The FBI’s latest Hate Crime Statistics report found that hate crimes against LGBTQ people are on the rise again.
In a time of increased LGBTQ visibility, one might assume that homophobia is on its way out. But the numbers show a different story. The FBI’s report found that of 7,120 reported hate crimes in 2018, over 1,300 were motivated by anti-LGBTQ bias. That’s nearly 19 percent — a 2 percent increase from 2017.
Most of the hate crime incidents in the FBI report were motivated by race, ethnicity, or ancestry bias (59.6 percent). Religion was the second-most common motivator (18.7 percent), followed by sexual orientation (16.7 percent).
Of the homophobic hate crimes, 60 percent targeted gay men, 12 percent targeted lesbians, and 1.5 percent targeted bisexuals.
Gender identity accounted for just 2.2 percent of all hate crimes. However, the rate of anti-trans violence is growing especially quickly. Transphobic hate crimes increased a whopping 40 percent from 2017 to 2018.
The report also noted that hate crimes increasingly involve acts of violence against people (such as assault), rather than toward property (such as vandalism or arson). The number of hate crime murders is the highest it’s been in at least 27 years.
“This report should sound an alarm that we all must do better to create a country where marginalized communities are safe and protected against hate violence,” Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and CEO of GLAAD, said in a statement. “Violent hate crimes against LGBTQ people are a pervasive issue that needs to be addressed by politicians and law enforcement in a bipartisan and urgent way.”