And in many ways it is: marriage equality, for example, begins next weekend, and it’s not uncommon to see two men or two women holding hands as they walk down Broadway.
Be that as it may, New York’s Division of Criminal Justice Services just released hate crime numbers that show attacks against LGBT people, specifically gay men, are on the rise.
There were 114 bias attacks against gay males in the state in 2010, a nearly 40 percent increase from 82 attacks in 2009, according to a new report from the state Division of Criminal Justice Services.
Offenses against gay men were the most commonly reported hate crime in 2010, followed closely by crimes against blacks and Jews.
Two-thirds of the hate crimes in New York City against gay men occurred in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Ejeris Dixon from the LGBT-centric Anti-Violence Project says that these numbers may reflect more reports of hate crime attacks, rather than more attacks themselves.
“What we would love to tease out is how much of it is an increase in people coming forward to report incidents or to receive support, and how much of it is an actual increase on violence,” he told WYNC. “When visibility of LGBT communities rises, people learn more about anti-violence projects and then report more often.”
Dixon also pointed out that if the numbers do indeed reflect more violence, and not more reports, it could represent a backlash against equality here, as well as the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal and other national efforts to include LGBT citizens.
Here’s the PDF of the Criminal Justice Services’ report.