It has almost been 3 years since same-sex marriage became fully legal in the United States of America in a historic event for the whole country. Even if this seemed like a step towards equality and acceptance, new reports show that Americans have become more homophobic since Donald Trump took office.
Last month, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs released their report on LGBTQ+ hate violence homicides in 2017. The alarming new data they found in their research include the following:
- The number of individual reports of anti-LGBT homicides peaked at 52, which represents an 86% increase from those in 2016.
- The number of reports of homicides of transgender women of color keeps rising each year and 2017 was not the exception.
- People of color are still the most affected by these murders, conforming 71% of total victims.
- Gun violence was heavily connected to the crimes, with a 53% of the victims being shot. Also, three were killed by police officers.
Although this is definitely a detailed study, the number of homicides is expected to be higher as not every report covers the victim’s gender identity or sexual orientation. Moreover, it is not always mentioned or known when the motive of the crime is driven by the victim being LGBTQ+.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, GLAAD, released yet another study this past Jan. 25. The Accelerating Acceptance report has been making surveys for many years to investigate, partly, how non-members of the LGBTQ+ community feel about those who are a part of it. The conclusions can be correlated somehow on where homophobia and ally-ship stand in the United States each year. Unfortunately, the results of the 2018 report were largely discriminatory. Uncomfortableness towards day-to-day situations with queer folks such as “seeing an LGBT coworker’s wedding picture” or “learning my doctor is LGBT” seems to be higher than in 2014-2016. In every question presented, that uncomfortableness is at a higher percentage than it was the year before. Additionally, the amount of allies is down to a 49%, dropping in 4 points, while the amount of resisters stays at 14%. Support for equal rights to the community is also stable, at 79%.
“2017 brought heightened rhetoric toward marginalized communities to the forefront of American culture. Policies and headlines ran that were anti-LGBTQ including the President’s proposed ban on transgender people entering the U.S. military, confirmation of a Supreme Court justice opposed to marriage equality, and the passage of a state law in Mississippi which allows businesses to legally deny service to LGBTQ families.” —Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO