Both homophobic and transphobic hate crimes — from stalking to violent attacks — have drastically increased in England and Wales over the past five years.
An anaylsis by The Guardian revealed the alarming statistics.
From 2013-14 to 2017-17, LGBT hate crimes per capita rose 144%. Police reported 11,600 known crimes of this nature in the most recent year of date. This is more than double the 4,600 known crimes reported during the time period assessed.
Anti-gay and lesbian, as well as transphobic attacks, have doubled and tripled, respectively.
What do the hate crime numbers say?
In 2013-14, reports of anti-gay and lesbian hate crimes were a little over 4,000. Five years later, the reports more than doubled, soaring above 10,000.
Transphobic hate crimes, meanwhile, have more than tripled over the course of five years.
In 2013-14, around 550 known transphobic hate crimes were reported. Most recently, that number is well over 1,500 now.
Why is this happening?
Experts weighing in on these numbers gave multiple reasons for the increase.
Jessica White, who leads hate crime reporting at the LGBT Foundation, an organisation based in Manchester, said it partly had to do with increased awareness. This is something that’s happening across the globe as more and more people are taking a more proactive role in reporting these crimes.
‘More and more, we are having people come to us who have been experiencing hate for a long period of time – prolonged abuse, often in their communities – who are finally coming forward to report,’ White stated.
‘These will often be people who have been experiencing hate for years, see a poster on the tram, on the bus or on the train and realise that it’s not okay and there is support there for them.’
Taz Edwards-White, an alliance manager at Metro, an equalities and diversity organisation, added it also had to do with rising tensions.
‘There is a tension, and even within our own LGBT community there is a tension,’ she commented. ‘I believe it’s a direct result of people feeling unsafe due to rise of the rightwing political movement.
‘We do believe the political climate has had an impact: people feel unsafe. What is happening in central government and all the scapegoating has an effect. We saw a spike [in racist attacks] after Brexit and there has been a steady increase since then.’
West Yorkshire saw the highest spike in anti-LGBT hate crimes. They experience a 376% increase from 2013-14 to 2017-18.
A recent, widely publicized incident happened in London, when a same-sex couple was attacked on a bus by a group of teen males. The assault left them bloodied, scared, and angry.