Man with a serious expression on his face LGBTQ Community

Every person, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, deserves to feel safe, respected, and loved in an intimate relationship.

You are not alone

If you’re in an abusive relationship, you are not alone.

Gay and bisexual men experience abuse in intimate partner relationships at a rate of 2 in 5, which is similar to the rate heterosexual women experience abuse.1

About 50% of lesbians have experienced or will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes.2

19% of trans people have experienced domestic violence at the hands of a family member because of their transgender identity or gender non‐conformity.3

Signs of abuse

Many of the warning signs of domestic violence within LGBTQ relationships are similar to those in cisgender heterosexual relationships, including emotional abuse, psychological abuse, economic abuse, physical violence, or sexual assault.

However, abusers in LGBTQ relationships will also use other tactics to assert power and control over their partners. If you’re unsure whether or not your relationship is abusive, ask yourself if your significant other:

  • Threatens to “out” your sexual orientation or gender identity to family members, employers, community members, or others.
  • Makes you feel unworthy of love and support because of your sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Threatens to reveal your HIV/AIDS status to family members, employers, community members, or others.
  • Limits your access to medicine, including hormones or PrEP/PEP.
  • Makes you feel like you’re not “really” lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender because of your relationship history.
  • Makes you feel that you’re not the gender you identify with or purposefully misgenders you.
  • Refuses to use your preferred name or pronoun.
  • Makes you feel like you’re not a “real” man or woman.
  • Justifies the abuse as being consensual, mutual, or an expression of a “desirable” trait, such as masculinity.

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to seek support and help with your relationship.

Other resources

Here are other local and national resources you can check out for more information:

  • The NW Network: The NW Network of Bi, Trans, Lesbian, and Gay Survivors of Abuse works to end violence and abuse by building loving and equitable relationships in our community and across the country.
  • Forge: FORGE is a national transgender anti-violence organization.
  • NCAVP: The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs provides free and confidential assistance to thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected people each year from all five boroughs of New York City through direct client services and community organizing and public advocacy.

If you have questions about your relationship or if you have experienced any of the above, help and support is available. Call LifeWire’s 24-Hour Helpline at 425-746-1940 to speak with an advocate today.