Citizens of the United States took to social media with this hashtag in celebration of the Supreme Court decision in June of last year to legalize same-sex marriage in all states.
While the decision may be one of the biggest historical victories for the LGBTQ community, the fight for equality is far from over. Though less discussed than marriage equality, those who identify as LGBTQ still face discrimination and animosity from other communities – especially in the form of violence.
LGBTQ people experience this violence largely at the hands of those who do not accept their way of life. Transgender women have been particularly targeted, according to data from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, an organization that works to prevent violence against people of the LGBTQ and HIV-affected community.
In 2014, there was an 11 percent increase in anti-LGBTQ homicides from the previous year: 55 percent of homicide victims in the United States were transgender women - 91 percent of whom were transgender women of color - and 35 percent were gay or bisexual men, according to the most recent NCAVP annual report.
The 2015 report on LGBTQ and HIV-Affected hate violence with the most recent statistics on LGBTQ victims will be released by the NCAVP on Tuesday, June 14.
Sue Yacka, the AVP communications director in New York, said this year’s report is going to be special because it comes with a little something extra.
“For the first time, along with our report, we’re going to be issuing a toolkit that makes our report a little bit more useful for activists, journalists, students [or] anyone who wants to use it,” Yacka said. “The toolkit is going to include key findings from the report as well as shareable infographics for online, tweets, and also four guiding questions for when you read the report.”
She said the point of the toolkit is to help readers get information from the lengthy report more easily and efficiently, though she does encourage people to read the entire document when it comes out.
“I would encourage folks to use the toolkit for trainings, like on campus, when talking about hate violence, or even support groups at school. ... Just talk about it. Talk about what it is and who experiences it and where it happens,” she said.
The focus of the study is not about the prevalence of hate violence, she said, but rather what kind of violence people are experiencing, according to those who report the incidents to NCAVP.
NCAVP will be hosting a Twitter Town Hall the day the report is released from 2 to 3 p.m. EST to begin the conversation about what these statistics mean for our society and our LGBTQ citizens.
Yacka said she cannot reveal much about what the report says or what they have planned for the Town Hall, but she did say one of the goals they have is to expand the definition of what we think of as hate violence in the United States.
Skylar Griego is a culture reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or onTwitter @TDLBooks.