Although gay-bashing is often thought of relating to gay men, all Queer groups - including gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people - can be targeted. The term can be modified into dyke-bashing, trans-bashing, Queer-bashing, or simply bashing.
Some notable Queer victims of hatred assaults include:
- Harvey Milk, gay politician (1930 - 1978)
- Brandon Teena, female-to-male transsexual (1972 - 1993)
- Matthew Shepard, gay student (1976 - 1998)
- Bertrand Delanoë, gay politician (stabbed nonfatally in 2002)
- Gwen Araujo, male-to-female transsexual (1985 - 2002)
The term "gay-bashing" is often taken to include, in addition to random assaults, attacks on gay people who made sexual overtures to attackers, with the argument being that such a disproportionate response must be occasioned by homophobia on the part of the assaulter. See gay panic defense.
The term is often used in the metaphorical sense of denigrating homosexual people or opposing homosexual practices (see hate speech).
Gay-bashing is occasionally committed against heterosexuals who are only perceived to be gay. Two prominent incidents include:
- Actor and comedian Norm MacDonald (of Saturday Night Live) was attacked by two men in New York City. They thought he was homosexual because he was well dressed, with styled hair, and lanky; he was walking through Greenwich Village, an area popular amongst homosexuals. He suffered a concussion.
- A man was shot to death in an Iowa bar because he was standing quietly in a corner holding a purse. He was perceived as an unwelcome homosexual; in actuality, he was holding the purse for his wife, who was in the restroom.