With the past year having a huge uptick in political discourse and violence in our society, it also reflects how rough it has been for the LGBT community in the continual fight for our rights. In a very sad report done by Buzzfeed News, more LGBT people have been murdered since the beginning of 2017 than in all of 2016 combined, (this does not include the 49 victims of the massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando).
The numbers translate to roughly one hate-violence-related death every 13 days in 2016. So far in 2017, the pace of those deaths is at about one every six days.
Within this statistics, 15 were transgendered women of color and at least 12 were cisgendered gay men. Apparently there is no clear reason for the increase, but based on what has happened over the past year and now with certain emboldened people thinking they can get away with this disgusting behavior, it doesn't surprise me whatsoever that there has already been this much of an increase and there is still roughly 5 months to go in the 2017 calendar year.
"I think whether it’s an increase in reporting, an increase in violence, or some combination thereof, it 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 that we still haven’t addressed," Beverly Tillery, executive director at the New York City Anti-Violence Project, told BuzzFeed News. Her group coordinates with the NCAVP and is the lead agency that puts together the violence report.
Now, more than ever, we need to stick together as a community and consistently watch out for each other. In particular, the trans community needs our help more than ever as they have gotten the unfortunate brunt of a lot of things lately, from bathroom usage to now them being banned from the military. They and we don't deserve what has been happening, and my hope is that the numbers of deaths within the LGBT community can minimize in a short period of time to an eventual zero.