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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 A typical — if somewhat outdated — story used for main characters who are styled to be homophobic is to explore how they and others respond to such hateful actions carried out.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.

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 of the ad is "Love Over Bias".

    Anime & Manga 
  • 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.
  • 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).

    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 Camp 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.
  • 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.

    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 and killed by the townsfolk for being gay. Ennis suspects his father was one of the perpetrators.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 attracted to him.
  • In the 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.

  • 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.


    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.

    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.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Queerphobic Hate Crime


Watchmen- Silhouette Killed

Silhouette and her girlfriend are brutally killed for being gay.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / BuryYourGays

Media sources:

Main / BuryYourGays