The concept of “Gay Pride” was chosen to counteract the dominant narrative of shame that was - and still is - prevalent in relation to ones gender and sexuality. The month of June is set aside as Pride month. It is a time to celebrate, a time to promote self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and increased visibility of and rights for LGBTQ+ people. Pride is a reminder about the importance of community, love, and resistance to oppression. Pride is something that we need all year long, especially with rising hate and violence against the LGBTQ+ community.
Today marks the 54th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in New York. The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous protests and riots by members of the LGBTQ+ community in response to a police raid that began in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village in New York City. Patrons of the Stonewall and people in the neighborhood fought back when the police became violent. This day in history is considered a tipping point for the Gay Rights Movement in the United States. While Stonewall was not the first (or last) time that people have rebelled against institutions that were upholding homophobia and transphobia, the spirit of resistance and community that the Stonewall Uprising had was used as a catalyst for fighting for equality. The first Pride parade was celebrated in June of 1970, commemorating the Stonewall riots, and that is where the tradition of celebrating Pride month began.
Here, a large crowd commemorates the 2nd anniversary of the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village of New York City in 1971. Picture from History.com
The Intersection of LGBTQ+ Identity and Abuse
As Pride Month is coming to a close, we want to address the intersection of queerness and abuse. We want to shine a light on the unique ways that LGBTQ+ people experience violence as well as resources are available for LGBTQ+ victims and survivors.
Abuse can happen to anyone at anytime, and people in the LGBTQ+ community experience abuse at similar or higher rates than the general population. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence,
43.8% of lesbian women and 61.1% of bisexual women have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime, as opposed to 35% of heterosexual women.
26% of gay men and 37.3% of bisexual men have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime, in comparison to 29% of heterosexual men.
More than half of respondents to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (54%) experienced some form of intimate partner violence.
These statistics are a reminder of how important it is to raise awareness about abuse and to challenge the homophobia that enables violence. Abuse is prevalent in the LGBTQ+ community, and at this intersection lies unique barriers and tools of abuse.
Some unique tools of abuse used against LGBTQ+ Victims or Survivors:
Some unique barriers for LGBTQ+ Victims or Survivors:
Homophobia and stigmas around gender and sexuality fuel these barriers and tools of abuse. It is so important to counteract homophobia, transphobia, and shame and instead to celebrate pride.
Resources for LGBTQ+ People Experiencing Abuse
There are some important resources to help LGBTQ+ people experiencing abuse. We have included a couple below and hope you will share these in your communities.
The Network/La Red
“The Network/La Red is a survivor-led, social justice organization that works to end partner abuse in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, BDSM, polyamorous, and queer communities. Rooted in anti-oppression principles, our work aims to create a world where all people are free from oppression. We strengthen our communities through organizing, education, and the provision of support services.”
FORGE is a national transgender anti-violence organization providing direct services to transgender, gender nonconforming and nonbinary survivors of sexual assault as well as providing training and technical assistance to providers around the country who work with transgender survivors of sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and stalking.
The Anti-Violence Project
"The Anti-Violence Project addresses the pervasive problem of violence committed against and within the LGBTQ+ and HIV-affected communities through organizing and education, and supports survivors through counseling and advocacy. They also offer a list of local anti-violence programs across the United States."