04 June 2010


A recent post highlighted Gail Mason's evaluation of hate crime statutes.

There is a different view in Speaking Out: Stopping Homophobic and Transphobic Abuse in Queensland (Melbourne: Australian Academic Press 2010) by Alan Berman & Shirleene Robinson, which reports on the persistence of homophobic attitudes and their impact on LGBTIQ people.

It draws on a survey of 1,100 homosexual, bisexual and transgendered peoples in Queensland, with the authors noting that 75%t of victims do not report incidents to authorities. That silence is attributed to a range of reasons. 9% feared further violence or discrimination, 16% do not believe their report would be dealt with fairly and 8% feared being outed (an outing that might be followed by further harassment).

Results of the survey include -
Received verbal abuse:

* 76% of males
* 69% of females
* 92% of transgender male to female people
* 55% of transgender female to male people

Physical assault without a weapon:

* 32% of males
* 15% of females
* 46% of transgender male to female people
* 45% of transgender female to male people

Physical attack with a weapon, knife, bottle or stone:

* 12% of males
* 6% of females
* 38% of transgender male to female people
* 9% of transgender female to male people
* 12% of other people
Co-author Alan Berman is reported as commenting that it is time the matter is taken seriously, including characterisation of gay hate crime as a criminal offence with tough penalties including jail time.
We've recommended two educational initiatives including targeting at all ages and levels of education, so that teachers are taught to be comfortable about teaching about sexual diversity in education, beginning at primary school. ...

You need to do all those sorts of things and media campaigns - Tasmania's had an anti-homophobia campaign that's paid for by the Tasmanian Government.

It would be sort of like the commercials for drug abuse or domestic violence, where you would have gay icons saying 'hey listen, this is just not on in modern Australia.