Section: 4.4 Intersectionality and misogyny

Intersections with sexual orientation and gender identity

Anti-LGBTQI+ and misogynistic rhetoric is frequently found in extremist and violent extremist content.

The 2020 Online Hate Crime Report1 by Galop sheds light on the prevalence and consequences of online hate crimes and hateful abuse targeting the LGBTQI+ community in the UK. The insights are based on a survey involving 700 LGBTQI+ individuals.

The vast majority, 8 out of 10 participants, had been subjected to anti-LGBTQI+ hate online within the past five years. Half of those surveyed faced online abuse at least 10 times, and for one in five, this number exceeded 100 instances. Trans individuals, in particular, bear the brunt of this online vitriol. The online abuse was often in the form of sustained harassment, involving multiple perpetrators, often acting in groups.

According to the Galop report, victims often grappled with a myriad of negative emotions, from fear and anxiety to self-blame. For some, these feelings escalated to suicidal thoughts. Trans victims, the findings suggest, are especially vulnerable to such emotional turmoil. The virtual threats sometimes become so menacing that victims fear real-world repercussions. In an attempt to shield themselves from further online harm, some victims alter their online behaviour, either by limiting their social media interactions or, in some cases, by becoming more active online.

According to the Galop survey, over a quarter of victims don't report the abuse to any authority. Of those who do, less than half approach social media platforms, and only one in 10 turns to the police. Three-quarters of the respondents also expressed dissatisfaction with the handling by both the police and social media companies. Only 3% of the victims sought help from support agencies. 91% of those surveyed didn't know how to report hate incidents to online platforms or were unaware of resources tailored to assist LGBTQI+ victims.

Evidence reveals that discrimination and hate targeting LGBTQI+ communities do not only cause significant emotional distress, leading to fear, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts among victims, but also highlight a systemic problem of underreporting and dissatisfaction with the response from authorities and social media platforms.

What is trans-misogyny?

Trans-misogyny or transphobic misogyny is a form of oppression that specifically targets trans women and transfeminine people and is rooted in a combination of rigid gender binaries and the belief in the superiority of masculinity over femininity. Trans-misogyny contributes to transphobia and impacts access to healthcare, and the self-esteem and safety of transgender women.2

This form of misogyny leads to high rates of violence and hate crimes committed against transgender women. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation 3 recorded at least 304 fatal incidents of violence against transgender or gender non-conforming individuals in the US between 2013 and 2022, with 85% of the victims being people of colour, 77% under the age of 35, and 85% being transgender women. Black transgender women are “critically impacted” and comprise 191 (63%) of all known victims since 2013. In 2022, out of the 34 reported killings of transgender and gender non-confirming individuals, 79% (or 27 individuals) were transgender women. The remaining victims comprised five transgender men, and two who didn’t exclusively identify as men or women.

Kiwi Farms, an internet forum known for its active targeting and harassment of women, more specifically women with intersecting identities, has been at the forefront of various doxing campaigns against transgender individuals4 in which the visibility of the targeted individual is weaponised to discredit, embarrass, and instil fear in them.5 On several occasions, doxing incidents directly contributed to offline violence, as evidenced by the case of transgender Twitch streamer Clara Sorrenti, who was subject to swatting – a hoax call to dispatch armed police to a particular address – twice, as a result of a six-month long harassment campaign by Kiwi Farms users.6

Transgender Europe (TGEU) has been at the forefront of tracking violence against the trans and gender-diverse community through its research project Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide (TvT). A significant component of this project is Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM),7which documents the reported killings of trans and gender-diverse individuals across the globe. From 1 October 2021 to 30 September 2022, TMM recorded 327 murders of trans and gender-diverse people.

The specific targeting and vulnerabilities of trans individuals to both online and offline violence underscore the critical intersection of misogyny, transphobia, extremism, and other forms of discrimination, exacerbating the harm faced by these communities.

Hate and discrimination targeting trans people in New Zealand

There was an increase in hate and harm targeting trans people during the period of March 18 to mid-April 2023, particularly in the far-right and conspiracy environments online, as revealed by a report by The Disinformation Project.8 This is in line with Hate & Extremism Insights Aotearoa’s findings from a content analysis of fringe websites in New Zealand, which showed a prevalence of anti-trans narratives in these spaces, some of which intersected with misogyny targeting both trans men and women. According to New Zealand media reports, trans individuals have been reported receiving death threats online.91011 Statistics from the 2021-22 New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey12 show that the rate of interpersonal violenceexperienced by LGBTQI+ individuals (17.8%) was significantly higher than the New Zealand average (6.4%).

The Counting Ourselves survey,13conducted in 2018 with around 1,178 self-identifying trans and non-binary individuals from New Zealand, revealed that around two-thirds (67%) of participants experienced discrimination. Those who experienced discrimination for being trans or non-binary were twice as likely to have attempted suicide in the previous year (16%) compared to participants who didn’t report this form of discrimination. The findings reveal a concerning pattern of increased psychological distress, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts within this demographic. This survey was subsequently repeated in 2022, with results awaiting release.

Gap: There is a need for more New Zealand-based research on the experiences of LGBTQI+ communities with online harms, particularly online misogyny and technologically-facilitated gender-based violence.

Further reading

Studies and reports: Intersections with sexual orientation and gender identity


We understand that this research could be confronting or upsetting for some readers. If you or someone you know needs to talk:

  • Free call Women’s Refuge 0800 733 843 for support for women and children experiencing family violence.
  • Visit Netsafe to complete an online form to report any online safety issues or free call 0508 638 723 for support.
  • Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.
  • Free call Youthline 0800 376 633 or text 234 to talk with someone from a safe and youth-centred organisation.
  • Free call Safe to Talk 0800 044 334 or text 4334 anytime for support about sexual harm.
  • Free call OutLine Aotearoa 0800 688 5463 any evening to talk to trained volunteers from Aotearoa's rainbow communities.