FBI does not report any statistics about anti-transgender hate crimes and that makes it seem like this is an issue that isn’t as bad as it really happens to be – even with the recent pushes toward greater equality.
17% of LGBTQ citizens in the UK have been victimized by a hate crime at least once within the last 3 years.
Hate Crimes Against Gays
This creates a disturbing issue within society today because many hate crimes involve intimidation and harassment. Think about the bullies you might have seen in high school and now take that to an adult level where lives are being threatened. That’s the modern reality for someone who is LGBT or is questioning their sexuality.
- 20% of LGBTQ individuals are threatened with some form of bodily harm during a hate crime, including rape.
- 40% of victims fail to report what has happened to them to a law enforcement official because they don’t realize that what has happened to them is a crime.
- Half of all offenders that commit a hate crime against an LGBTQ individual are under the age of 25.
- When anti-gay, anti-lesbian, and anti-bisexual data is combined, an LGBTQ individual is nearly 8 times more likely to become the victim of a hate crime than the next closest demographic.
The problem isn’t just local. It’s global. The reason why so many hate crimes continue to exist is because people don’t realize that a crime has been committed, they don’t believe that a law enforcement official will do anything about it, or they’re scared of retribution. Because of this, 3 out of every 4 potential hate incidents are never reported to a police official. What does this mean? That the 85% of LGBTQ individuals who get intimidated or harassed every day, simply because of their sexual orientation, have no outlet or protection.
Despite Equality Measures, Hate Crimes Is Increasing
- Hate crimes against LGBTQ individuals went up by 70% in New York City in 2013 when compared to the year before.
- In Seattle, there were 3 LGBTQ hate crimes recorded for every 100,000 residents in 2012. Only Washington DC and Memphis had higher rates amongst cities with at least 200,000 people.
- Transgender women are up to 3 times more likely to experience physical violence in their hate crime victimization, including police violence.
- Gay men are three times more likely to report incidents of violence and are nearly twice as likely to require medical attention as other LGBTQ victims.
- In 2012, there were 25 homicides that were directly linked to LGBTQ hate crimes and more than 2,000 hate crime incidents in total.
- There are 14 states that have hate crimes on the books, but do not list sexual orientation as one of the protected categories.
As times change, it takes a little while for laws to catch up. That’s understandable and has always happened, but with LGBTQ hate crimes, were talking decades now where movement hasn’t been made in any regard. Although 15 states currently provide specific protections against LGBTQ hate crime, there are still 14 states that haven’t bothered to do anything. What makes it difficult to combat this issue is the fact that many hate crime incidents are based on jurisdictional issues where local responses are required. In some instances, like one high profile one in Cleveland, OH, the local authorities blamed the issue of gay hate crimes on the LGBTQ community being there instead of the perpetrators.
Where Does Hate Crime Occur In The United States?
- California and Florida are the only two states that reported more than 100 hate crime acts in the period between 1999-2010. California was the only state to have more than 200 incidents.
- Only three states in the US: Idaho, North Dakota, and Vermont, reported zero incidents of hate crime.
- Along the West Coast of the US is the most likely place for a hate crime to occur as every state had a minimum of 28 incidents [Washington State had the fewest].
- With the exception of South Dakota, which registered 9 total incidents, every Northern Plains state had 5 or fewer LGBTQ hate crime incidents, making it the safest region in the nation.
- Ohio had only 6 fewer incidents during this period than Texas, despite a large population gap.
- In 2008, Portland had 58 reported hate crimes and 40% of them were because of a perception of LGBTQ identify. By 2011, 68% of the hate crime incidents in the city were because of this perception.
The common question that is asked right about now is this: what about racial demographics? Here’s the data: anti-black and anti-Jew hate crime rates are virtually equal against persons, while anti-Jew property hate crime rates are more than double any other racial segment. For the LGBTQ population, their hate crime rates against property are marginally higher than anti-Jew crime rates, but hate crimes against gay men alone are 5 times higher than against black men. Those rates are even higher when the target is a gay black man. Why are these victimizations happening? Fear. People are scared of the LGBTQ community for some reason. Is it because perpetrators perceive a change in society and don’t like it? Or that some are scared they might be LGBT themselves? What we do know is that these rates are increasing and until every state takes action against it, there won’t be any way to stop it from a civic standpoint.