Threats Against LGBTQIA+ Community Intensifying, DHS Warns

The FBI recently determined 20% of all hate crimes reported in 2021 were motivated by bias linked to sexual orientation or gender.

Threats Against LGBTQIA+ Community Intensifying, DHS Warns

Photo: Vector Archive, Adobe Stock

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned last week that threats of violence against the LGBTQIA+ community are on the rise and intensifying.

In a document distributed to government and law enforcement agencies on May 11, DHS said domestic violence extremists and others known to commit hate crimes have increased these threats within the last year.  The issues inspiring these threats, says DHS, could lead to a rise of potential attacks against larger targets, such as public spaces and healthcare sites that may be linked to the LGBTQIA+ community.

“These issues include actions linked to drag-themed events, gender-affirming care, and LGBTQIA+ curricula in schools,” said the document.

DHS also cited social media discussions praising the recent mass shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville, warning high-profile attacks against schools and faith-based institutions “have historically served as inspiration for individuals to conduct copycat attacks.”

According to the FBI’s hate crime statistics, 20% of all hate crimes reported in the U.S. in 2021 were motivated by bias linked to sexual orientation and gender. The Williams Institution of the UCLA School of Law also reported in 2022 that “LGBT people [are] nine times more likely than non-LGBT people to be victims of violent hate crimes.”

Furthermore, according to Los Angeles Blade, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project found that anti-LGBTQ incidents, including “demonstrations, acts of political violence, and the distribution of offline propaganda have more than tripled from 64 events in 2021 to 193 events in 2022 as of mid-November.”

In more recent months, politicians in several states have introduced legislation critics say targets the LGBTQIA+ community. In April, the Florida Board of Education expanded the Parental Rights in Education bill, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by opponents, to ban classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in all grades, according to ABC News. The bill originally applied to K-3.

In March, Tennessee became the first state to try and restrict public drag performances under HB 9 and SB 3. The bill, signed by Governor Bill Lee, was temporarily blocked by a federal judge who said it was vaguely written and overly broad, reports AP.

A recent study from the Trevor Project found these restrictive state laws are significantly impacting LGBTQIA+ youth. About 86% of transgender and nonbinary youth say recent debates about state laws restricting the rights of transgender people have negatively impacted their mental health, with 55% saying it has impacted their mental health “very negatively,” according to the report. Additionally, 71% of LGBTQIA+ youth say state laws restricting the rights of LGBTQ young people have negatively impacted their mental health.

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About the Author


Amy is Campus Safety’s Executive Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy has many close relatives and friends who are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

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4 responses to “Threats Against LGBTQIA+ Community Intensifying, DHS Warns”

  1. Charles says:

    How does the reference to The Covenant School shooting, which was committed by a transgender individual against a religiously affiliated Christian school, point to an intensifying of hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community? The shooter planned and carried out the murder of an eight year old child, two nine year old children, and three adults who posed no threat to her. This act, along with the associated “Trans Day of Vengeance” would rather seem to point to anti-religious violence on the part of the transgender community.

    Your article also quoted The Blade, you could hardly have cited a more biased source of information regarding this issue. Your reference to Florida’s Parental Rights Bill as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” clearly identifies your article as nothing more than political propaganda. I look to Campus Safety for reliable and serious information on the serious topic of security. This article provides only shallow commentary tinged by your political views.

    • Amy Rock says:

      Hi Charles,

      I’m sorry you feel this way. As for the Covenant School reference, I was summarizing/relaying what the DHS warning said. Perhaps they referenced the shooting since many discussions surrounding the devastating attack have been about the shooter being part of the LGBTQIA+ community and it was relevant in that way. Or maybe the department saw it as another avenue to discuss other threats that exist and to get it out to as many people as possible.

      I do, however, see your point about it being contrary to the main point of the warning, which is threats against the LGBTQIA+ community and not threats/attacks carried out by someone who is part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

      In regard to referencing a quote from The Blade, I was simply giving the publication credit for referencing that particular study since it was the first article I came across in my research that referenced it. While I agree nearly all news sources these days are biased, this publication is dubbed “Southern California’s LGBTQ NewsSource,” so, of course, their material will be geared towards readers from that community. At least it’s straightforward in conveying who it is meant to serve.

      As for the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” part, I did add in that it was dubbed that by opponents of the bill. I appreciate your commentary and respect your opinions, even if I don’t agree.

  2. Chris says:

    Thank you Charles!

  3. Nick says:

    Your title (Threats Against LGBTQIA+ Community Intensifying) has a great hook for those of us looking for information to keep our school community members safe. Referencing legislation by political bodies implies a connection to acts of violence/threats. I’m hoping Campus Safety will build on it’s past record of reporting facts, rather than delve into opinion/commentary as this article seems to do.

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