We know that LGBTQ+ people are facing threats and harm now more than ever before. Our spaces are under attack and so are our rights. And, we face higher levels of hate violence than many of our peers. AVP is taking action to protect and fortify our spaces with collaborative, community-led safety programs and initiatives that affirm and uplift LGBTQ+ people and working to develop new ways to support our survivors both here in New York and around the nation. You can be a part of this critical movement for our current and future safety.

How AVP Supports & Uplifts LGBTQ+ People & Safe Spaces

AVP provides affirming, lifesaving wraparound services for LGBTQ+ survivors of all violence, connecting folks to vital internal and community resources.

AVP operates a 24/7 bilingual hotline in Spanish and English to provide crisis support and safety planning services for survivors, service providers and organizations seeking safety planning or training support.

AVP advocates for policy change at all levels of government by partnering with and uplifting the voices of LGBTQ+ survivors nationwide and champions community-led safety by offering training and technical assistance to groups and organizations.

From our Executive Director, Beverly Tillery

“We’re so grateful for the support of our LGBTQ+ siblings, allies and community. We have a long, hard road ahead, and we need you all now more than ever to protect our safe spaces.”

One short year ago, our community was reeling from the senseless, tragic loss of life at Club Q in Colorado Springs. Five people were brutally murdered, and 25 others were injured by a shooter who had been radicalized by anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric.     

Immediately, our team at the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) mobilized to identify new strategies against anti-LGBTQ+ violence. We launched the Safe Spaces Protection Project (SSPP) with national partners CenterLink and the Equality Federation. Our mission is to defend and fortify the spaces that are critical to our community.  

In the first phase of SSPP, we conducted a national survey to gather data from queer spaces large and small. We needed to determine how safe they are, whether they are threatened by violence, whether law enforcement responds to our requests for protection, and what they need to keep their spaces safer.  

That first-of-its-kind effort to engage LGBTQ+ spaces led to AVP’s landmark report, “Under Attack: 2022 LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces National Needs Assessment,” highlighting that more than 60% of the nearly 400 LGBTQ+-affirming spaces surveyed experienced at least one hate incident in 2022.  

Bomb threats, angry protests, and hateful messages were just some examples of hate against LGBTQ+ spaces. Sadly, some groups experienced several types of hate, and many fear more in the future. One respondent said it bluntly: “I keep a baseball bat next to my bed and now worry a lot more…”  

These threats are common, relentless, and nationwide. They forecast a dark future. Your support can help make it brighter. 

2024 is right around the corner and with it the ruthless, anti-LGBTQ+ political rhetoric that breeds threats to our lives and liberties. We know the 2016 electoral cycle drove a spike in hate violence during and after, igniting the current assault on our rights and existence. And this year, our communities and spaces have endured so many threats and acts of hate already.  

In these threatening and uncertain times, there is one thing you can count on: AVP takes action. 

When the charming performers who host much-loved Drag Story Hour are viciously threatened, AVP shows up to provide safety training and support for library staff and event organizers.  

After analyzing the data about violence against our community, AVP rang the alarm at Capitol Hill about the hate epidemic threatening LGBTQ+ people. After a White House briefing on our report, the Biden Administration announced, “new actions to protect LGBTQI+ communities from attacks on their rights and safety.”  

Since the White House, AVP has briefed the Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, Education, and Homeland Security, Congressional representatives, and dozens of LGBTQ+ and community leaders. The response is promising and hopeful. Adm. Rachel Levine, the nation’s top-ranking trans official and head of HHS responded to AVP’s innovative work by affirming hate violence as a public health threat. 

“I look forward to a day in the future where hate-fueled violence, is an unwelcome memory of the past and no longer incites fear amongst LGBTQI+ people, and all people who live in America,” Adm. Levine told the Washington Blade in October. “We all deserve to live in communities safe from violence.” 

AVP is ensuring your safety, your health, and your life stories are top of the agenda in high-level meetings. Your concerns are being heard, and change is imminent. Your generous support will ensure that AVP continues to uplift and amplify your voices, shaping and implementing policies that put your safety first.  

AVP’s national policy strategies champion new ways to work toward ending anti-LGBTQ hate violence across the country, and our community safety training initiatives teach groups to build critical skills for creating safer spaces. Here in New York, AVP’s hotline and free counseling services continue to be a lifeline to community members experiencing violence in their homes, on the streets, and in everyday spaces that should be safe. 

Because of you, AVP’s work is saving lives and building safer communities.  Giving to AVP can be your strategy to protect yourself and those you love. Learn more about how you can help below and donate today. 

Until we are all safe and free…

AVP in Action 2023

AVP has worked to build community-led safety and uplift the unique needs of LGBTQ+ organizations and communities experiencing hate violence nationwide this year.

Connected with more than 400 LGBTQ+ organizations and businesses nationwide to engage around safety planning, training and resources and community building.

As part of the LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces Project, AVP and teams conducted outreach to more than 600 LGBTQ+ organizations across the nation, with 380 completing the inaugural national needs assessment. We partnered with CenterLink, Equality Federation and other LGBTQ+ organizations to reach LGBTQ+ business owners, community organizations, LGBTQ+ focused groups and other places where LGBTQ+ gather and come together.
These organizations and businesses represented all 50 states and a mix of regions, encompassed groups and organizations of every size and and demographic.

Presented inaugural findings at Creating Change 2022 and held feedback and listening sessions with LGBTQ+ organizations.

AVP partnered with LGBTQ+ Task Force to host a series of events at Creating Change 2023 uplifting preliminary results from our inaugural LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces National Needs Assessment. We held a high-level briefing for funders and senior leaders, a workshop for LGBTQ+ organizations and safe spaces and a caucus deep-diving into results of the survey and exploring potential solutions for our safety.
During Creating Change 2023 we connected with dozens of LGBTQ+ spaces nationwide to gain helpful insight into what our LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces need to be safe and thrive.

Released the first-ever LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces National Needs Assessment finding more than three out of every five spaces experienced anti-LGBTQ+ hate in 2022

AVP’s first-ever LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces National Needs Assessment explored the ways that LGBTQ+ organizations and businesses experienced hate violence in 2022, what their experiences were with reporting violence, and what they need for safety in the future.
The report also explored the fear of future threats and provided recommendations for community organizations and policymakers on how we can fortify and defend LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces.

Briefed 12 federal agencies and nine congressional offices on the LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces Project findings exploring solutions and recommendations for making LGBTQ+ safety a top priority.

AVP work to uplift the experiences of LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces in Washington D.C., holding a series of virtual and in-person briefings and meetings with key agencies and policymakers.
AVP connected with the White House ahead of Pride season to share important insights leading to the Biden Administration to release guidance on LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces. AVP also met with representatives from Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Safety and others.

Coordinated Safe Spaces meetups between 56 congressional offices and LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces in their districts.

AVP learned from working with LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces that these organizations need critical resources, funding and support to handle the threats and acts of violence they face. Our members of Congress often have pathways and connections to those resources and support systems.
AVP and our partner CenterLink worked to ensure that members of Congress knew LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces in their districts and what those spaces need to be safer by coordinating LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces meetups between congressmembers and safe spaces in congressional districts nationwide.

Held a New York State-specific data briefing at the LGBTQ+ Convening in Albany

AVP also works here in New York to make the state safer for LGBTQ+ community and organizations, providing support to organization statewide and partnering with policymakers to make survivor-centered changes.
AVP and our data collection partner Strength in Numbers collaborated on a NYS-specific dataset analyzing the impact of hate violence on 51 LGBTQ+ organizations and businesses in New York State.

Working to Build Community-Led Safety Nationwide

Since AVP released its Pride and Pain report in 2019, it has tracked and monitored the threats against drag performers and LGBTQ+ spaces. Increasingly, more spaces became targets of anti-LGBTQ+ violence.

According to AVP’s data collected during the LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces Protection Project, nearly 8 out of 10 LGBTQ+ community centers and nearly 9 out of 10 LGBTQ+ youth centers experienced anti-LGBTQ+ Hate.

These incidents include physical threats and acts like protests, vandalism, bomb threats or suspicious packages and physical harassment or assault, as well as online threats and acts like doxing, online harassment, or other acts online targeting LGBTQ+ organizations or their staff members.

Supporting organizations and survivors experiencing hate has been the focus of AVP’s Community Organizing and Public Advocacy Team for years, and the leader of that team, Audacia Ray collaborated with other AVP leaders to connect with Safe Spaces and organizations nationwide including Drag Story Hour. Through these partnerships AVP provided safety planning and training resources to equip organizations with necessary tools to keep their communities safer.

“It’s always been one of AVP’s core values to protect LGBTQ people, to support people who are survivors of violence in recovering a sense of safety and moving towards healing.

What we’re doing now is not just doing that on the individual level, but really supporting safe spaces and networks and discovering how to do that together – How to really shape a future in which we can all feel safe and free to be ourselves.”

– Audacia Ray, Director of Community Organizing & Public Advocacy

AVP Takes Action at the Nation's Capital

AVP worked tirelessly to share and uplift the important data and findings of the LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces National Needs Assessment with policymakers across Washington D.C.  In 2023, AVP met with representatives from the White House, both Chambers of Congress, and several federal agencies.

Between May and October 2023, AVP met directly with 9 congressional offices and virtually with several more, 12 federal agencies including key White House LGBTQ+ liaisons. After AVP briefed the White House on LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces data, the Biden Administration announced a new plan to combat LGBTQ+ hate and support our communities.

AVP presented key data from our LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces National Needs Assessment and included perspectives from partner organizations and survivors of anti-LGBTQ+ hate.

Our most recent meeting occurred with Adm. Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary of Health for the Dept. of Health and Human Services. In a briefing with Adm. Levine and her senior officials, we outlined the opportunities for federal agencies like HHS to support and resource LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces



Admiral Rachel Levine, assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, told the Washington Blade in a statement: “We know that hate — whether fueled by homophobia, transphobia, or racism — is a public health threat.”

“I look forward to a day in the future where hate-fueled violence, is an unwelcome memory of the past and no longer incites fear amongst LGBTQI+ people, and all people who live in America,” she said, adding, “We all deserve to live in communities safe from violence.”


Connecting Safe Spaces & Policymakers Nationwide

Before our LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces National Needs Assessment, there were no other such surveys of its kind directly asking LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces across the country of the kinds of threats they face. With nearly 400 respondents representing each state, we learned:

Our LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces exist everywhere, in all parts of the nation. And they need critical support where they are to keep themselves and their communities safer. That’s why AVP worked with members of congress to coordinate LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces Meetups across the country. AVP coordinated meetings between 21 members of Congress and 56 offices with local LGBTQ+ groups in their district.

These meetups were an opportunity for members of congress to hear directly from our LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces about their needs and experiences. Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces we surveyed need additional resources and support.


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DSH and Community Response

Since 2019, AVP has worked to uplift the unique threats that our Drag performers are facing, particularly with the growth in visibility of White Nationalist groups that have openly targeted Drag Story Hour performances nationwide.

AVP is a proud partner with Drag Story Hour National and Drag Story Hour New York City, offering safety planning, support and training for their Royal Guard, a community-driven safety team of volunteers protecting performers and attendees at events.

But as we saw in previous elections, we anticipate increases in anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, threats and violence leading up to, and possibly following the 2024 election. We need supporters like you to help us keep our performers and spaces safer heading into this important time in our history.

Fortifying our LGBTQ+ Spaces

Our LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces and the communities that find sanctuary within them need your support. Give to AVP today and help us make All Places Safe Spaces nationwide.


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Thank you for supporting LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors of violence.

For information on how to donate via Wire transfer, Stock transfer or ACH payment, please contact the Development department at development@avp.org. If you prefer to pay by check, please make payment out to AVP and mail to:

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Thank you for your supporting AVP in 2023. Learn more about the programs and initiatives your contribution will be supporting below.