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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..."
Rabih Alameddine, The Angel Of History

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.

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 A typical — if somewhat outdated — story used for main characters who are styled to be homophobic is to explore how they and others respond to such hateful actions carried out.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 you're looking to Bury Your Gays in a way 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.

Sub-Trope to Hate Crimes Are a Special Kind of Evil. Compare Rape and Switch, specifically 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.note  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. Also remember, this trope only applies if bigotry was a motivating factor in the commission of the crime; this does not apply to any and all violent crime against a member of a sexual minority. If the perpetrator is Equal-Opportunity Evil or Hates Everyone Equally, they probably don't count.


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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 of the ad is "Love Over Bias".

    Anime & Manga 
  • Downplayed in Kanojo ni Naritai Kimi to Boku. Akira gets teased by her classmates and mocked for being "gay" behind her back. To deal with this, her Childhood Friend Hime starts wearing a male uniform to make Akira feel less alone. It backfires a bit because it's considered crossdressing (though Hime is still allowed to wear the uniform).
  • Wandering Son:
    • Subverted. In another manga by Takako 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").
    • Downplayed. Throughout the series, Nitori receives homophobic and transphobic bullying. Mako, Takatsuki, and Yuki (as a child) also receive some.

    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.

    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.
  • CucumberPlane’s Adventures in an Extended Existential Crisis: A noblewoman who attempted to court Shen Qingqiu, has Shen Qingqiu and Shang Qinghua thrown in prison and tries to have them executed when she mistook the latter two for lovers.
  • The religious cult God's Will First in With Pearl and Ruby Glowing rape, torture, and sometimes kill people who are deemed to be "sinning", and being gay, transgender or even asexual can get someone targeted.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Adam (2019): A trans woman named Nelly who Casey knows is killed offscreen by a man whom she hooked up with (after her gender was revealed), devastating her.
  • 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.
  • Blood of the Tribades: The priests kill two women in the lake who are nude and splashing each other. Although not explicitly a couple, it's really clear the mere suspicion they are is the motive. Later Élisabeth and Fantine, a lesbian couple, are discovered together by them. They're murdered as a result too. Even the film title references it: "tribade" is an old term for lesbian.
  • In Boys Don't Cry, a group of men believe that trans male Brandon 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. This film was based on the real-life murder case of Brandon Teena (see Real Life below).
  • 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 and killed by the townsfolk for being gay. Ennis suspects his father was one of the perpetrators.
  • The Doom Generation ends with the main characters being murdered by Neo-Nazis while engaged in a bisexual threesome.
  • Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives: It's mentioned that the police used to beat up or rape lesbians with impunity, and the numerous hate crimes toward the Metropolitan Community Church (an LGBT-affirming denomination) are also detailed.
  • Higher Learning: The Neo-Nazis beat up a couple queer guys on campus (or at least, they assume they're this) near the end of the film.
  • 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.
  • The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love: Discussed. Evie expresses her fear about being beaten up assuming she was open regarding her relationship with Randy. Later in the film, Randy does get attacked by Wendy's husband, though it's as much for Wendy cheating with her as them being a same-sex couple.
  • Island of Death: Serial killers Christopher and Celia commit two of these over the course of the film. Firstly, they break into a gay couple's house on their wedding night, stabbing one of them to death and forcing the other to fellate a pistol before shooting him in the head. Secondly, Christopher beats a local lesbian bartender unconscious, injects her with a lethal dose of heroin, and burns her face off.
  • It: Chapter Two: Three homophobic young thugs beat up a couple gay men then toss one from a bridge in the opener.
  • A Kid Like Jake: Downplayed. Jake gets bullied by the other kids for his femininity. At his 5th birthday, another boy pushes him and calls him a "flag".
  • Knock At The Heart: Andrew was hit over the head with a bottle by a man in a bar who'd overhead him discussing his relationship with his boyfriend Eric. Due to this, he grew paranoid and resentful toward people. When the strangers come to the cabin, he at first suspects it's because of him and Eric. This turns out to not be true, though one of them is the same man who'd attacked him.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Rafiki: Kena and Ziki are beated up by homophobes once they get outed as being lesbians. It's also mentioned earlier that LGBT+ people in Kenya are frequently victims of these, such as corrective rape with queer women (although they thankfully escape this), and murder too.
  • The Retreat (2021): The antagonists kidnap and murder gays or lesbians due to their violent homophobia.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Watchmen: In the opening montage, it's shown how Silhouette and her girlfriend were murdered as a result of being lesbians, with "Lesbian Whores" written on the wall over their bodies.
  • 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.

  • Leo from The Art of Being Normal is a trans boy who transferred schools because of a hate crime. A few people at his school led him into the woods, slashed his clothes, and tried to shred off his chest binder.
  • Downplayed with the effeminate and Ambiguously Gay Ducky from The Baby-Sitters Club California Diaries spinoff books. On more than one occasion, Ducky is taunted and called a "wimp". One boy even implies that other guys tease Ducky behind his back about seeming gay (though that word is never used).
  • 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.
  • Even If We Break: A few months prior to the story, Finn was badly beaten in a fight with transphobic bullies. He thought Liva, who was walking nearby, would stand up for him, but she didn't. Finn was so angry and hurt by the betrayal that he hasn't gone to any of their roleplaying group's meetings in the last few months.
  • Gracefully Grayson: The day trans girl Grayson is supposed to star in the school play as Persephone, bullies Tyler and Ryan chase her down and shove her down a flight of stairs, fracturing her wrist. She appears on stage later that day, wearing a pink cast with her costume.
  • 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.
  • The infamous gang assault on openly gay Adrian Mellon in It, set in 1985 (which of course, leads to Monster Clown Pennywise getting him). Author Stephen King has gone on record saying it was directly inspired by a Real Life homophobic hate crime in 1984.note 
  • The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali: Sohail, a closeted gay man in Bangladesh who Rukhsana befriends and gets fake engaged to, is killed by extremists as a result of his sexuality.
  • The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester: Sam and their dad used to live in Montana, but moved to Oregon after Sam was attacked by transphobic classmates who almost strangled them to death with a zip tie on their eighteenth birthday. The teachers and the police dismissed it as a prank, and the attackers suffered no consequences.
  • 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. Throughout the next week, Sarah tries to visit Patience, but her father beats her each time. His attempts at dissuading her don't work and Sarah eventually moves to New York with Patience.
  • 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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.
  • And Then There Were None (2015): Inspector Blore's great crime is having beaten a suspect to death in his holding cell because the suspect was a homosexual.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Equal: Being gay-bashed was a constant threat in the early 1950s. The police were at the time no help whatsoever, very often targeting gay men to arrest and ruin them. Some homophobes even went so far as to murder gays, as did some cops.
  • Foyle's War: In "The Eternity Ring", a traumatized soldier learns that his son is working at a gay bar and beats up the first man who exits—that happens to be Valentine, one of Foyle's colleagues at MI-5. Valentine survives, though he has to be hospitalized for a few days. Foyle (who has eschewed homophobia in the past) agrees to keep Valentine's secret.
  • The Handmaid's Tale: Systematic in Gilead. LGBT people are called "gender traitors" and can be executed, with the exception of those women who are fertile, in which case they become Handmaids. However, when lesbian Handmaids have affairs with other women, they may suffer clitoridectomy as punishment. Even prior to this, such crimes rose with the Sons of Jacob's upsergence, as a gay professor was murdered with the same label of "gender traitor" on a placard around his neck. While on the run June also comes across a ghost town with the same graffitied on homes and businesses of LGBT people near broken windows.
  • In one Homicide: Life on the Street episode, Pembleton and Bayliss work the case of a man who was beaten by skinheads outside a gay bar and died soon after. One of the grimmer aspects of the case is that the victim's father is visibly more upset by his son being gay than being murdered. As it turns out, the victim was straight but not homophobic, and was just meeting friends near the club.
  • L.A.'s Finest: One case investigated, the murder of a trans woman, looks like it's possibly motivated by transphobia. This turns out to not be the case. Other trans people who the victim had known also speak of how common such hate crimes are, and some have suffered these before.
  • 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.
    • In another episode a man is believed to have killed his boyfriend, but it's later revealed he's Taking the Heat for his academic homophobe father. The father, once it's known he did commit the crime, tries to argue he was protecting his son from being raped, but is eventually pushed into admitting he knew his son was gay and having consensual sex, and really did kill the other man out of hate.
  • The L Word:
    • Max, while he was going by Moira and with Jenny on a road trip, gets assaulted by a man when he's presenting as a Butch Lesbian. Jenny rescues him by tasing the guy.
    • Maria, a homeless teenage girl, reveals to Alice in a letter she reads on TV that her gay brother was killed by a man he hit on.
  • After the Aryan Brotherhood's reputation takes a hit in Oz, Schillinger decides to reassert their power by gutting a gay inmate, stringing up his corpse in the prison gymnasium, and writing homophobic slurs with his blood.
  • Averted in Pose to the relief of the many fans who spent time speculating on which trans character was doomed because of this trope.
  • 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, and it is easily Leotardo's vilest moment.
  • Storm of the Century: Linoge reveals that one of the townspeople beat a gay man with two of his friends until he lost an eye because they felt embarassed of their attraction to him.
  • S.W.A.T. (2017): The opener for "Pride" has a man run down two LGBT+ guys who he encounters with his car. Then he murders another in police custody. At the end, he and others attack the large LA Pride event in trucks.
  • Tales from the Crypt: In "The Man Who Was Death" Jimmy Flood, a biker, murdered a man just for being gay. Niles kills him in a vigilante execution after he gets Off on a Technicality.
  • You Me Her: Due to a misunderstanding, Gabriel is accused of egging Alex's house (who's gay) as a hate crime due to homophobia. He's soon exonerated as he'd had an alibi though.

  • Rod Stewart's The Killing of Georgie (Part I & II) was inspired by the Real Life murder of a gay friend during the 1970s.
  • Holland is afraid this would happen if he holds a fan meeting and therefore doesn't do it to protect his fans.
  • After being accused of homophobia for some comparatively tame lyrics and skits on The Slim Shady LP, Eminem mocked the reaction in his later song "Criminal" by getting ten times worse. The song's first verse starts, "my words are like a dagger with a jagged edge, that'll stab you in the head, whether you're [...]", before delivering a Rhyming List of homophobic slurs, mocking the (likely homophobic) murder of Gianni Versace, before ironically declaring himself "a CRIMINAL!" for his lyrics. The joke is that Eminem isn't a criminal because he's not actually stabbing anybody in the head, but it was lost on many, and even many of those who understood the joke found it to be in poor taste. The song led to gay rights groups picketing him on the street wherever he performed, claiming his lyrics were hateful and encouraged homophobic assaults, a panic that only settled down somewhat after Eminem got a cosign from Elton John, who insisted that the song was satirical.


    Video Games 
  • Crusader Kings III features religious doctrines, and the majority of the religions in the game have the doctrine on homosexuality set to "shunned". This means that a character who is Forced Out of the Closet faces discrimination from their peers and loss of face from the general public. In religions where said doctrine is set to "criminal" the above-mentioned character could be arrested by their liege.
  • In Grand Theft Auto IV, one mission sees Niko dealing with a homophobe who's been threatening his openly gay friend Bernie. Said homophobe ends up attacking Bernie with a baseball bat while he's out on a jog, at which point Niko is tasked with killing him.

    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.
  • Rain: Rain (a trans girl), is attacked by her older sister in her sleep, who cuts her hair so that she'll have a harder time passing. There's also Todd, a bully at school who often beat up Rudy for being openly gay (to the point of breaking one of his ribs on at least on occasion) and tried to attack Chanel for being a lesbian (and was only stopped by Maria, who got expelled while Todd suffered no punishment).


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Queerphobic Hate Crime


Silhouette Killed

Silhouette and her girlfriend are brutally killed for being gay.

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Main / BuryYourGays

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