German LGBTQ+ activist warns over ‘worrying’ hate crime rise

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07/23/2023

BERLIN, July 23 (Reuters) – Prominent German LGBTQ+ rights activist Anastasia Biefang has expressed concerns about an increase in homophobic and anti-transgender violence and abuse in the country, comparing it to rhetoric used by the Nazis. Biefang, who made headlines as the first trans person to serve as a commander in the German military, spoke this weekend as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Berlin to celebrate Christopher Street Day and demand LGBTQ+ equality. “I hear narratives that I thought we had overcome since 1945,” said Biefang, 49, a former battalion leader who still serves in a leading capacity in the army’s cyber and information department. The number of hate crimes targeting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community is rising in Germany, with officially registered cases increasing by 15.5% last year to reach 1,005, according to Interior Ministry data.

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