How is sexual assault different in LBGTIQ communities?

How is sexual assault different in LBGTIQ communities?

  • A sexual assault is sometimes used as a hate-crime against a LBGTIQ person. A well-known example is Brandon Teena (Boys Don't Cry). Physical and sexual assault is a very real fear for some in the community, especially if they frequent gay bars or events and can be identified as queer or trans by homophobic people targeting places looking for "queers".
  • Male victims of sexual assault may have difficulty integrating their experience due to the myth that men cannot be raped. Male rape is also often minimized based on the stereotype that gay men are overly sexual beings who invite and want sexual contact all of the time.
  • Transgender individuals are often subject to the most brutal violence because of their cross-gender or gender-bending behavior, both by strangers and intimate partners. Transgender survivors may have unique physical needs and/or be particularly vulnerable to the physical and emotional trauma of sexual assault.
  • For bisexual individuals, sexual assault can impact their identity as bisexuals, for example, a bisexual woman who is raped by a man may feel afraid to tell her lesbian friends and blame her sexual identity for her vulnerability to the assault.
  • The experience of being sexually victimized by someone from within the LGBTIQ community may also have an extreme negative impact on the survivor's self-identity. It is not uncommon for a LGBTIQ survivor of an assault by another member of the community to want to "stop being gay."
  • Sexual assault within the context of an abusive relationship can be especially devastating for LGBTIQ survivors. The survivor may blame themselves for the assault, deny that it occurred, fear that no one will believe them and/or fear hostile law enforcement or service provider response.
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