New Stats Prove America Has a F*cked Up Relationship With LGBT Rights
America is a weird place. In the past two and a half decades, the number of Americans who admit to having a same-sex experience has doubled, according the Archives of Sexual Behavior. And yet, at the same time, according to the FBI, LGBT people are the most likely of any group to be targeted for a sex crime. WTF?
Those who identify as LGBT are twice as likely as African-Americans to be victims of hate crimes, and have experienced more hate crimes altogether than Jews in the United States. In 2015, more transgender people were killed than any year on record prior. Transgender women of color have been the largest number of victims of homicides, but a large number of people who’ve been killed over the past year are black and hispanic. And while that number of trans deaths is influenced by increased visibility, it’s also reflective of a society in which it’s actually still really difficult to come out safely in.
The New York Times surmises that those numbers are underreported.
And the weird part is that more widespread tolerance could be contributing to radical acts of violence by those who feel upset by the changes in social attitudes.
“They may feel that the way they see the world is threatened, which motivates them to strike out in some way, and for some people, that way could be in violent attacks,” Gregory M. Herek, a psychology professor and expert on gay hate crimes at the University of California, told the Times.
What about those same-sex experiences? Data shows that “between 1990 and 2014, the percentage of men who reported having had sex with at least one man increased from 4.5 percent to 8.2 percent, and the number of women reporting having had sex with at least one woman increased from 3.6 percent to 8.7 percent,” according to the Huffington Post.
Moral of the story: we can’t assume that just because gay issues are more in the public eye, and seemingly more accepted among our millennial peers, means much about the safety of L.G.B.T people in the United States. Clearly, as the recent mass hate crime in Orlando shows.
“Unfortunately, we just have to accept the fact that stigma based on sexual orientation is still widespread,” Mr. Herek said. “Overcoming those prejudices is a lot of work.”