A few months ago, a report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs came out with truly chilling statistics: Not counting the 49 people who were murdered in the Pulse Nightclub shooting, 2016 was the deadliest year on record for LGBTQ people.
Now, new data released by the same organization to BuzzFeed shows that the number of murders of LGBTQ people in 2017 has already surpassed those in 2016, not counting the 49 Orlando deaths.
As of August 2017, there have been 33 hate-violence-related homicides of LGBTQ people, according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. That's approximately one death for every six days. Excluding the Pulse massacre, there were 28 hate-crime-related deaths of LGBTQ people in 2016, or about one for every 13 days of the year.
The increase in deaths may not just be because of an increase in violence — though that's clearly a problem — but also an increase in the number of deaths being counted or reported.
"I think whether it’s an increase in reporting, an increase in violence, or some combination thereof, it should be a wake-up call for us across our communities that hate violence is not going away, it’s certainly not decreasing, and it’s symptomatic of larger and deeper problems in our society that we still haven’t addressed," Beverly Tillery, executive director at the New York City Anti-Violence Project, told BuzzFeed.
Much of this violence is directed toward queer and transgender communities of color. At least 16 transgender women, all of them transgender women of color, have been murdered so far this year. That's already more than the 15 reported murders of transgender women in 2016.
"We're not sending clear messages that LGBTQ lives are valued," Shelby Chestnut, director of community organizing and public advocacy at the New York City Anti-Violence Project, told USA Today after the NYCAVP's 2016 report. "People are dying as a result of anti-LGBT violence almost daily in this country, and it is everyone's problem."
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