More than half of LGBT+ adults in the US say they have experienced violent threats, study finds

Fifty-two per cent of LGBT respondents said they had been threatened with violence at least once since the age of 18

Chantal da Silva
Thursday 24 June 2021 19:24 BST
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Members and allies of the LGBT+ community cheer on a Pride car parade as it leaves from Freedom Plaza on 12 June, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Members and allies of the LGBT+ community cheer on a Pride car parade as it leaves from Freedom Plaza on 12 June, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

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More than half of LGBT+ adults in the US say they have experienced some form of violent threat, a new study from The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law has found.

In a study analysing data from two previous studies collected between 2016 and 2018, the UCLA School of Law found that fifty-two percent of respondents said someone had threatened them with violence since they were aged 18.

Approximately three out of four respondents said they had been “verbally insulted or abused” at some point in their adult life.

At least 42 per cent of people polled said they had been hit, beaten, attacked or sexually assaulted, while 41 per cent said they had been robbed or had property stolen or vandalised.

Among those who had faced threats, transgender women reported facing the highest level of threats, with 61 per cent of transgender women saying they had received threats, compared with 49 per cent of cisgender women and 52 per cent of cisgender men.

Many LGBT+ people also reported experiencing “some form of everyday discrimination, such as being disrespected or insulted”.

Fifty-six per cent of transgender people said they had faced such everyday discrimination, while 48 per cent of lesbian, bisexual and queer cis women and 34 per cent of gay, bisexual and queer cis men reported being treated with less respect than others.

Thirty-three per cent of LGBT+ people generally reported having had trouble with a boss or coworker.

They survey also found “high rates” of bullying during childhood among the LGBT+ community, with 67 per cent of lesbian, bisexual and queer cisgender women saying they had endured bullying, while 75 per cent of gay, bisexual and queer cisgender men said the same.

Seventy per cent of transgender people said they had been bullied before the age of 18.

“We found very high rates of bullying among LGBTQ people during childhood,” researchers behind the study wrote in a report on their findings.

“Together, these [findings] show that LGBTQ people are exposed to lifelong victimisation and abuse, beginning in childhood and continuing in different forms into adulthood,” they said.

The study also looked at health outcomes of the LGBT+ community, with researchers finding that 42 per cent of transgender people had reported lifetime suicide attempts, compared with 32 per cent of cisgender women and 22 per cent of cisgender men.

The data for the study was taken from the Generations study, the first long-term five-year study to look at the health and well-being across three generations of lesbian, gay and bisexual people and the TransPop study, a first-of-its-kind survey focused on the health of the US transgender population.

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