In June 1969, LGBTQI+ individuals and allies protested the Stonewall Inn raid serving as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States. Yet, decades later many Americans are still having to fight. According to an analysis of National Crime Victimization Survey data, in about 1 in 5 violent hate crime victimizations, victims believed the hate crime was motivated by bias against persons or groups they were associated with (23%) or by bias against their sexual orientation (20%). During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Pride Month, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) joins President Biden in standing “with every LGBTQI+ American in the ongoing struggle against intolerance, discrimination, and injustice.” We are proud to contribute to this administration’s efforts to advance equity through important initiatives that protect the rights of victims who identify as LGBTQI+, and support them with trauma-informed, victim-centered services.
One of the most vulnerable populations within the wider LGBTQI+ community is transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals, particularly transgender women and girls of color, who face epidemic levels of violence, discrimination, and stigma. One way we hope to better serve them is through the FY 2022 Responding to Transgender Victims of Crime solicitation. This solicitation will fund the creation of a toolkit that helps service providers improve their response to transgender victims through trauma-informed and culturally responsive approaches. This toolkit will update and expand upon the information contained in an existing OVC guide, with up-to-date definitions and understandings of the issues that transgender victims face. It will recognize, for instance, that violence aimed at transgender individuals may not only include sexual assault, but also harassment, physical assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, and other violent crimes. The Grants.gov deadline is this week—June 1, 2022.
Other OVC FY 2022 solicitations can be leveraged to prioritize the safety and dignity of LGBTQI+ individuals within a larger project scope. For example, one of OVC’s FY 2022 field-generated solicitations will fund innovative approaches to increasing service options and expanding access for unheard and underrepresented communities, including the LGBTQI+ community. The Grants.gov deadline is June 28, 2022. View this solicitation and others on OVC’s website.
These programs are consistent with my main priorities for OVC: to increase options and expand access for all victims of crime. This Pride Month, we ask you to join us as we remember the victims of these hate crimes and bias-motivated assaults and honor those who, in their efforts to protect and serve our most vulnerable communities, carry forward the legacy of Stonewall.