The findings come from the first study of its kind that indicates how being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, or gender non-conforming places an individual at a higher risk of being victims of violent crimes.
Although other research has long shown that LGBTQ people and gender minorities are disproportionately affected by crime, the study published in Science Advances, a multidisciplinary journal, on Friday looked at data that has only been collected since 2016, making for the first comprehensive and national study to examine the issue.
It found that members of such communities referred to as sexual and gender minorities, experienced a rate of 71.1 violent victimizations per 1,000 persons a year, compared with 19.2 per 1,000 a year among non-sexual and gender minorities.
But it was the fact that sexual and gender minorities are victims of violent crimes at such disparate rates — and who they're victimized by — that surprised researchers, said lead author Andrew R. Flores, an assistant professor at American University.
For example, researchers found that such a population is much more likely to be victimized by someone they know well than a person who is a non-sexual and gender minority.
The fact that sexual and gender minorities are victimized by people close to them at such higher rates “does kind of raise questions hopefully future research can address about the nature of these incidents and the nature of these relationships”, Flores said.
“There are certain socializations that goes in that. I think many people are socialized and have a certain disdain for trans and queer people,” said Tori Cooper of the Human Rights Campaign, a national organization that advocates for the LGBTQ community.