This past Wednesday, four men from Texas have been accused of using Grindr, a dating app for queer men and women, to locate and attack gay men. The men allegedly pretended to be single via the app to seek out targets. Once they found someone, they would go to his house, tie him up, assault him, and shout anti-LGBT+ rhetoric.
The four attacks the men are being accused of took place this past winter, in January and February. They’re being tried for assault, and the case is being considered a hate crime. If convicted, they could be sentenced to life in prison.
This incident marks one of many in the rising tide of hate crimes since the election of an anti-LGBT+ president. In nine major cities surveyed across the United States, hate crimes have already risen over 20%.
Attacks on racial minorities and members of the LGBT+ community are likely encouraged by the state of modern American politics; after all, the current president has a history of mocking other races, and the vice president thinks homosexuality is a choice.
Luckily, resources do exist for those affected by hate crimes. The Southern Poverty Law Center is one of the most notable of these resources; from their Hatewatch news articles, written with the purpose of pursuing the truth about Trump’s America, to their Hate Map, which marks places and organizations known to have hateful intentions towards minority groups, they’ve really made an impact.
Other significant resources for those who have suffered from hate crimes include the Human Rights Campaign, which has a section on their website dedicated to hate crimes; the Anti-Violence Project, a safe space organization with locations across the United States; and the International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination, a worldwide organization that fights against gender, sexuality, and racial discrimination.
While those four Texas men didn’t kill anyone, their actions had an extremely negative impact on the LGBT+ community. Victims of hate crimes can suffer long-term PTSD, and when you’re being attacked for a life you didn’t choose, that trauma can be tied to the most basic reality of who you are. No one deserves the pain of a hate crime. And no one who commits that crime deserves to walk free.