Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Hate Crime Stats

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Hate Crimes Statistics for 2006, anti-LGB crimes increased by an alarming 18% over the preceding year.  The FBI report documented 1,195 incidents in which the perpetrators’ motivating factor was the victims’ actual or perceived sexual orientation.

Hate crimes against LGB people account for 16% of all hate crimes in the United States.

By statute, hate crimes against transgender persons are not recorded in the FBI report, so these statistics themselves are an expression of homophobic policy and procedure.  Additionally, many hate crimes are under-reported, or inappropriately qualified as suicides or non-hate related events.  The statistics, then, ignore many incidents that should rightly be counted as hate crimes against LGBT persons.  These deflated numbers themselves contribute to the invisibility of LGBT tragedies in America.

If this were not bad enough, the NCAVP 2008 Report on Anti-LGBTQ Hate Crimes shows a whopping 24% increase in 2007 over 2006. In 2007, there were 2,430 victims.

The following cities and regions showed increases of 100%, or more, when it comes to violent anti-LGBTQ incidents:

Los Angeles – 100%
Minnesota – 135%
Kansas City – 142%
Michigan – 207%

In 2008 we are seeing evidence of a chilling new dimension to the slow slaughter of LGBT people: the victimization of LGBT youths, now being targeted as much for how they present gender as for their sexual orientation. The case of 18-year-old Adolphus Simmons is just one example. On January 21, 2008, Simmons was shot to death while carrying out his trash in North Charleston, South Carolina.

FBI Reports 11% Increase in Anti-LGBT Hate Crime Attacks in 2008

In its most recent report under the Hate Crimes Statistics Act of 1990, the FBI released its annual report on hate crimes in the United States on November 23.  Data for 2008 show an alarming 11% increase of violent attacks against LGBT people over 2007.  For a fuller report, and commentary, see the Unfinished Lives post here.


November 2011: Though the FBI statistics for 2010 show that the numbers of all hate crimes held relatively steady, the incidents of violent attacks on gay men and transgender people are alarmingly high.  Check the fuller story on what lies behind the FBI’s 2010 Hate Crimes Statistics on the Unfinished Lives post, “Gay Men and Trans People in the Cross Hairs,” here.

Law & Order

Appropriate justice in anti-gay hate crimes remains an elusive prospect.  Lesser charges and reduced sentences for hate crime perpetrators point to a legal system that refuses to recognize the full humanity of the victims.  Because the victims are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, the murders are regarded as less offensive in the eyes of courts, judges, and juries in many communities. Read More…

The Media and Hate Crimes

Media coverage of these outrages has been poor.  The average American does not believe that anyone has been killed for being gay since the murder of Matthew Shepard.  After the flurry of interest waned following Shepard’s murder in 1998, the killings of LGBT people have been buried in the back pages of newspapers or not reported at all in the national press. Read More…


  1. This is horrible news, but very useful to me in my nudging, cajoling and debating my local UCC Church Board into understanding why becoming an Open & Accepting congregation MATTERS GREATLY.

    Thank you for putting this blog together and for the work that you do!

    Dave Cope
    Quiet Corner, CT

    Comment by triodedave | October 10, 2009 | Reply

  2. […] Hate Crime Statistics at Unfinished Lives […]

    Pingback by Transgender Day of Remembrance | December 10, 2009 | Reply

  3. I would like to show how hate crimes do happen and this type of crime needs to stop and others need to realize that discrimination agaist LGBT needs to stop and is a criminal offense. Any advice you can give me to find more information on hate crimes or any other criminal offenses against LGBT I would appreciate it. I am not gay but I believe being gay, leasbian, bi-sexual or transgender is not a choice it is who you are and everyone should be PROUD of who they are and be able not to hide it either!!!!!!!

    Comment by Tina | December 15, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for your stand for equality, and your genuine concern about hate crimes. One of the best resources I know about is Hate Crimes: Confronting Violence Against Lesbians and Gay Men by Professor Gregory M Herek and Kevin T. Berrill. It was published in 1991, which makes it a little long in the tooth statistically, but Prof. Herek is a great resource for your study. You will want to get to know some of the blogs and websites I list on my site, too, Tina. Follow the links by clicking on the names of the groups, and you will have a great set of resources to understand much about violence against LGBT people in the United States.

      Comment by unfinishedlives | December 16, 2009 | Reply

  4. Don’t Let The U.S. Senate Close The Door On Her Face!

    Comment by Kini Cosma | December 27, 2011 | Reply

  5. […] Lesser charges and reduced sentences for hate crime perpetrators point to a legal system that refuses to recognize the full humanity of the victims […]

    Pingback by Recent News | desertdailyguide.com | July 2, 2012 | Reply

  6. isn’t it interesting that the states that consider themselves progressive have the highest percentage of hate crimes!

    Comment by Camille Bryant | March 30, 2013 | Reply

  7. We represent 10% of the population, with another 10% that are either not out, or friends, family, lovers & significant others of GLBT people so my question has always been “Why are we not better represented”, “Why are politicians not pandering to the GLBT communities for votes in exchange for voice & support? We need a leader, a lobbyist or some other ability to let our voices be known. Simply having a democrat in the WH is not the answer tho many GLBT people think it is. It is bipartisan & needs some seriously devoted people to come together & make a difference. I want to do this but need to find the people willing to show me how to get started, I am ready to dedicate the rest of my working life to GLBT rights & recognition. Is there anyone out there who wants to assist me in the right direction, organizations etc…?

    Comment by Gregory Cracolice (@Cracolice1776) | May 10, 2013 | Reply

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