Hate crime reports are increasing both nationally as well as within the Avon and Somerset local authority. In the year 2020/2021, 2,799 Transgender Hate Crimes were reported to the police in England and Wales (Home Office, 2021).
However, when looking at the breakdowns of victims and cases – while racist hate crime is still the highest in volume, it is both homophobic and transphobic hate crime that are seeing heavy increases, with Transphobia incidents rising the most drastically by far. Two in five trans people in the UK have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity in the last 12 months. This is extremely worrying when paired with reports by the Government Equalities Office that 88% of transgender people do not report hate crimes they experience.
Two recent incidents in western countries have made national and international news, including the vicious murder of queer black man Oshea Sibley in New York, a member of the queer ballroom scene – who was killed while voguing to Beyonce at a gas station. Another recent incident involves a stabbing outside London Queer venue the Two Brewers, which put two queer men in hospital. While this coverage is of course a positive and a necessity to raise awareness and motivate allies of the LGBTQ+ community to see the current dangers faced by queer and/or trans people; there is a noticeable lack of coverage of similar Transphobic incidents and overall support for their victims.
Sadly, not only are Trans Hate Crimes (including murder) reported and spread less – it can often be more harmful than helpful when these cases are covered. This is due to the current lens the trans community are viewed with by a proportion of the public and the media.
From a Stonewall article following the murder of trans woman, Naomi Hersi:
The media’s role in changing this culture needs to be a key one. How the media treat hate crimes and violence against trans people is no doubt a contributing factor to how willing trans people are to talk about the violence they face.
But the murder of trans people often receives little coverage. If the victim is black, or from another ethnic minority group, their death is also less likely to be reported by mainstream media.
Where the media do write about trans people affected by violence, the coverage is more likely to be harmful and offensive when compared to violent attacks experienced by cisgendered people.
48% of transgender people dissatisfied with Police response (Government Equalities Office) – this is why alternative options for resolution, including Restorative Justice for more serious crimes and Conflict Resolution tools for hate incidents, are worth exploring. Especially for the half of the Transphobic Hate Crime victims who did not feel satisfied with the support and justice received from police processes.
At Resolve West, we are firm believers that no one should have to suffer hate for who they are. We provide services to victims of hate crime to help their voice be heard and to offer opportunities for the harm to be repaired. As part of this work, we are part of the Bristol Hate Crime and Discrimination Service Partnership. Funded by Bristol City Council’s Impact Fund, the partnership aims to offer a complete service for victims of hate crime and discrimination in Bristol.
Hate Crime Statistics in England (2020-2021), 2021:
Report by the Law Commission Hate Crime Report, 2021: