Sesma Against Bullying

LBGTQ Bullying

Since the term LGBTQ was coined in the late 1980s, public understanding of sexual and gender identity has progressed significantly.

Lesbian: A woman who is attracted only to other women.

Gay: A man who is attracted only to other men, but also used to broadly describe people who are attracted to the same sex.

Bisexual: Anyone who is attracted to more than one sex/gender.

Transgender: Someone whose gender identity differs from their gender at birth.

Transsexual: Similar to transgender but it refers to people who desire to or have permanently transitioned to the gender with which they identify, seeking medical assistance.

Queer: Reclaimed pejorative term now used by people who don’t identify with the binary terms of male and female or gay and straight and do not wish to label themselves by their sex acts.

Questioning: Someone who is still questioning or exploring their sexual/gender identity.

Intersex: Someone who’s body is neither fully male or female due to medical variation. Includes people previously known as hermaphrodites, now considered an offensive term.

Ally: Someone who is straight but supports the LGBTTQQIAAP community.

Asexual: Someone with no sexual attraction to any gender.

Pansexual: Someone whose sexual attraction is not based on gender and more based on personality. They may also be gender fluid. Sometimes used to differentiate between the binary choice of two genders implied by “bisexual.”

LBGTQ flag sesma norwich newmarket against bullying

Tell an adult

They can help you deal with the homophobic bullying by making the bully stop, protecting you, and giving you advice.

If this bullying spills over into threats or violence then it should be reported to the police as a hate crime.

You can still tell an adult, even if you haven’t come out yet. You can tell them, “I’m a victim of bullying” without confirming or denying your sexual orientation.

Tell Them To Stop

Most of the time, people bully because they want to get a reaction from you. Homophobic bullies try to use your sexual orientation as a way to upset you.
Deal with it by not giving them the satisfaction of a response.

If you haven’t come out yet, reacting to the bully might cause you to accidentally out yourself out of anger.

Just walk past them and ignore their comments and taunts. If you can’t walk away, then turn your attention to something else.

If the bullying is happening online, you still shouldn’t respond. Posting a response could make the situation worse. Block the bully or hide their posts on your feed. It may also help to stop using social media altogether for a while.

Keep A record

If your harasser does not stop after you’ve clearly told them to, you should begin writing down what happens each time you interact with him or her. This record can help you while reporting the harassment.

Save any offensive notes, messages, texts or e-mails that you receive from the harasser as evidence of their inappropriate behavior.
Keep the evidence someplace you don’t have to see unless you want to if it makes you upset to look at.

If it continues then contact the police and report it as a hate crime. Many police forces have specialist units to deal with these incidents. 

Parents and carers can play an important role in tackling homophobic bullying and some ways you can help is by:

  • Talk to your child. Ask how they are feeling and if everything is OK at school, rather than if they are being bullied. They may be embarrassed and worried that you will think they are gay, so might choose not to say anything

  • Remember that homophobic bullying can affect any young person, regardless of their sexual orientation

  • Be supportive. Your child needs to know that if they do decide to talk to you about bullying, you will listen and that they can trust you with what they tell you. Let them tell you in their own time, and ask them how they want to proceed. Preferably approach the school together

  • Check with the school what their policies are for dealing with bullying and in particular, homophobic bullying

  • Involve your child in any decisions that are taken on how to tackle the bullying. If you are not satisfied with how your child’s teacher responds, talk to the head teacher or bring it to the attention of the school governors – including your child at every stage

  • Check that the school has a separate anti-homophobic bullying policy and not something tacked on to their general bullying policy. Ask to see it, and if they haven’t got one, ask why not and insist this is remedied. Go into the school and challenge them. They have a duty of care to all children. Research shows that in schools where children are explicitly taught that homophobic bullying is wrong, rates of such bullying are dramatically reduced, and pupils feel safer. Schools have a legal obligation to deal with homophobic bullying under the Education and Inspections Act 2006.

  • If the bullying doesn’t stop, go to your Local Education Authority and demand action. Changing schools can work in some cases but often a vulnerable child is vulnerable wherever they go.