Nearly 300 LGBTQ organizations and businesses responded to our inaugural LGBTQ Safe Spaces National Needs assessment. It’s simple: our spaces are under real attack, and have overwhelmingly faced anti-LGBTQ hate violence. Read this summary and help AVP take action.
Preliminary LGBTQ Safe Spaces National Needs Assessment Data Summary
Note: This is an early data release from the Safe Spaces Protection Project, and the data or analysis reflected here may change in the final report.
Survey Introduction & Respondent Overview
Parameters & Methodology
- Survey was built in record time in response to the growing threats and incidents of hate violence across the nation.
- The survey response was online only
- 276 US-based, LGBTQ+ organizations took the survey between December 12, 2022 and January 18, 2023
- Organizations representing the following categories were surveyed:
- LGBTQ-owned businesses, or that primarily target/serve the LGBTQ community
- LGBTQ serving healthcare, social services organizations
- LGBTQ serving community centers
- LGBTQ college & university groups
- LGBTQ-focused houses of worship, faith groups
- Online-only organizations did not answer questions about physical threats
- AVP representatives conducted phone and email outreach preceding and during the mentioned data collection period to eligible organizations identified via internet or community resources
Type of Organization or Business
- Respondents made up of various types of LGBTQ spaces, places and organizations.
- Nearly half of the organizations (45%) were healthcare, social service agencies or community centers
- Informal or formal groups were the next highest group, followed by houses of worship.
- Most organizations served the general LGBTQ population (72% approx.)
- Around one in ten serve primarily youth.
- Eight in ten of responding organizations are either in their own permanent physical location or co-located with another organization.
- One out of five are online-only organizations with no physical spaces.
- Around 1 in 10 borrow or visit non-LGBTQ-specific spaces.
- The majority of responding organizations came from cities, bearing similarities to the country’s population distribution.
- Responding organizations were well represented across Census Regions, with the highest response in the Northeast (where AVP is based)
Easy to Identify
- Most organizations surveyed indicated that they are very or somewhat easy to identify as LGBTQ+ organizations, while around ¼ of organizations reported being somewhat or very difficult to identify as LGBTQ+
- Organizations surveyed were of various sizes, as measured by the size of paid and volunteer workforces.
- One in ten were larger organizations with more than 25 people, while one in four had zero or one paid staff member.
- Just over a third of organizations surveyed reported a large volunteer base of 25 or higher.
National Needs Assessment Key Facts
Key Point 1: Around three out of five participating organizations experienced at least one anti-LGBTQ hate incident.
- Most of those were serial incidents, meaning more than one incident of the same type.
- While more experienced online violence than phone or in-person violence, nearly half of the respondents that experienced violence reported receiving both online and in-person/via phone.
- Three out of four organizations reporting anti-LGBTQ+ violence online received hateful social media messages.
- Out of organizations that had a physical presence or premises, one in four received hate mail, or suspicious or threatening packages, and one in five experienced protests.
- Half of the protests reported by reporting organizations were led by white nationalist/white supremacist anti-LGBTQ groups like the Proud Boys
Key point 2: While some organizations report helpful interactions with police when called, most did not report incidents to police – and those that did report few investigations.
- Many organizations opted not to report incidents to the police for various reasons.
- Those who did report to the police had mixed experiences. About as many organizations found the police helpful as found them unhelpful. Property damage incidents and harassment were most likely to be investigated.
- Police investigated fewer than half of the cases of harassing phone calls and hate mail.
- They filed reports in 63% of vandalism cases, but only around 40% of threats and harassment outside of the building, and in the case of protests, investigations were too few to enumerate.
Key Point 3: LGBTQ organizations need much more training and technology to face hate and violence, but don’t have the resources they need to implement them.
- Nearly half of the organizations utilize check-in measures, security cameras and training, around a quarter more would if they had the resources available.
- About a third of organizations (37.4%) have paid or volunteer security presence, but 60.2% more want it. Only a quarter have preparations for active shooter situations, but an additional half want them if they had resources.
- One in 20 has bulletproof glass, but half of all organizations who don’t have it would get it if they could.
- Seven out of ten organizations would improve their physical security with changes.
- Three out of four want additional training.
Key Point 4: 90% of LGBTQ organizations report the fear of future anti-LGBTQ hate occurring.
- The majority of responding organizations fear either more online hate or more threats of violence in their location in the future.
- Around 40%are concerned about physical violence happening to one of their staff members, protests or harassment inside their space, 60% fear harassment outside their space.
Encourage LGBTQ businesses, organizations and spaces in your area to take the survey if they haven’t already. We need every LGBTQ+ space counted.
Share this information with your friends, family and community. Let’s talk about the actual hate violence we face, and inspire folks to stand up!
Connect with the LGBTQ organizations in your area around safety planning and supporting community-led safety initiatives. We are all in this together to help keep ourselves safer.