Real Talk: Abuse

Relationships in the LGBT community are glorified. We have fought for our right to marry, to hold hands or kiss in public. Being able to flaunt your significant other is almost like a badge of honor in the community- it shows courage, success and confidence. However, by placing such weight on being in committed relationships, the LGBT community sometimes ignores the issues within relationships. It’s not all pride flags and owning a cat together

According to the CDC, people in queer relationships experience more violence and domestic abuse than heterosexuals, with 61 percent of bisexuals surviving domestic abuse or violence. The trans* community experiences much higher rates of abuse than any other category: nearly 1 in 5 have experienced domestic abuse due to their gender expression or identity.

There are a few factors that contribute to such high rates of domestic abuse, characterized by verbal, physical, mental, or emotional attacks. The National Domestic Violence Hotline put together a graphic to explain what abuse might look like in a non-heteronormative relationship.

There are a few ways that issues of power and control can appear in what seems like a healthy queer relationship:

  • Outing someone without their permission
  • Asking someone to prove their preferred identity
  • Making transphobic/homophobic/biphobic/sexist statements
  • Cutting contact with family or friends

If you are experiencing any of these, please call 1-800-799-SAFE or chat with someone on the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Domestic abuse looks different in a queer relationship than a heterosexual relationship. Recognizing the signs of abuse could save you or someone you love. Men can be abused just as much as women can abuse; an abuser’s sexual orientation doesn’t detract the damage they can do to a survivor.

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