Anti-LGBT homicides increased last year to unprecedented levels – and President Donald Trump’s policies are reportedly partly to blame.
There were 52 hate-related homicides of LGBT people last year in the US, according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programmes (NCAVP).
The group’s annual Crisis of Hate report does not include the Orlando mass shooting, which saw 49 people lose their lives inside a gay nightclub in June 2016.
Of the 52 hate-related murders recorded by NCAVP, more than half of the victims – 27 – were transgender.
In 2016, the organisation received 19 reports of trans people being murdered in hate crimes.
Of last year’s victims, 22 were trans women of colour.
The report stated that: “for the last five years, the NCAVP has documented a consistent and steadily rising number of reports of homicides of trans women of colour, which continued into 2017.”
This intersectional prejudice was represented across the board – 71 percent of the victims were people of colour.
The NCAVP also noted that a five-fold increase in reports of homicides of queer, bisexual or gay cisgender men.
There were 20 reports last year, compared to four in 2016.
The report’s authors blamed Trump for the spike.
Trump has consistently worked to undermine and destroy protections for LGBT people since becoming President last year.
Among many hateful acts, he has tried to ban trans people from the military, appointed an anti-LGBT Supreme Court justice and endorsed a Republican who wants to make gay sex illegal.
He has also nominated an Army Secretary who said trans people were diseased, proposed slashing HIV AIDS funding and signed an order permitting anti-LGBT discrimination at work.
And last week, it was revealed that his administration was set to allow health workers to reject trans patients based on their religious beliefs.
The report’s authors continued with a call to action.
“For too long, legislators have not taken meaningful or effective steps to address the increase of hate violence in this country,” they said.
“We ask that people call their representatives and ask them what they will do right now to proactively address hate violence and ensure that their communities are safe and affirming for LGBTQ people.
“The time for addressing this crisis of violence is now.”
GLAAD and The Harris Poll found that less than half of adults – 49 percent – reported being “very” or “somewhat” comfortable with LGBTQ people across seven situations.
This was a decline from 53 percent last year, and the first time the Accelerating Acceptance report has shown a drop in acceptance for LGBTQ people.