LGBT murders trebled over Stonewall’s 50th anniversary

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An anti-gay demonstration at City Hall in San Francisco, California (Justin Sullivan/Getty)

A new report has indicated a surge in anti-LGBT+ violence during this year’s Pride season, which commemorated 50 years since the Stonewall riots.

The report compiled by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) outlines the incidents and trends of violence documented in the US during the two-month period from May 15 to July 15.

Entitled Pride and Pain, it shows that the increased visibility of the LGBT+ community during Pride season was accompanied by increased reports of violence, including homicides, targeted threats and attacks.

NCAVP reported an average of nearly two (1.75) LGBT+ homicides each week, more than three times as many hate violence homicides that were recorded between January 1 and May 14.

Eleven of the homicides were hate violence-related. Ten of these victims (91%) were black and seven (64%) were black trans women.

There were also two deaths of trans women of colour while in detention – Johana Medina and Layleen Polanco. Both women reportedly died after being denied vital medical care.

Layleen Polanco was found dead in her cell on June 7 (Facebook)

“It’s important to remember that violence against the LGBTQ communities continues and in some cases is intensifying,” said Beverly Tillery, NCAVP’s Executive Director.

“This Pride season, we were reminded over and over again of the violence that plagues our community, particularly transgender members of the community.

“This snapshot provides another window into the various forms of violence our community faces, and shows how the visibility of Pride season can sometimes lead to greater targeting and attacks.”

The report notes that a there were a number of coordinated actions against the LGBT+ community organised by known white supremacist and anti-LGBT+ hate groups.

An anti-gay rally in Los Angeles, California.(David McNew/Getty)

It recorded 22 anti-LGBT+ protests at Pride activities, drag queen story hours, and LGBT+ establishments.

“Collectively, all of these incidents demonstrate the growing hostility, backlash, and sinister nature of many of the far right’s efforts against the LGBTQ community,” it stated.

Contributors to the report acknowledge that, while there is no way to know and account for all the LGBT+ people who have been harmed, it can serve to amplify the stories of those we do know.

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