CASCADE, Md. (WDVM)– Tony Williams is a proud member of the LGBTQ community in Washington County. He says all members of their community have faced some type of discrimination.
“All of us who are a minority have experienced at some point in our lives have experienced some type of discrimination or derogatory comments or general hate for being who you are,” said Williams.
According to security.org, hate crimes against the LGBTQ community have increased by more than one-third since 1996. In Maryland, 25 percent of all bias-motivated incidents targeted members of the LGBTQ community. However, Williams says Maryland overall has been very accepting.
“Having progressive stance on the trans community, allowing the trans community to be accepted for who they are quicker than a lot of other states and just in general overall is progressive,” said Williams.
Although the LGBTQ community is the most targeted group for hate crimes, Williams believes he and others should use this as a teaching moment.
“Sometimes there’s a little bit of set back and you have to educate. You can’t take it as always a setback, you have to take it as an opportunity to help educate people that might not have been exposed to differences throughout their lives,” said Williams.