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Homophobic Hate Crime

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"On Lou's lips a trace of pinot and out of them poured tales of acts of viciousness worthy of the great Lucifer himself, stories told through the night, the tortures, the beatings, the broken bones, every school has its Tigellinus, but his had more than one and each with followers, all-American boys who delighted in discovering how much pain a soul could withstand, [...] It gets better, Doc, fucking gets better, no one dared suggest that maybe the family and the school should change, or heaven forbid, that it was the all-Americans who should be modifying their beings, no, the homo should grin and bear it dumbly..."
The Angel of History, Rabih Alameddine

There are people who think that being LGBT+ is wrong, but not just wrong enough to avoid these people. No, they believe they must take it upon themselves to punish and harm gay people, or even try to wipe them off the face of the Earth. This is wrong. Please don't do this.

A way to create drama is to take a character from your show and put them in one of these two roles: bigot or gay. Then create or define another character in the other role, and set them at each other. It almost writes itself. A typical, if somewhat outdated, story used for main characters who are styled to be homophobic is to explore how they and others respond to such hateful actions carried out. A similarly typical, but much less historical, story for gay characters is if they can recover from the trauma, being one in a short list of gay-tailored plots that are often the only things handed out to gay characters.


If looking for an interesting way to Bury Your Gays that actually takes all the attention and fallout away from the LGBT+ character, this is a great way to instead launch into a police investigation or some tract on how homophobia in general is wrong, or how the act of violence is responded to by all the straight characters.

Fear of, or recovery from, this kind of incident is often a source of Gayngst. Note that it can also happen to characters who are only Mistaken for Gay.

Super Trope to Rape and Switch, being the idea of "corrective rape".

See also the Heteronormative Crusader and the Armored Closet Gay. When this gets out-of-hand and becomes ingrained into society, you may be looking at people who see it as a Final Solution. It can overlap with Disposable Sex Worker, from the trope of queer folk and particularly trans women who are often depicted as sex workers and punished for this.



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  • Implied in a Proctor and Gamble ad featuring a Mom comforting her very effeminate preteen son who comes home from school with a black eye. The slogan? Love Over Bias.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Subverted in Wandering Son. In another manga by Shimura, Yuki mentions to a man that one of her friends was killed by her boyfriend when he learned she was transgender. Both several in-series and real life years later, this is brought up in Wandering Son. It turns out the woman is fine and is the "mama" of a gay bar, which Nitori begins working at because she doesn't know where else to find a job that will let her dress as a female. The woman is offended that Yuki would spread lies about her (and that she called her "ugly").

    Comic Books 
  • Green Lantern: One story arc featuring Green Lantern Kyle Rayner is kicked off when Kyle's gay friend Terry is hospitalized after being attacked by homophobes.
  • Watchmen: In the backstory, Watchmen member Silhouette was outed as lesbian and thrown out of the group (which apparently ran on a version of "don't ask, don't tell", as at least two other members were believed to be gay but nobody said anything), then murdered along with her lover for being gay. This is briefly shown in the film's opening montage.
  • Anderson: Psi-Division: In "Half-Life", a flamboyantly gay television host on pre-apocalypse Deadworld makes a pass at Judge Death during a live show, saying he fancies men in uniforms. This pisses off Death enough that he immediately executes him. However, Judge Death is a psychopath who hates all life. If the guy didn't make a pass at him, he'd probably have been executed for wearing a tacky bow-tie or something.

    Fan Works 
  • Marc's Dark and Troubled Past in Mon Arc-en-Ciel is that he suffered from this before he was moved to Collége François Dupont, sporting various scars from when he was nearly beaten to death for being gay. Just to rub salt in the wound, the guy that led the assault was Marc's then crush.
  • RWBY: Scars: Ruby and Yang's short in chapter 78 shows that Ruby suffered transphobic bullying at Signal. This was one of the reasons her sister Yang decided to teach her hand-to-hand fighting moves.
  • Downplayed in the Pokémon anime oneshot Innocence. It revolves around people making homophobic comments about the flamboyant Cilan. Ash, being a sheltered ten year old, doesn't understand the meaning behind the taunts and has to have everything explained.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Boys Don't Cry, a group of men believe that trans male Brendan is a lesbian and beat him up then rape him for this idea in general, and also because they think he's "stealing" and "corrupting" their girls.
  • XXY: After it is let slip by an ex that Alex is intersex, a group of local boys decide to see if this is true by stalking and then attacking her on the beach. After performing an Outfit-Rip Sex Check one throws her against a rock, and appear as if they are going to continue before being discovered and shouted off.
  • The Doom Generation ends with the main characters being murdered by Neo-Nazis while engaged in a bisexual threesome.
  • Brokeback Mountain:
    • Jack dies in an "accident" that Ennis, Jack's male lover, suspects was actually a hate crime.
    • As a child Ennis's father took him to see the body of a man who was tortured by the townsfolk for being gay.
  • At the end of Tangerine, transgender streetwalker Sin-Dee is is attacked by a transphobic potential customer who steals her wig, dumps a drink on her, and calls her slurs.
  • Multiple examples in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Early on, the residents of a town the characters travel through doesn't take kindly to having a bus full of drag queens around, and vandalizes their tour bus with homophobic slurs. Later on, Adam flirts in drag with some men in another small town, who beat him up and attempt to do much worse when they find out he is a man. Fortunately, Bernadette and Tick rescue him before too much damage is done.
  • Chiron from Moonlight was bullied from childhood in part because the other boys thought he was gay. In high school his main bully Terrel convinces his Only Friend (and love interest) Kevin to beat him up. Afterwards, Terrel and his friends proceed to beat Chiron up even more. A few days later Chiron goes to school and hits Terrel with a chair. This gets him sent to juvie.
  • The plot of the 1983 Canadian film Self Defense is set in motion when members of a neo-fascist hate group known as the New Order attempt to hold up a gay bar. After hurling slurs left and right at the patrons, the bartender attempts to fight back, but the neo-fascists corner him and attempt to sodomize him with a baseball bat until he accidentally rolls off the table and is impaled on a broken liquor bottle. Panicking, the neo-fascists then decide to execute all the witnesses, but one of them manages to escape and takes refuge in a nearby apartment block.
  • Normal (2003) is about a middle-aged transgender woman named Ruth transitioning in a small Midwestern America town. She faces a lot of trouble, including graffiti on her car and getting attacked by co-workers at the factory she works at.
  • Valentine Road is a documentary about a boy who was killed by his 14-year old classmate because he asked him to be his Valentine.
  • Hurricane Bianca:
    • After getting fired for being gay, Richard leaves his apartment for a while. When he returns, he finds the entire place trashed and graffitied with slurs.
    • There's also a gay student at Richard's school who is beaten up nearly every day because of his sexuality. The school administrators don't do anything about it.

  • Whateley Universe:
    • Some of the bullies on campus attack Pounce for his effeminate appearance, calling him a "fairy" or a "fag" in the process.
    • Marty Penn is a boy who turns into a girl to use his powers, and is slowly turning into a girl. When this is revealed, some bullies deliberately knock her out to reverse the transformation.
    • Ayla is a boy who, by involuntary magical transformation, happens to have a female upper body and look very feminine, getting attacked for that.
  • It's mentioned that as a kid, trans boy J from I Am J would frequently get into fights with boys because they thought he was a lesbian.
  • In Christian Nation, the Evangelical Christian theocratic government of America made it legal to kill gays, going so far as to bombing a gay community in San Francisco and calling it "divine justice", and also having Sanjay, a gay person whom they see as The Antichrist, publicly stoned in prison on national television.
  • In Patience And Sarah, Sarah's normally passive father reacts negatively to learning that she's unashamedly in love with Patience. He slaps her several times across the face so hard that she bruises.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Sopranos, the murder of Vito Spatafore by Phil Leotardo and his men was motivated by Leotardo's homophobia and the homophobic culture of the Sicilian mafia in general. This one's especially wrenching because of the cold-blooded way the whacking is carried out and the look on poor Vito's face when he realizes that he is going to die.
  • 20 Minutes: Melek first meets Ozgur after he is accosted and beaten by men yelling homophobic slurs outside her business. Although Melek is accepting of his identity and essentially brings him into her family, she agrees to keep it a secret — even from her husband — as he fears he will be assaulted again.
  • Behzat Ç:
    • In one episode, the team investigates a series of crimes targeting transgender women, who are snatched off the street at night, beaten by their abductors, then left for dead on the side of the road.
    • A third-season episode of the series features the murder of a gay woman by a male Abhorrent Admirer, who kills her after she repeatedly rejects his advances (she already has a girlfriend) and his "generous" offer to "fix" her by paying for conversion therapy.
  • Some episodes in the Law & Order franchise follow this trope. Notably one episode of SVU had a gay man raping and in one instance causing the death of other gay men who could pass as straight when he himself could not.
  • Averted in Pose to the relief of the many fans who spent time speculating on which trans character was doomed because of this trope.
  • Cucumber: In episode 6, Lance Sullivan, the protagonist's love interest is violently killed by having his head smashed with a golf club. The motive was homophobia.

  • Rod Stewart's The Killing of Georgie (Part I & II) was inspired by the Real Life murder of a gay friend during the 1970s.

  • The Laramie Project is a Dramatization of the aftermath of the death of Matthew Sheppard, an openly gay college student who was murdered because of his sexuality in 1997.

    Web Comics 
  • In Khaos Komix, Tom and Charlie (a trans man and a trans woman respectively) were assaulted as teenagers by bullies. They beat them up, cut off Charlie's hair, and threatened to rape Tom. The incident led to both Tom and Charlie's parents moving away.

    Real Life 
  • One well-known example is the death of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man who was tortured and left to die in rural Wyoming in 1998 due to his sexuality. This incident led to the expansion of federal legislation, known as the Matthew Shepard Act, to include sexual orientation in the definition of hate crime.
  • Another fairly well-known example is the 1995 murder of Scott Amedure, a gay man who appeared on an episode of The Jenny Jones Show where he confessed to having a crush on an acquaintance named Jonathan Schmitz. Schmitz, who was soon found to have a long-standing history of mental illness, reacted violently to this and shot Amedure dead in his home. Schmitz was subsequently tried and found guilty of second-degree murder, and the victim's family later sued the show's producers for wrongful death, but the case was overturned by the Michigan Court of Appeals.
  • Venus Xtravaganza, a trans drag performer/sex worker profiled in the film Paris Is Burning, was murdered whilst the documentary was being filmed. Her murder is still unsolved but it is generally thought that she was killed by one of her clients when he discovered she was trans.

Alternative Title(s): Queerphobic Hate Crime


Example of: