2017 was deemed one of the most deadly years in terms of anti-LGBTQ violence ever recorded. Now, statistics show that anti-LGBTQ violence has seen an observable spike in the year since President Trump's inauguration.
According to the Huffington Post, the New York City Anti-Violence Project’s reports have indicated a surge of anti-LGBTQ killings. Statistics show there has been an 86 percent increase in hate violence homicides in the U.S. last year. The attacks coincide quite directly with the end of the election cycle and have shown no signs of subsiding since.
“Trump won the election by saying it was time to take back America for people feeling pushed out by LGBTQ people, immigrants and people of color,” said Beverly Tillery, executive director of the project. “It was a tactical move to attack those communities ... It worked, and there are more instances of violence because the climate in the country has changed. It has given an opening for people to feel like they can commit acts of hate-based violence without much repercussion.”
Data shows that an anti-LGBTQ murder occurred about once a week, totaling 52 homicides throughout 2017. LGBTQ people of color were disproportionately victimized: 71 percent of the victims were non-white.
The victims were mostly transgender women. The rest were largely queer, bi, or gay cisgender men. Most (67%) were under the age of 35 and most (58%) were killed by guns.
Florida, Georgia, New York, Louisiana and Texas were the states that saw the most anti-LGBTQ violence, although the attacks did not only occur in those states.
Tillery recognizes that the statistics are, in reality, likely far worse than the data that could be gathered considering the difficulties in amassing comprehensive stats on this particular subject, especially considering the LGBTQ community's longstanding difficulties with police.
“We know the numbers we report are not taking into account everything that’s happening across the country,” Tillery explained.
“There are many people in the community who are feeling impacted right now, whether by experiencing more violence directly or knowing people who have experienced violence,” Tillery said. “People are feeling targeted because of actions of the Trump administration, which are trying to take us back in terms of LGBTQ rights and safety.”
Tillery's organization plans on releasing more comprehensive data on hate crimes writ large (that is to say, not only hate crimes directed towards LGBTQ people) later this year.
“I don’t know whether all this is based on Trump’s beliefs or not, but at this point, it feels hard to imagine it’s not," Tiller concluded.
Brandi Seals, pictured above, was the last known trans woman killed in 2017.