LGBTQ news isn’t always positive, as these stories show.
Just like every other year, LGBTQ people fell victim to violence, hate speech, and discrimination. Documenting these stories not only helps to humanize statistics about hatred and discrimination, but they help other victims – many of whom are among this site’s readership – feel less alone.
Here are the top ten most shocking acts of hatred against LGBTQ people in 2019.
The father of a gay teen in Switzerland went to his son’s bedroom at night with a knife to try to kill him. The teen – “Seran M” – escaped but needed to be put in an induced coma and get stitches to his neck to survive.
He’s now living alone, but his post about the attack on Instagram got him more hatred, with comments like, “You are gay, you deserve it.”
The photo of Melania Geymonat covered in blood, looking defiantly at the camera as her date Chris was in tears behind her, shocked the world. The women were taking the bus and they were attacked by a group of teenage boys who initially asked them to kiss and “scissor” for them.
The misogynist and homophobic attack resulted in a few months of community service for one of the attackers.
West Virginia delegate Eric Porterfield appeared on a local TV station this past February and joked about how he would kill his kids if they came out as queer.
“If it was my son, I would probably take him hunting, I would take him fishing, then I’d see if he could swim,” he said, smiling.
Porterfield later claimed that he made his comments to “bait” liberals because liberals are just too sensitive when it comes to murdering children.
A group of five men saw Spencer Deehring and Tristan Perry holding hands in Austin, Texas, called them “f****ts,” and then beat and kicked them nearly to death.
The couple said that they wouldn’t stop holding hands in public.
The mother of a gay teen in Morgantown, West Virginia sued her son’s school district, saying they didn’t do enough to stop the bullies.
The violence escalated when one of the bullies raped the gay teen, and even then a teacher the teen confided in allegedly didn’t report the rape even though she was a mandatory reporter.
Alana Chen came out to a priest at her church when she was still in grade school, and he started “counseling” her and told her not to tell her parents. She then got involved in more formal conversion therapy.
She eventually stopped and spoke out against conversion therapy, and a few months later she drove to the woods and was found dead, likely from suicide.
“I think the church’s counsel is what led me to be hospitalized” for self-harm, said Chen before her death. “I’ve now basically completely lost my faith. I don’t know what I believe about God, but I think if there is a God, he doesn’t need me talking to him anymore.”
Thirty-seven men were beheaded in a mass execution earlier this year in Saudi Arabia, and five of them were reportedly executed because they allegedly had sex with another man.
One of the men who was already being detained on charges that he was a spy working for Iran allegedly confessed to having sex with four other men. One of the other men, who police said confessed to having sex with the spy, said that the confession was a complete fabrication.
When moms Tiffany and Albree Shaffer learned that their 18-month-old Callie June had stage 4 neuroblastoma, they set up a GoFundMe to help pay for medical expenses.
While they mostly got supportive comments from people who contributed, one person said they decided not to donate because the baby’s cancer was “God’s way of getting your attention that she needs a mommy and a daddy, not two mommies.”
The anonymous non-donor promised to pray for them.
Tennessee high school student Channing Smith was outed by a classmate, and several hours later he was dead.
The teen sent some messages that made it clear he was gay or bi to a male classmate, and another classmate posted them to Snapchat.
Smith lived in a county with a notoriously anti-LGBTQ prosecutor, who declined to press charges against anyone for the cyberbullying.
2020 presidential hopeful and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg faced homophobia from both liberals – like when the New Republic published a column calling him “Mary Pete” and saying he wanted to be sexually assaulted – and conservatives this past year.
While a lot of prominent evangelicals and conservatives denounced Buttigieg’s campaign, Sevier County (Tennessee) Commissioner Warren Hurst (R) took the cake, explaining how terrible America is to get people to “wake up.”
“We got a queer running for president, if that ain’t about as ugly as you can get,” Hurst said, with a toothpick in his mouth, getting laughs and applause.