Violence against the LGBT community in the US

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In the US, there has been a long history of violence against the LGBT community dating back to the early 20th century. In the modern world, research findings show that despite the astonishing increase in acceptance of persons from the LGBT community, particularly in recent years, data shows that it is still unsafe to be from the LGBT community in the US (Wile, 2016). The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) claims that since 2007, there has been an increase in physical violence against them, with 2016 reaching the greatest number of cases with more than 260. Further, according to the NCAVP report, approximately 25% of people from the LGBT community experience physical violence, thus within their lifetime (Wile, 2016). As a result, these individuals experience physical violence at a rate of approximately 8.3; which is higher than expected, in relation to their population and other groups discriminated against.

Intersecting Identities

According to recent surveys, African-American and Hispanic people from the LGBT community are twice likely to be targeted and as a result, experience physical violence during hate crimes. This rate has surpassed the physical violence cases recorded against the Jews and the Muslims (Mykhyalyshyn & Park, 2016). Therefore, people of color are to a great extent massively overrepresented among victims of violence against the LGBT community. From the anti-LGBT survivor reports, Latinos and Blacks made up approximately 43% and 23 % of the physical violence survivors respectively.

Regarding gender, transgender women have over the years faced the highest levels of physical violence, thus within the LGBT community, with minority transgender women experiencing higher levels of physical violence (Mykhyalyshyn & Park, 2016). Despite this, the transgender women are less likely to seek assistance from the police due to fear of victimization by the law enforcement. The National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that approximately 14% of the black transgender women reported physical assault from police after interacting with them (Human Rights Campaign, 2017).

Contributing Factors to LGBT Physical Violence

Homophobia and Transphobia

Both homophobia and transphobia are the primary contributing factors to physical violence against the LGBT people. Homophobia and transphobia are termed as the intense dislike of; as well as prejudice against homosexual and transgender individuals respectively. Such intense hate and negative feelings towards the LGBT in most instances is the key driving force to causing physical harm against them.

Law Enforcement

In the US, police response to physical violence against the LGBT is extremely uneven. According to statistics, most individuals from this community recorded that law enforcement officers were “indifferent” as well as “hostile” to their claims (Wile, 2016). Also, among the LGBT individuals, transgender and people of color are both disproportionately targeted by the law enforcement officers and consequently subjected to what can be termed as extremely traumatizing forms of state violence (Wile, 2016). In support of this fact, results from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey as discussed earlier indicate that, approximately 14% of the black transgender women reported physical assault from police after interacting with them. As a result, due to the widespread discrimination as well as physical violence against the LGBT people, nearly half of the victims of physical violence don’t bother reporting such attacks. Therefore, such high rates of re-victimization by the law enforcement officers is a contributing factor as well as a major barrier in eliminating the problem.

America’s efforts in eliminating the Problem

In conclusion, over the years, various non-profit organizations have been established to fight for the rights of the LGBT people and eradicating all forms of discrimination as well as physical or sexual abuse. Some of the organizations include Lambda Legal and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (Philanthropedia, 2012). Others such as the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) works to educate not only teachers and students but also the general public on the damaging effects of forces such as homophobia and transphobia on the youth as well as adults alike.


Mykhyalyshyn, L. & Park, H. (2016). L.G.B.T. People Are More Likely to be Targets of Hate Crimes than any other Minority Group. Retrieved From:®ion=FixedRight&pgtype=Multimedia

Wile, R. (2016). It’s still dangerous to be gay in America. Here are the statistics that prove it. retrieved From:

Human Rights Campaign. (2017). Being African American & LGBTQ: An Introduction. Retrieved From:

Philanthropedia (2012). Ranked Nonprofits: National LGBT Equality and Support 2012. Retrieved From:

April 06, 2023
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LGBT 20Th Century Research

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