Anti-LGBTQ+ hate incidents tripled during Pride month this year

Author: Daniel Villarreal

At least 145 incidents of anti-LGBTQ+ hate and extremism occurred nationwide during Pride 2023, three times the amount that occurred during Pride 2022, according to a new report. The violence underscores a year that included 356 anti-LGBTQ+ incidents, as well as an increase in anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and legislation nationwide.

The report, created by the queer media watchdog organization GLAAD and the hate monitoring group the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), found that between June 2022 and April 2023, 305 incidents of harassment, 40 incidents of vandalism, and 11 incidents of assault occurred nationwide.

The incidents included the deadly Club Q shooting, the murder of a lesbian woman at a gas station, vandalism against Pride flags, bomb threats sent to LGBTQ+-associated venues, public protests against inclusive brands like Target, and death threats against doctors and politicians.

Of the incidents, 138 involved drag events and performers, 33 involved schools and educators, 23 involved healthcare facilities and providers, and 22 involved government buildings and elected officials.

This isn’t surprising considering that right-wingers have increasingly claimed that drag performers, LGBTQ+-inclusive educators, gender-affirming medical professionals, and allied politicians are trying to “groom” and “sexualize” children and want to force them to undergo “genital mutilation.”

Nearly half of the reported incidents were perpetrated by individuals associated with extremist groups like the Proud Boys and Patriot Front. Additionally, 128 of the incidents also involved antisemitic tropes, and 30 involved racist tropes, showing the overlap of anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment with hatred of Jews and non-white races.

“Since many anti-LGBTQ+ hate and extremism incidents go unreported, the true numbers are likely far higher,” the report said.

GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said, “This new report makes abundantly clear that extremism is escalating against LGBTQ+ people and endangers every American… Extremists, including elected officials, must be held accountable for inciting violence and using vile rhetoric against marginalized people who just want to live in safety and peace.”

In June, the Western States Center, an anti-bigotry organization, wrote a guide on “Protecting Pride,” explaining how to protect events from extremist hate.

The guide recommends that event organizers create a vocally supportive coalition of partnerships with government, business, faith, and community organizations; coordinate with law enforcement to monitor and document online and local extremist threats; create safety response plans for coordinators and attendees to follow at events; and also teaches how to use media spokespeople to flip “groomer” claims by showing how extremists threaten local kids and families with violence and hate.

Actual Story on LGBTQ Nation
Author: Daniel Villarreal

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