Lesbian women, bisexual women and transgender men are sexually assaulting each other at disturbingly high rates, despite the fact that most people think of sexual assaults as involving heterosexual, male-female couples, reports the Daily Emerald, the University of Oregon’s campus newspaper.
The student newspaper cites as evidence of this epidemic a 2010 study called the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.
The survey found that 44 percent of America’s lesbian woman and fully 61 percent of the nation’s bisexual women claimed to have been victims of some form of intimate sexual violence including rape, physical violence and stalking.
Meanwhile, 35 percent of straight women claimed to have experienced some form of sexual violence as the survey defined it.
On the male side, the survey found, 29 percent of all heterosexual men said they had been victims of sexual violence compared to 37 percent of bisexual men and 26 percent of gay men.
At an April 30 Take Back the Night event on the University of Oregon campus, Portland-based transgender activist Ariel Howland lamented the challenges faced by transgender people who seek support from sexual assault advocacy groups.
Transgender men must “leave their gender identity at the door” and are “frequently assumed to be cis (cisgender) women,” Howland told the Emerald.
A person is “cisgender” if his or her stated gender matches his or her physical sex.
“Sometimes trans men will stay closeted about being men in order to access support services that are designed for cis women,” Howland bemoaned.