52 LGBTQ Americans lost their lives last year because of their sexual preference and/or gender identity.
Violence against LGBTQ people in the United States saw an increase in 2017, according to a new report.
The report – titled A Crisis of Hate, by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Project – revealed that 52 LGBTQ Americans died last year (effectively one a week) based on their sexual preference or gender identity.
70% of the deaths comprised of people of colour, with the majority of them being trans women.
The homicide statistics for gay/bisexual men also increased 500%, with four deaths in 2016 to 20 in 2017.
“We are releasing this report during a time when our communities are witnessing the few civil rights protections and policies being rolled back and discrimination being instituted into law,” the report says. “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.
“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.”
Executive Director of the Anti-Violence Project (AVP) – Beverley Tilley – said the group “has watched the escalation of violence this past year with great concern.”
She continued: “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.
“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.”