The numbers would appear to tell their own story. According to the Huffpost Gay Voices, 2011 saw the highest number of anti-gay murders reported in the United States since records started being collected in 1998.
30 anti-gay murders were reported in the United States in 2011 alone, and 22 in 2009!!
That 2011 number alone is higher than the entire anti-gay murders we know about in Uganda in 20 years.
Of course numbers can be deceptive. One must recognize, for instance, that the United States likely has a better reporting mechanism, suggesting that the disturbing numbers reflect a better reporting than exists in Uganda, for instance.
While the findings are disturbing enough, keep in mind that such statistics are notoriously under-reported, with many law enforcement agencies not collecting, reporting, or recognizing anti-LGBT animus in violent crimes or including crimes in which perceived (not actual) sexual orientation or gender identity are factors.
Nonetheless, the report admits that the statistics in America are also underreported, suggesting that the actual reality is more stark than what we are reading. So, such statistics should make America show some introspection when they try to hold the moral high ground on gay rights in comparison to, say, Uganda.
Crudely put, America needs to take the speck out of its anti-gay eye before it runs around gnashing her teeth about how Uganda is the worst place to be gay.
Whenever I tell my American friends that I, a gay man, have decided to live in Uganda, they almost always proceed to express fear about how I am going to be killed the moment I get off the plane. The truth couldn’t be further from their assumptions of course.
Make no mistake, I or any other gay man in Uganda could fall victim to an anti-gay attack. But the likelihood of that happening if I mind my own business is actually lower, in comparison, than if I were a gay man in Washington, DC’s Anacostia, Chicago’s South Side or middle America’s Wyoming.
On that sobering note, I am going to send this post to all my American friends who still hesitate whenever I invite them to Uganda to visit. They could do infinitely worse by visiting Wyoming if the numbers from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs are anything to go by.
- Gay groups angry Kansas anti-sodomy law remains on books
- Uganda Becoming More Tolerant to Gays – HIV testing the next frontier (sebaspace.wordpress.com)
- Gay Activists Say Uganda Becoming More Tolerant (voanews.com)
- The VOA and PBS put out conflicting reports on Ugandan gay life (sebaspace.wordpress.com)
- Anderson Cooper Chats With Anti-Gay Worley Adherent: VIDEO (towleroad.com)