While various legal human rights have been established for the LGBTQ community (such as the decriminalization of homosexuality in 1997, the Gender Identity Law in 2016, and same-sex marriage in 2019), public sentiment among Ecuadorians has not been in sync with these legal advances. After the passage of same-sex marriage in Ecuador, we have noted an uptick in hate speech against the LGBTQ community, as well as hate crimes, including torture and murder. We do not yet know if the surge in crimes against the community is due to a new wave of homophobia, or rather increased visibility of LGBTQ people due to these legal advances. Through this research, we hope to shed light on the origins of recent hate speech and crimes.
This anti-LGBTQ movement, which is spearheaded by conservative and religious groups, could result in greater vulnerability of LGBTQ people to hate crimes and other forms of violence. Through our research initiatives at PRIDE lab, we are carrying out crucial monitoring of both pro- and anti-LGBTQ movements. We also hope to provide tools to the academic and activist community in order to reduce hate speech and crimes. Ideally, our findings will be published not only in journals, seminars, and conferences, but also comics and art exhibitions that reach adolescents, young people, and other sectors of the Ecuadorian population that may not be interested in social science but are willing to read a comic book or attend a gallery show.
María Elissa Torres and Jessica Quinn Slattery, "NEED", contributed by María Elissa Torres Carrasco, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 15 August 2019, accessed 9 December 2022. https://stsinfrastructures.org/content/need