A Crisis of Hate

In just August of 2017, NCAVP had recorded the highest number of anti-LGBTQ homicides in our 20-year history of tracking this information, and decided to release a mid year report to raise awareness of this striking increase. Since the release of the Crisis of Hate report in August of 2017, the number of reported homicides continued to increase, reaching a total of 52 reported anti-LGBTQ homicides in all of 2017. This report provides a comprehensive look at all 52 of the hate violence, anti-LGBTQ homicides NCAVP reported in 2017.

We are releasing this report during a time when our communities are witnessing the few civil rights protections and policies being rolled back and discrimination being instituted into law, and media organizations and organizations working with survivors are receiving an unprecedented number of stories of hate fueled attacks.

While much of this violence is not new, but rather amplified, this past year has sparked a national conversation about the escalation of hate violence against so many marginalized communities. NCAVP hopes that sharing this information now will encourage people to reject anti-LGBTQ bias whenever it occurs, and to resist any hateful rhetoric or policies put forward by this administration or by legislators.

For too long, legislators have not taken meaningful or effective steps to address the increase of hate violence in this country. We ask that people call their representatives and ask them what they will do right now to proactively address hate violence and ensure that their communities are safe and affirming for LGBTQ people.

The time for addressing this crisis of violence is now.

“We are calling on decent people across this country to speak out against hateful speech, threats, and violence against LGBTQ people whenever it occurs.”

~Beverly Tillery, Executive Director, New York City Anti-Violence Project

  • In 2017, NCAVP recorded reports of 52 hate violence related homicides of LGBTQ people, the highest single incident number ever recorded by NCAVP.
  • This number represents a 86% increase in single incident reports from 2016.
  • In 2017, there was one homicide of an LGBTQ person in the U.S. each week.

The victims of these hate violence related homicides have overwhelmingly been transgender women and queer, bi, or gay cisgender men.

There was a significant increase of reports of homicides of queer, bi, or gay cisgender men, from 4 reports in 2016 to 20 reports in 2017.

In 2017, there were 27 hate-violence related homicides of transgender and gender non-conforming people, compared to 19 reports in 2016. 22 of these homicides were of transgender women of color.

We mourn those we have lost to violence, and hold their lives in our memory as we continue to work to end violence in our lives and in our communities. We mourn the lives that our communities have lost in 2017 and before, and send love and light to their friends and family. Below are the names of some of the lives we have lost to fatal, anti-LGBTQ violence this year so far. Read the full report to learn more about all of those we’ve lost.

Kaladaa Crowell, 36, Black cisgender woman
West Palm Beach, FL

Kaladaa Crowell and her daughter, Kyra Inglett, were fatally shot on December 28th, 2017. According to media reports, Kaladaa and her 11-year-old daughter Kyra were shot by 26-year-old Marlin Joseph, the son of Crowell’s girlfriend, following an argument in their home. Joseph has been arrested and charged with the murders of Crowell and Inglett. At a vigil, a friend remembered Kaladaa as “a hard-working young lady who had a beautiful daughter.” Kyra was remembered for her artistic talent and her spunky personality.

Imer Alvarado, 34, Latinx cisgender man
Fresno, CA

Imer Alvarado was killed on the night of May 16th, 2017 in Fresno, California. According to media reports, Imer was fatally shot multiple times following a dispute with another person. Though Imer was dressed in feminine-presenting clothing at the time of his death, friends remember him as being “a beautiful and loving spirit” who was part of the drag community, and say that he identified as a gay man. His life was memorialized in a vigil held by members of the LGBTQ and Deaf communities.

Kiwi Herring, 30, Black transgender woman
St. Louis, MO

Kiwi Herring was killed in St. Louis, Missouri on August 22nd, 2017. According to media reports, Herring was experiencing escalating discrimination and harassment from neighbors. Police responding to the scene of the most recent disturbance shot and killed Herring, who may have cut or stabbed her neighbor. Some of Herring’s other neighbors held a candlelight vigil at the scene to protest this and other recent fatal shootings by St. Louis police. Vigil attendees questioned whether police had targeted the correct aggressor in the dispute. Herring was originally misgendered by police and press, and community advocates brought her homicide to the attention of NCAVP.

Juan Javier Cruz, 22, Latinx cisgender man
Lake Worth, FL

Juan Javier Cruz was fatally shot after defending his group of friends against homophobic slurs on August 6th, 2017 in Lake Worth, Florida. According to media reports, Cruz and a group of friends were leaving a restaurant and were followed by Nelson Hernandez Mena, who called out the group homophobic slurs and threatened them with physical violence before shooting Cruz, who had defended his friends. Mena has been charged with Cruz’s murder.