Earlier in June, following America's worst terrorist attack since 9/11, hundreds lined London's busiest streets to openly mourn the victims of the Orlando nightclub massacre. It was an outpouring of love, not just for those who lost their lives inside Pulse Nightclub, but also for those who identify as LGBT all over the world. "Love is love" read most banners. "United against LGBT hate" read others.
Yet despite this show of support for the LGBT community, homophobic attacks in Britain have increased.
On June 23, Britain sent shock waves around the world by voting to leave the European Union. Since Brexit, attacks in the U.K. have risen by 147 percent, according to figures published by anti-violence charity Galop.
Galop's hate crime report from 2016 shares data on homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in Britain. It is based on a survey of 467 LGBT people. According to the report, four in five LGBT people have, at some point in their lives, experienced a hate crime. The report suggests that in the first three months after Brexit, the number of homophobic attacks across Britain more than doubled, compared with the same time last year. Half of those who reported a homophobic incident to the police said they did not feel satisfied with the outcome.
Galop's chief executive, Nik Noone, said: "Our ambition is that this report educates, raises awareness and gives insight into experiences of hate crime, support services and the criminal justice system."
Hate crimes on the rise in Britain are not just limited to homophobia. Since Brexit, Britain has experienced a wave of racist incidents with many victims reporting attacks to police and sharing disturbing stories online with the hashtag #Postrefracism. A string of attacks and viral videos showcasing hostility toward immigrants soon raised the question: Was the Brexit vote based on racism?
The Post's Griff Witte recently reported on post-Brexit hate crimes and the violent death of a Polish man in a London suburb. Arkadiusz Jóźwik was attacked in the street and taken off life support days later. Police are investigating his death as a possible hate crime.