Killings of LGBTQ people in US rose 217%, boosted by Pulse shooting - report

Killings of LGBTQ people in US rose 217%, boosted by Pulse shooting - report
A total of 77 LGBTQ people were killed in the US in 2016 - the highest figure in more than 20 years of record keeping, and a rise of 217 percent. The number was boosted by the massacre of 49 people in an attack on a gay club in Florida last June.

Outside of the 49 lives taken at the Pulse Nightclub, the report recorded 28 anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer homicides, representing an increase of 17 percent from 24 in 2015, according to the annual hate violence report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs released on Monday.

“The enormous tragedy at Pulse Nightclub, in concert with the daily violence and discrimination that pervades our lives as LGBTQ people… have created a perfect storm of fear and traumas for our communities this year,” Melissa Brown at the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project, a member of the coalition, said in a statement, according to Reuters.

As in most previous years, the majority of the LGBTQ homicides recorded were of people of color.

Of those 28 homicides recorded by NCAVP, 79 percent were people of color: 18 were Black and 4 who were LatinX. Of the 28, 17 were transgender women of color.

Other findings were that 19 of the homicides were transgender and gender non-conforming, and the majority of the transgender homicides, 17, were transgender women of color. Additionally, 61 percent of the victims were below the age of 35.

The report’s release coincides with the first anniversary of the Pulse nightclub attack when in the early morning hours of a long gunman entered the night club shot and killed 49 people and wounded 53 others, most of whom were LGBTQ and Latinx.

“The Pulse shooting marks the deadliest mass shooting in recent US history, and the effects were felt throughout the country, particularly with LGBTQ and Latinx communities,” stated the authors.

“In the following months, record numbers of people turned out to vigils, rallies, protests and pride parades to mourn those lives taken, to call for an end to hate violence, and to celebrate the lives of those still living.”

NCAVP collects aggregate date from its 12 local member organizations in 11 states based on survivor reports and public sources.

Among other findings, NCAVP received information on 1,036 incidents of hate violence, with the majority of survivors identified as gay, below the age of 39 and people of color.

LGBTQ people of color and those with disabilities were more than twice as likely as whites and the able-bodied to be the victims of harassment and non-fatal forms of violence, according to the report.

Most of the victims knew their attacks, which commonly included employers, neighbors, landlords and family members, it said.

The most common types of incidents were verbal harassment (20 percent), threats or intimidation (17 percent) and physical violence (11 percent), with the majority of incidents happening in private residences or on the street.

Only 41 percent of those survivors had interactions with law enforcement, with 35 percent said the police were indifferent and 31 percent said the police were hostile.

READ MORE: Pulse massacre: World honors 49 victims on 1st anniversary

On Monday night, from New York to Florida, LGBTQ people and their supporters will be holding memorials to mark the first anniversary to the Pulse night club massacre.

In Orlando, Florida people gathered to read out the names of all those killed in the massacre, bells rang 49 times at noon in tribute to the dead and a midday service outside the Pulse nightclub, where hundreds of people were leaving flowers, cards and drawings outside the club.

In New York, people will gather for a rally, dressed in black, outside the famous Stonewall Inn, with a flash mob.