Increased representation and awareness of LGBTQ+ communities in entertainment, politics, and business seems to have increased anti-LGBTQ+ activism, according to a new report from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. As a result, right-wing extremists stepped up their attacks on LGBTQ+ people during Pride Month celebrations nationwide.
Researchers found a spike in anti-LGBTQ+ protests during Pride celebrations, including in historically liberal states like California. One in five demonstrations took place there last month, according to the group.
Aside from anti-Pride protests, ACLED also notes that many of these protests targeted drag shows and gender-affirming care. Most anti-LGBTQ+ events were reported in Texas, New York, and California, with 26 states and the District of Columbia reporting events.
The organization reported that in 2022 far-right extremists committed more than 300 percent more anti-LGBTQ+ acts than the previous year, which “strongly” correlates with subsequent violence against gays and transgender people.
Actors on the right who haven’t always agreed on their particular take on ideology have joined forces against a common enemy: wokeness.
As a result, white supremacists and neo-Nazis have joined forces with violent street thugs like the Proud Boys and Christian nationalist groups to target LGBTQ+ communities.
Nevertheless, this adverse reaction to the rise in acceptance of LGBTQ+ people, as emphasized by corporations like Target during Pride Month, may result in a backlash. Despite most Americans’ support for gay marriage, images of vigilantes deciding who can read library books may not sit well with them.
According to ACLED, about half of June’s anti-LGBTQ+ protests were countered by pro-LGBTQ+ demonstrators. In addition, the group found twice as many LGBTQ-friendly events as anti-LGBTQ+ events.