‘Bloodied’ Pride

2021 is shaping up to be a violent year for the LGBT+ community. Pride Month, in particular, has drawn the ire of many violent perpetrators, with outlets reporting hate-crime attacks across the world.
By Casey Abel
Photo Credit: ‘Lisa‘ on Pexels.

Halfway through and 2021 has proven to be a violent year for the Rainbow community as PinkNews reports the violent assault of yet another gay man. On July 12th, a British holidaymaker, whose identity has been protected, was brutally assaulted by two men outside a popular gay establishment in Barcelona, Spain. The victim survived, escaping with a shattered jaw and his backpack stolen.

Spain has been shocked by multiple homophobic attacks this year. Earlier this month, a 24-year-old nursing student was beaten to death in a presumed hate-crime assault. The loss of this young man is heartbreakingly one among many this year, with the violence perpetrated in July precluded by a bloodied Pride Month.

Pride Month is a period of education for the global community and an opportunity to encourage and reassure closeted LGBTIAQ+ people, young and old, that they are valid members of society. With its glamourous and colourful festivals, Pride tends to draw attention and start conversations. The rampart violence experienced through June shows that not all the attention is positive.

During Pride Month, a young gay man was murdered in Mexico after revealing he was HIV positive at a party. Further north, in Guatemala, two trans-women and a gay man were murdered in the space of a single week. In the Eurasian nation of Georgia, a violent mob attacked a media outlet injuring some 40 employees who were attempting to organise a Pride March. A cameraman attacked by the mob has since passed away from his wounds.

The rise in violence is a stark reminder of the hardships faced by the Rainbow community, as hate-crimes regularly occur outside of Pride month. In April, two gay men in Australia were attacked by a group of homophobes. The culprits used a dating app to lure their victims, aged 40 and 50, to a construction site where they trapped them. Both victims were hospitalised with the elder receiving a broken jaw and fractured skull from a baseball bat.

The following month in May, a non-binary 20 year old was decapitated by relatives in Iran. It is believed this grotesque crime occurred after the victim’s sexuality was inadvertently revealed to his family when the military exempted him from service under Sharia Law.

Communities across several countries have reacted swiftly to condone the violence. Over recent weeks, protests have erupted nationwide across Spain. Protestors took to the streets in Mexico City, the capital of Mexico. In Iran, protestors reportedly marched the streets, draping Pride flags over their shoulders in a show of solidarity, risking prosecution from religious police.

While there are no organisations actively tracking anti-LGBT+ violence around the world annually, reports of hate-crime violence have been steadily flowing from Rainbow and ally outlets this year. The American organisation Human Rights Campaign has, however, been recording the murder of trans-gender and gender non-conforming peoples in the USA since 2015. At the time of publication HRC, reports 31 trans-gender and gender non-conforming people have been killed so far this year. Comparatively, HRC recorded 44 killings in the whole of 2020.

The grotesque violence perpetrated against Rainbow peoples around the world should be a reminder to Australians to be proactive in supporting their Rainbow neighbours. Despite equalising marriage in 2017, Australia has a long way to go in pursuing equality. Violence against Rainbow Australians is still an occurrence. The mental health of Rainbow Australians remains disproportionately high, and Rainbow Australians are far more likely to experience homelessness.

More to come.

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