The Los Angeles LGBT Center Reacts to the Spike in Anti-LGBTQ+ Hate Crimes in Los Angeles - Los Angeles LGBT Center

The Los Angeles LGBT Center Reacts to the Spike in Anti-LGBTQ+ Hate Crimes in Los Angeles

December 7, 2022
Contact: Media Relations

Following the release of the 2021 Hate Crime Report from the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations, the Los Angeles LGBT Center released the following statement: 

It is disturbing—but not surprising—to see that hate crimes spiked by 23% in Los Angeles County in 2021. The 2021 Hate Crime Report reveals that hate incidents and nonviolent hate crimes rose across the board, but also that the rate of violent incidents rose from 68% to 74%, marking the highest it’s been in the past 18 years. These findings reflect our shift into an increasingly violent society, where extremist rhetoric and thinly veiled bigotry have become normalized in our culture, our pews, our politics, and—as this report shows—our streets.

As was expected, LGBTQ+ people were too often the victims of these hate crimes. Crimes based on sexual orientation went up by 15%, with 85% of them targeting gay men; a disturbing 89% of these incidents were violent. Meanwhile, of the 41 reported anti-transgender crimes, 93% were of a violent nature—a rate of violence higher than any other marginalized group recorded by the report. Unfortunately, we know that these numbers only reflect a fraction of actual hate-motivated incidents; it’s estimated that nearly half of all hate crimes go unreported.   

Our LGBTQ+ community was, of course, not alone among the increase in violence. Black people were, sadly, once again the largest group of hate crime victims. Despite making up just 9% of the county’s population, Black people made up 46% of racially-motivated hate crimes. (Many Black people were also disproportionately represented as victims of anti-LGBTQ+ hate incidents.) Also of note is that, among our nation’s disturbing rise in anti-Semitic rhetoric, religious crimes in Los Angeles spiked 29%, and 74% of those targeted our Jewish community. Other impacted communities highlighted by the report include: the Latinx community, the Asian American population, and immigrants. 

“I have served our Los Angeles community for nearly 17  years, and it pains me to say that I have never been more concerned for our collective safety than I am right now,” said Terra Russell-Slavin, Chief Impact Officer at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. “Across the country, armed white supremacists are showing up en masse to intimidate drag performers. Hospitals and healthcare facilities that provide care to transgender patients are closing their doors to bomb threats. Our nightclubs and safe spaces are being threatened and attacked. And our trans community is being deliberately targeted by far-right groups and our lawmakers on a daily basis. It’s not surprising that we see the ripple effects of that violence here in Los Angeles. I hope our community knows that their Center will fight like hell for them, and will always be here as a place of refuge.” 

The Los Angeles LGBT Center remains committed to ensuring that all LGBTQ people can thrive as healthy, equal, and complete members of society. If you have experienced hate violence and need assistance, please contact the Center’s Anti-Violence Project at 323-993-7673.

About the Los Angeles LGBT Center

Since 1969 the Los Angeles LGBT Center has cared for, championed, and celebrated LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond. Today the Center's nearly 800 employees provide services for more LGBT people than any other organization in the world, offering programs, services, and global advocacy that span four broad categories: Health, Social Services and Housing, Culture and Education, Leadership and Advocacy. We are an unstoppable force in the fight against bigotry and the struggle to build a better world; a world in which LGBT people thrive as healthy, equal, and complete members of society. Learn more at lalgbtcenter.org.

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