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UNSAFE IN AMERICA: NEW GLAAD DATA SHOWS UNPRECEDENTED THREATS AND ATTACKS AGAINST LGBTQ AMERICANS LEADING UP TO THE DEADLY MASS SHOOTING IN COLORADO SPRINGS
- Last updated: May 24, 2023
NEW GLAAD POLL: 72% OF TRANSGENDER RESPONDENTS AND 48% OF LGBTQ COMMUNITY OVERALL SAY CURRENT POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT MAKES THEM FEAR FOR THEIR PERSONAL SAFETY
GLAAD ALSO RELEASES COMPREHENSIVE, FIRST-OF-ITS KIND COUNT AND ANALYSIS OF ATTACKS AGAINST DRAG EVENTS AND PERFORMERS IN 2022: MORE THAN 120 THREATS AND INCIDENTS IN 47 STATES
GLAAD: LGBTQ Americans are reporting feeling unsafe, and there is documented evidence as to why, even before the horror of this past weekend and the deadly attack on LGBTQ people in Colorado Springs. Extremist politicians have to stop using anti-LGBTQ rhetoric to score points and stoke fear. Social media companies and right-wing media must stop allowing vile lies about LGBTQ people to run rampant on their platforms. We’ve seen the consequences. We’ve seen enough. It’s abundantly clear that something has to change in our politics and media to reject harmful rhetoric that leads to real life violence.
GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today released results of a new poll of LGBTQ Americans showing startling levels of fear in the wake of a record-setting year of legislative and political attacks on the community. GLAAD is also releasing the first-of-its kind comprehensive report documenting attacks and threats against drag performers and events over 2022, with more than 120 incidents reported over 47 states.
The poll was conducted in the days leading up to the deadly mass shooting in Colorado Springs at an LGBTQ nightclub that killed five people.
GLAAD Poll Findings:
- 48% of LGBTQ respondents overall say the current political environment and rhetoric surrounding LGBTQ issues makes them more fearful for their personal safety
- Among transgender respondents, 72% say they are more fearful
- 52% of all respondents ages 25-34 say they are more fearful
- 43% of all LGBTQ respondents say they feel unsafe discussing political issues and issues related to LGBTQ equality, on social media using their real name
The majority of responses, 89%, were submitted in the days leading up to the deadly mass shooting in Colorado Springs Saturday night.
Statement from GLAAD President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis:
“Enough is enough. LGBTQ Americans are reporting feeling unsafe, and there is documented evidence as to why, even before the horror of this past weekend and the deadly attack on LGBTQ people in Colorado Springs. Extremist politicians have to stop using anti-LGBTQ rhetoric to score points and stoke fear. Social media companies and right-wing media must stop allowing vile lies about LGBTQ people to run rampant on their platforms. We’ve seen the consequences. We’ve seen enough. It’s abundantly clear that something has to change in our politics and media to reject harmful rhetoric that leads to real life violence. Everyone should know they are accepted and safe.”
The poll was conducted by Pathfinder Opinion Research of 800 LGBTQ adults, November 16-20, 2022. The deadly attack at the LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs happened late Saturday night, November 19th, crossing over into Sunday, November 20th, Transgender Day of Remembrance.
GLAAD is also releasing comprehensive new research on an unprecedented year of targeting and threatening drag events and performers in 2022.
View the new report on attacks against drag events here: /blog/glaad-report-drag-events-faced-least-124-protests-and-significant-threats-2022.
The report shows at least 124 threats or actual incidents of violence against drag performers and drag events, as documented in news reports, over 47 U.S. states, in small and large cities.
The study parameters include incidents of protests and threats that forced organizers to cancel, reschedule or move events for the safety of performers and attendees. It includes incidents of actual violence and weapons at events including:
- A donut shop in Tulsa, Oklahoma, firebombed last month after hosting an art event featuring drag performers
- Protesters in Eugene, Oregon, carrying semiautomatic rifles and throwing rocks and smoke bombs outside a drag story hour last month
- A public library in Downers Grove, Illinois, canceling a drag bingo event in September after receiving a letter with a bullet and a note threatening “more to come.”
The report also notes when extremist social media accounts elevated drag events with threatening language and inaccurate, inflammatory claims, and how events covered on right wing media frequently resulted in politicians proposing bans or taking legal action against drag performers and events.
At least 9 bills have been proposed in 2022 targeting drag performance and performers, including a bill filed in the Montana legislature on Tuesday November 22nd.
LGBTQ community centers have also been targeted by rising harassment and threats. A new report released Tuesday by the Movement Advancement Project and Centerlink reviewed 208 LGBTQ community centers in 45 states and found that 71% had experienced hate or harassment over the past two years.
- 56% of centers reported digital harassment and threats
- 54% of centers reported offline harassment and threats (examples include protests, vandalism, harassing phone calls, and hate mail)
- 38% of centers reported both online and offline threats or harassment
About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.