This article was published on August 6th, 2022
It’s easy to think about Pride and have an overwhelming sense of joy. After all, many people fought to bring us together and give us the right to celebrate who we are. But it leaves us questioning, “are we overhyping the month?”
In the following stories you will learn how pride is overshadowing the hardship we still face daily. In these true stories you will learn shocking statistics and numbers confirming the need for greater support our community every day of the year. Please be advised that these are true stories, that are lived by real people in our community.
Scott Backman is a Los Angeles based gay man and a victim of domestic abuse. His relationship with his partner was seriously messed up from the day they met. At the time he was not able to notice it, but as he has grown older, he looks back and realizes something wasn’t right from the beginning.
His partner would verbally and physically abuse him. After the horrific beatings and ugly names that would leave him bruised and confused, his partner would come with a heartfelt apology. Tears running down his eyes he would present Scott with a gift.
Scott was 23 when his partner began abusing him. Slowly the beating became the norm and Scott felt they were nothing out of the ordinary, until one day his partner crossed the line.
The couple was leaving a bar and Scott’s boyfriend was attacking him. He received multiple punches before arriving back home. he ran up to his apartment and locked his boyfriend outside. His boyfriend broke down the door and started to catapult different objects towards him, including glass that shattered and fell around him.
Finally, a nearby neighbor phoned the police. His boyfriend was taken into custody. Luckily, Scott was able to have his voice heard about his domestic abuse. However, shortly after his boyfriend was released from jail for the domestic abuse, Scott took him back and the cycle repeated.
Why is this such a common occurrence in our community? We talk about Pride being a momentous occasion, yet we fail to recognize that we are still fighting internal monsters that make it difficult for us to ask for help from those we love in abusive situations. In Scott’s case, he was more comfortable staying with a partner who beat him than telling his parents that he was gay.
We live in a world where there is increasing pressure on our community. We are less welcome that ever before by a growing group of the population. The same group of people that will fail to treat us like people or hear our concerns. The same group of people who make us fear coming out of the closet only to enter another.
Imagine being forced to live a life that you don’t identify with. That is what happened to Suzie. A trans woman who was pushed into marrying a woman by her family. She had the perfect job and anyone on the outside looking in would tell her, “Your life is perfect.” Finally, after years of hiding her true self, she got up the courage to tell the one person she thought loved her the most. Instead of being welcomed into her new life and accepted, she was thrust into denial.
Upon telling her wife that she was a trans man, her wife began to abuse her and make her feel less than human. The abuse began as verbal, “don’t wear pink, only pansies wear pink” but quickly progressed to physical abuse. Suzie was beaten by her wife and told that if she decides to live her life as her true self, she will also lose her home and kids.
Suzie tried to speak to her family, but they all told her to continue her life as the man she was ’meant’ to be. Suzie continued her life until one day she couldn’t anymore. She looked for help from a local shelter, but the only help she could find was a shelter for LGBTQ+ people.
Suzie felt relieved, but only after all the physical and emotional pain had been inflicted on her.
Stories like these are all too normal. Society still does not accept us for who we are, and others like Suzie experience emotional an physical pain daily. The cries of our community fall on deaf ears as people act like we do not exist, or that we should exist only how they would like for us to.
Abuse is not an isolated incident for heterosexuals. Domestic abuse runs more rampant in our community. However, because of the constraints placed on us and the fear we live in, sometimes it is hard for us to reach out for help.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic violence 45% of gay, bi, trans and non-binary individuals in a domestic relationship will not report the violence. From the 55% that do report the violence, less than 5% will seek prospective court orders for their safety. They simply believe it will not help them. They are right in most aspects because history has shown us that people treat us differently.
In the United Kingdom, a trans woman was raped. There was video evidence but when she went to the hospital, the police intended to drop the case because, “she was man.”
When such hardships occur and we see them publicized, why would we make the case that we need help?
Her story is one of many, but people seem to forget that although we are no longer living in the 70’s or 80’s, these events still happen. It is none other than oppression still present today.
If you are stuck in an abusive relationship, you can seek the help you need. First remember that no matter your situation, you are not stuck. People around the world are willing to help you improve your situation.
Below is a list of resources to get the help you need before your situation worsens.
If you are living in the USA and need help you can contact the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and view their resources.
If you are living in the UK you can contact Galop for help in your situation. The UK’s leading LGBTQ+ charity runs three hotlines and is always willing to lend an ear.
If you live in Canada you can refer to It Gets Better to find an appropriate number for immediate help if you are in crisis.
Are you located in Australia and need help with domestic violence in a LGBTQ+ relationship. You can connect with Reach Out for a wide range of LGBTQ+ services.
Last but not least, if you reside in New Zealand you can look on Health Navigator for a range of services to help you when in difficult situations of domestic abuse.