In the first eight months of the year, more LGBTQ people have been killed in the United States than in all of 2016. The shocking finding comes from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence, an advocacy group that keeps track of hate-violence-related homicides.
Buzzfeed News reported that, as of August 2017, 33 people have been killed in apparent hate crimes compared to 28 in 2016, with half of the deaths impacting transgender women of color and at least 12 impacting cisgender gay men. This translates to one LGBTQ person being killed every 13 days, while this year that figure has jumped to one every six days. The advocacy group also noted that last year’s number does not include those killed in the Pulse nightclub massacre, which killed 49 people.
As with other reports about violence, these numbers aren’t entirely representative of the reality facing the LGBTQ community. Dallas Drake, a senior researcher at the Center for Homicide Research, said the real number of killings typically goes underreported, especially “where cases are not easily identifiable as LGBT homicides.”
It’s also not clear if this number represents an uptick in violence or if it’s a result of an increase in reporting. Regardless, Beverly Tillery, executive director at the New York City Anti-Violence Project, said that either way, the report “should be a wake-up call for us across our communities that hate violence is not going away, it’s certainly not decreasing, and it’s symptomatic of larger and deeper problems in our society.”