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Eli Coston

Assistant Professor of Sociology, Virginia Commonwealth University

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About Eli

Coston specializes in criminology and public policy, with an emphasis on gender, sexuality, and race and ethnicity. Their research examines how the intersections of race, class, and gender create differing experiences of oppression for people who are LGBTQ. In particular, they focus on how the visibility of LGBTQ public policy decisions impact rates of violence and on the urgent need for better data on anti-LGBTQ hate crimes. Coston also works with the Richmond Transparency and Accountability Project on a community engaged research project aimed at examining disparities in policing in the Richmond Police Department and working with the Legal Aid Justice Center, New Virginia Majority, and the Advancement Project to change in policing policies and practices. 

No Jargon Podcast

In the News

"Could New Virginia Policies Reduce Anti-LGBT Hate Crimes?," Eli Coston, Interview with Brian McNeill, VCU News, November 8, 2018.
"My Lens + Data Matters in Justice," Eli Coston, Interview with C. Higgs-Wise, Race Capitol, August 1, 2018.
"Calls for Transparency Persist, as Richmond Police Release Data," Eli Coston, Interview with Mallory Noe-Payne, Richmond, VA Radio, May 22, 2018.
Eli Coston quoted on the election of Del. Danica Roem and the rise of openly transgender celebrities by Ryan Persaud, "Delegate Roem and Transgender Advocates See Progress" Virginia First, May 9, 2018.


"LGBT Rights and Their Impact on Anti-LGB Hate Crimes," Equality Research Center at Eastern Michigan University, forthcoming.

Addresses the research question, is the enactment of the national state LGBT civil rights legislation related to anti-LGB hate crimes? Examines whether bans to same sex marriage laws and bias crime legislation are related to rates of anti-LGB hate crimes.

"Understanding Characteristics of Victims and Perpetrators of Anti-LGBT Hate Crimes in the United States" Violence and Victims 33, no. 3 (2018): 453-471.

Examines the effects of victim and perpetrator characteristics; specifically age, race, and number of offenders, on the seriousness of anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) and anti-transgender (T) hate crime incidents.