By Katy White
Hate crimes on the LGBT+ community
What causes so much hate on one community? A community like the LGBT+ community is one that always stays together. Over the years there have been many attacks on this community. There are many different things that explain what is going on in this community today and also shows why hate crimes are on the rise. Now that more and more people are showing their comfort in who they are, and are showing their support for this community, hate crimes have seemed to follow them around. Hate crimes have been affecting the LGBT+ community for many years. Many within the community think more laws should be made to protect them in their everyday lives.
ATTACKS AND STATISTICS ON THE LGBT+ COMMUNITY
The hate crimes that are occurring against this community are incredibly serious and the statistics are what show the truth behind it all. LGBT people are twice as likely to be targeted as African-Americans, and the rate of hate crimes against them has surpassed that of crimes against Jews (“United in Grief” 2016). According to Chadwick Moore (2016), nearly a fifth of the 5,462 so-called single-bias hate crimes reported to the F.B.I. in 2014 were because of the target’s sexual orientation, or, in some cases, their perceived orientation. Part of the reason for violence against LGBT people might have to do with a more accepting attitude toward gays and lesbians in recent decades. Finding accurate statistics about hate crimes targeting LGBT people is challenging, in part, because victims, fearful of outing themselves to family members or employers, might choose not to report an attack. The statistics that have been found, and ones that are still being made, show people just how much of an issue hate crimes are for the LGBT community and the seriousness of it.
The LGBT+ community is so commonly targeted when it comes to hate crimes and these crimes have become a growing problem in recent years in the United States and across the world. Many believe that hate crimes against the LGBT+ community are not as common as they really are. The truth of matter is that the attacks on this community are rising as more time passes. Nothing has been done to stop what is going on and that is why these awful attacks keep occurring time and time again. So many people are being told and made to feel that it’s okay to be homophobic and transphobic in today’s world, and it’s considered acceptable to hate anyone that is not like them. That is why crimes keep occurring, no one is telling these people that there blatant hatred towards people of this community is wrong. The people in this community are just that; people, with emotions and feelings. They deserve to be respected and not torn down just for being who they truly are.
Hate crimes have affected the LGBT+ community in such a massive way and the Pulse night club shooting has made it even more of an issue. Professor Paul Iganski (2016) explains that minorities deal with hate crimes no matter where they go and that they are constantly having to worry about going to specific places because of who they are. The community does not seem to ever be safe and no matter how hard they try people always seem to target them. What happened in Orlando last year also showed people why this community lives in fear. Many people don’t see what this community goes through on the daily. How they are constantly worried that they are going to be attacked and targeted just for being themselves. The Pulse shooting was the deadliest and most fatal attack to ever occur on the LGBT+ community. This caused many people within the community, and outside of it as well, to see just how serious it is to protect them. Many people in this world have gone out of their way to harm people within this community, and that is the biggest issue.
WHY HATE CRIMES ARE HAPPENING AND HOW TO SOLVE THE ISSUE
Hate crimes are on the rise within the LGBT+ community and many don’t seem to know why. The main reason hate crimes have been on the rise is because they have been tolerated. There hasn’t been any huge figure or person in the United States that has stood up against it and said that it will not be tolerated. A leader needs to stand against police force that protects people who have committed hate crimes, including police men and women who have committed these crimes themselves. There has not been one person who could possibly make a difference that has actually took a stand and said that they will do everything in their power to stop this from happening. No one to say that they will do everything they can to fight this reoccurrence of hate that is being shown in attacks, and possibly even death. Because of this lack of justice and leadership, many have been made to feel as though they just are not all that important. While others have been made to feel as though attacks are allowed and not all that big of a deal. So, if someone decides to commit a crime similar to ones others have committed, they feel there will be no true consequences.
Creating hate crime laws in all U.S. states, for both gender identity and sexual orientation, will be a solution that allows people to be held accountable for their actions. Many times people get away with their attacks on those who are different from them. Having laws in every state will not allow many people to get away with crimes that show blatant discrimination on others. Having laws will also make hatred and attacks on the community unacceptable. If hate crime laws were made in every state and the law enforcement paid more attention to them, then hate crimes would occur less because more people would be put into jail for their actions. Trying to put these laws into place would take time, but ways to speed up the process would be to write petitions and letters to state senators and representatives. Writing letters about hate crimes on this community and about why these laws are important are things to use when writing a letter to senators and representatives.
Hate crimes are keeping this country from moving forward and progressing as a country all together. There are many factors to this rising issue and certain events that have happened within the past couple of years have caused the community to speak out. The Pulse night club shooting was just the beginning of understanding that restrictions and laws need to be made to keep hate crimes from happening. Laws need to be made to protect the LGBT+ community from hate they receive not only in their everyday lives, but hate that could even cause death.
Header photo from Teen Vogue.
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