LGBTQ rights have come a long way in the U.S. But the community still faces threats in the form of legalization, discrimination and even violence.
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Twenty-two anti-LGBTQ protests, two deaths in detention and 14 murders — all in about nine weeks this summer.
The U.S. National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) released a report Wednesday which detailed an uptick in hate violence against LGBTQ people during Pride Month.
“For many of us Pride is a time for celebration, a time to honor our roots in the Stonewall Rebellion, and a reminder of the important legislative and cultural victories that are worth celebrating,” Beverly Tillery, the New York executive director of NCAVP, said in a statement on the group’s website.
The organization works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within LGBTQ communities.
“This Pride season, we were reminded over and over again of the violence that plagues our community, particularly transgender members of the community,” Tillery said.
The 22 homicides that took place from May 15 to July 15 included 7 homicides of black trans women. Two trans women of color died while in detention, reported NCAVP.
While violence directed at trans people peaked in 2017 with 29 slain, 2018 showed a decrease with 26 deaths.
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The report’s findings reflect the increase in violence in the U.S. immigration and criminal systems, as well as growing backlash of many far right groups against the LGBTQ community.
Director of Communications for NCAVP Eliel Cruz added that a “collective combination of systemic, cultural, and [institutional] forms of oppression manifesting itself in often fatal violence against LGBTQ people.”
The report comes weeks after the approval of a Straight Pride parade in Boston, which was met with criticism as many called it a clear dig against LGTBQ pride parades.
The organizers of the Straight Pride parade said the event aims to celebrate “the diverse history, culture and contributions of the straight community.”
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Meanwhile, the report by the NCAVP states that 18 of the 22 protests against LGBTQ people attempted to shut down Drag Queen Story Hours, a program across the country that brings drag queens into libraries to read stories of inclusion to children.
June marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, five nights of violent protest after the Stonewall Inn was raided by New York City police, sparking what many believe was the start of the modern LGBTQ rights movement.
The report said the recent increase in violence led to a mobilization “in the spirit of Stonewall.”
“This Pride season, the LGBTQ community showed its determination to honor the memory of Stonewall by continuing to stand up in the face of discrimination, and for the dignity and safety for all,” said the report.
Follow Elinor Aspegren on Twitter: @elinoraspegren.
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