LGBTQ+ Dating Violence
Love is Love. And Abuse is Abuse.
Day One supports people of all gender expressions. That’s why we use “they” pronouns here. No matter your sexual identity or gender expression, love is love.
Unfortunately, the same can be said of abuse. Abuse is abuse, and members of the LGBTQ+ community are not immune to dating violence. In fact, dating violence is more prevalent in LGBTQ+ relationships than in heterosexual relationship. One study* found that teens who identified as LGBTQ+ were more likely to report experiencing physical dating violence, emotional abuse, digital abuse and harassment, and sexual coercion than their heterosexual peers.
While some signs of abuse are the same in any relationship, there are certain red flags or means of coercion and control that are specific to LGBTQ+ relationships.
An abusive partner in an LGBTQ+ relationship may:
Threaten to out their partner to individuals or groups who do not know they are LGBTQ+
Use their ability to “pass” as a way to discredit their partner
Claim that their behavior is not abusive because men can’t abuse men, or women can’t abuse women
Mock a transgender partner’s body or physical appearance
Use offensive pronouns, like “it,” to refer to a transgender partner
Withhold hormones from a transgender partner who is physically transitioning
Question or judge their partner’s sexual identity or gender expression (saying they’re not a “real” femme, butch, man, woman, etc.)
Reinforce internalized homophobia, biphobia, or transphobia
For LGBTQ+ individuals who are experiencing abuse, there can be additional hurdles to finding support. Some people are not yet out to their families and others in their support network. Some don’t have access to programs and services that are designed to help those in abusive relationships. Others may not even realize they’re experiencing abuse, since LGBTQ+ relationships are not discussed as regularly in their school’s curriculum.
If you are in an LGBTQ+ relationship and see your partner exhibiting any of the red flags listed above, know that you do not have to face this alone. The team at Day One is here to help.
*This 2013 study from the Urban Institute polled nearly 4,000 youth in grades 7 to 12 in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.