Proposed Bills Threatens the Safety of LGBTQ+ Youth

Apr 25, 2024

Proposed Bills Threaten the Safety of LGBTQ+ Youth

By Madeline Ng, WEAVE staff
April 25, 2024

The impact of political discrimination, social stigmas, and intersectionality of marginalized identities puts the LGBTQ+ community at greater risk of sexual violence. This risk was obvious last year with a record-setting 510 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced into state legislatures resulting in the Human Rights Campaign to declare, a National State of Emergency for LGBTQ+ Americans. The proposed bills threatened the safety of LGBTQ+ youth and increased violence towards the LGBTQ+ community. Nationwide, 70% of LGBTQ+ folks have been sexually harassed at work and 66% were afraid to tell their employer. Even with California’s gender identity non-discrimination protections, the state ranks 3rd for highest number of fatalities in the LGBTQ+ community.

Sexual violence impacts LGBTQ+ survivors disproportionately higher than other communities. According to the Center for Disease Control, one in eight lesbian women, one in two bisexual women, two in five gay men, one in two bisexual men, and one in two transgender folks have experienced a form of sexual violence in their lifetime. While gender identity and sexual orientation are primary factors in these statistics, there are layers of identity such as race, ethnicity, language, and socioeconomic status that create further barriers to access care or intervention. For example, 53% of Black transgender women have experienced a form of sexual violence in their lifetime. The reality is that survivors are whole people with intersecting identities which can be barriers to reporting or accessing resources.

Barriers experienced by survivors of sexual violence may include fear of not being believed, fear of retaliation, and feelings of shame and guilt. LGBTQ+ survivors face additional barriers such as cultural heterosexism and gender-based violence. For example, if a person is not out to their family and friends, they may not feel that they can safely disclose their experience. Transgender folks fear gender-based violence from law enforcement or medical providers if they report. Folks in the LGBTQ+ community who have experienced sexual violence and want to access care fear they will not be treated in a gender-affirming way.

Sacramento has one of the highest LGBTQ+ populations per capita, ranking 7th in major U.S. cities and 3rd in California. The LGBTQ+ community in Sacramento, and all over our country, need and deserve allyship and violence prevention more than ever before. So, how do we help the LGBTQ+ community and prevent sexual violence from ever happening?

First, educating the community on affirmative consent, what healthy relationships look like, and how to create inclusive environments for all is essential for future generations of LGBTQ+ folks. Second, educating community members and professionals on affirming and trauma-informed care for LGBTQ+ folks so that every survivor feels comfortable, safe, and believed. Third, changing the Sacramento community’s culture to prevent violence for everyone and to see sexual violence as a community issue requiring a community response.

WEAVE, Sacramento’s primary provider of crisis intervention services for folks experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, and sex trafficking, commits to these actions and provides services for all people and all identities. WEAVE has partnered with the Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, Midtown Association, and the City of Sacramento in promoting and offering WEAVE’s free training program Pride, Pronouns, and Progress. The training provides an overview of LGBTQ+ identities, ways for establishments to have more inclusive language and practices, and how to support LGBTQ+ staff, clients, and customers.

To schedule a free training for Pride, Pronouns, and Progress, email Madeline Ng at If you are a survivor in need of immediate support, WEAVE is here for you. Call WEAVE’s 24/7 support and information line at (916) 920-2952 or visit to use our chat feature.

This resource is supported in whole or in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.