Reports of anti-LGBT+ hate crimes are on the rise, a new report from the FBI has warned.
The FBI report published on Monday (November 16) compiled submissions from 15,588 law enforcement agencies across the US, showing that reports of hate crime based on sexual orientation and gender identity are now behind only race and religion in scale.
Crimes based on sexual orientation represent 16.8 percent of all hate crime reports in 2019, while 2.7 percent were targeted because of the offenders’ gender identity.
Trans people are disproportionately likely to be raped in hate crime attacks, shocking data suggests
Of the 7,314 hate crimes reported to the FBI, 1,195 were based on sexual orientation and 198 were based on gender identity. Campaigners stress the data represents only a fraction of the true scale of the issue, because police departments often record hate crimes in different ways and reporting to the FBI is not mandatory.
71 cities with populations of more than 100,000 either reported no data, or reported that zero hate crimes of any kind took place across the entire year, which Human Rights Campaign says “is clearly not credible”.
Compared to other types of bias-motivated crime, crimes against LGBT+ people were disproportionately likely to take place in the streets, at schools, in supermarkets and in restaurants.
Although they only make up 2.7 percent of overall reports, gender identity-based hate crime victims make up 17 percent of rapes recorded as hate crimes.
Bizarrely, the FBI lists 17 incidents of “anti-heterosexual” hate crimes in the 2019 statistics.
Anti-LGBT+ attacks have reached ‘alarming’ levels
Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said: “Yet another year with alarming levels of bias-motivated crimes underscores just how urgent it is to address this hate crimes epidemic.
“This year, we saw a tragic new record of fatal violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people in this country, particularly against Black and Brown transgender women.
“These alarming statistics represent real trauma for individuals and families across this country who have to bear the brunt of these hate crimes.
“As the Biden-Harris administration assumes office, we must recommit ourselves to advocating for mandatory hate crimes reporting across the country, better training for law enforcement officers to recognize bias-motivated crimes, and greater inclusion and equity in our communities.”
More than two-thirds of all hate crimes based on sexual orientation were targeted at gay men, according to the FBI data.
In a statement last month ahead of the US election, Joe Biden called out an “epidemic of violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people, particularly Black and Brown transgender women.”
He said: “Solving this epidemic of violence doesn’t just require a President who actually recognizes it as fact, but one who believes in the humanity and dignity of transgender people.
“As President, I will put forward comprehensive solutions to help empower the transgender and gender non-conforming community and prioritize the prosecution of anti-transgender violence. My administration will enact the Equality Act to end legal discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, expand economic opportunities for LGBTQ+ people, reform our treatment of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals in our criminal justice system, ensure access to accurate identification documents, and improve government data collection to better track violence against the transgender community.
“I believe that Trans Lives Matter and, as president, I will fight on behalf of every vulnerable person in this country.”