Violence directed at LGBTQIA+ people across Europe has reached its highest point in the last decade. This was revealed by the European branch of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) in a new report it published yesterday. It pointed to a continued rise in hate speech especially directed at trans people. On top of this it revealed “a stark rise in violence against LGBTI people” and also the seriousness of such violence.
The report also highlights similar issues in Ireland. But it draws particular attention to the ongoing lack of appropriate healthcare for trans people. And it also makes mention of an ongoing issue with transphobia in the media.
Lack of safety and rights
ILGA-Europe referred to the report Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE) published last year about the current state of the far right in Ireland. ILGA-Europe said the publication “identified a dozen far-right groups that target people due to their SOGI” (sexual orientation and gender identity). Included in the report were the Iona Institute, the Irish Freedom Party, the National Party, and Síol na hÉireann, amongst others.
The issue of transphobia in Ireland is also a cause for concern. ILGA-Europe described it as “a serious issue”, pointing to the inclusion of Stella O’Malley at a teachers’ conference last May and then when the following month Liveline platformed members of an anti-trans group for a number of days. The role of the Irish Times also comes in for mention, with the report pointing out that the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) no longer works with the paper “over its transphobic articles”.
ILGA-Europe also sees the lack of appropriate healthcare for trans people as a problem. The report argues that trans youth are “the worst impacted”. This is because there’s “no clinic to which young trans people can be referred”. This finding is further backed up by a study from last year in which “Ireland ranked last among EU countries on trans-specific healthcare provision”. This is confirmed by the work of Jessica Black who’s written extensively for The Beacon on the state of trans healthcare in Ireland.
Going on, ILGA-Europe also voiced its concern with hate crimes against LGBTQIA+ people in Ireland, highlighting a number of homophobic attacks. Along similar lines the far right’s targeting of a Drag Storytime event in July was also mentioned as part of the wider pattern noted elsewhere.
Attacks for “political gain”
In launching the report ILGA-Europe argued that “2022 was the most violent year for LGBTI people across the region in the past decade, both through planned, ferocious attacks and through suicides in the wake of rising and widespread hate speech from politicians, religious leaders, right-wing organisations and media pundits”. Now in its 12th year of reporting, ILGA-Europe argued that the attacks on LGBTQIA+ people, both physical and vocal, have been “driven and then exploited for political gain”.
Going on, ILGA-Europe’s Executive Director, Evelyne Paradis, said that anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric isn’t just found in “countries where hate speech is rife, but also in countries where it is widely believed that LGBTI people are progressively accepted”. And she called on leaders “to to find ways to proactively fight the rise of hate speech” instead of reacting after the fact.
Featured image via ILGA-Europe – Screenshot