Wednesday, December 10, 2014

We Don’t Count

When there are surveys or data being collective we are rarely counted, how many times have you read something about LGBT and found out that it really was only LG with no “BT". Whether it is for elder care, LGBT cruises, school bullying, or violence against LGBT people, it is really only about lesbians and gays.
FBI Understates Hate-Motivated Attacks on Transgender People
By Dominic Holden
December 8, 2014

Despite a recent epidemic of violent attacks and homicides of transgender women, the FBI’s annual hate crime report released today says only 33 people in the United States were targeted in bias crimes for their gender identity in 2013.

This is the first year federal officials are reporting hate crimes against transgender people, as is now required by the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act. But after seeing the results of this year’s report, antiviolence experts said the new figures for transgender violence are impossibly small. “The phrase that comes to mind is tip of the iceberg,” Osman Ahmed, the education coordinator of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), told BuzzFeed News. “That is an incredibly low number.”

By way of comparison, the NCAVP issued a comprehensive report in May that found 344 transgender people — more than 10 times the FBI’s figure — were the victims of hate-motivated violence in 2013. That was up from 305 the year before. The group found 13 transgender people in the U.S. were killed last year in bias attacks.
Why does this happen?

I can think of many reasons… they don’t think there is a difference between us and gays and lesbians, we are all “Gays.” They don’t have a “box” for gender identity on their form or they don’t ask the right questions. Or we do not identify ourselves as being trans for a number of reasons like fear of discrimination or we do not consider ourselves to be trans, we are a man or a woman, not transgender. Also if the news media does their job right they won’t report us as being trans, just a man or woman and not a trans-man or trans-woman.

The article goes on to say,
Among the reasons federal statistics underrepresent attacks on transgender people, experts say, many state and local hate crime laws don’t include protections for LGBT people. Such is the case in Ohio; because Ohio has no statewide law to prosecute hate crimes against LGBT victims, the state may not report certain incidents as hate crimes. Aaron Eckhardt, a leader of Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO), pointed out in an interview recently with BuzzFeed News, “According to Ohio, there have been zero hate crimes committed against people in those categories.”
Many times hate crimes do not get reported as hate crimes because it gives the authorities a “black eye,” in school reporting of bullying many school report “zero” cases because they set the bar for labeling an incident as bullying is set high. They don’t want their school to be labeled as a school with a lot of bullying.

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