Bullying

Homophobic, biphobic bullying is where people are discriminated against and treated unfairly by other people because they are lesbian, gay or bisexual or perceived to be (people who are not LG or B can also experience homophobic bullying if someone thinks that they are LG or B).

Transphobic bullying is where people are discriminated against and treated unfairly by other people because their gender identity doesn't align with the sex they were assigned at birth or perhaps because they do not conform to stereotyped gender roles.

Some of the most common forms that this type bullying takes are:

  • Excluding people – such as not allowing people into friendship groups, conversations, or listening to or including them in group work and tasks
  • Physical abuse - such as hitting, throwing objects
  • Verbal abuse - such as threats being made and name calling (e.g. ‘gay’ ‘batty boi’  ‘dyke’ ‘lezzer’)
  • Cyber abuse - where people use social networking sites such as forums, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter to write hurtful or false things about someone, posting hurtful comments on pictures and walls, creating groups about the person they are bullying
  • Texting – sometimes bullies will text hurtful or threatening things to their victims
  • ‘Outing’ – a bully may tell other people that a person is LG or B. This can also happen to victims who are perceived to be LG or B.
     
  • Incorrect use of pronouns - pronouns are words we use to identify people - such as 'he', 'she' or 'they'. Sometimes people purposely use incorrect pronous to bully people. For example: calling a trans* person 'she' when they identify as male and have specifically asked people to call them 'he'.

There are many reasons why people choose to act in this way but regardless of the reason there is one thing that is always certain – IT CAN NEVER BE JUSTIFIED AND SHOULD NEVER BE TOLERATED.

Every young person has a right to be educated in an environment free from bullying and fear, giving them the chance to succeed and be themselves. Every young person has the right to be themselves in any environment and to be treated with dignity and respect. No one should feel threatened or scared to be who they are.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE BEING BULLIED

If you are being bullied there are a number of things that you can do to help:

  • Tell someone
    This is probably the most important and brave thing that you can do. By telling someone that you are being bullied they can help you to take the necessary steps in tackling and putting an end to the bullying. You can speak to a teacher or trusted adult, a youth worker, your parents or family or even your best friend. These people are here to help and support you and will be there to help you get through the bullying.
     
  • Do not delete anything that you receive from a bully
    This is also very important as it is evidence that the bullying is taking place. This can include texts, emails and posts on social media. Taking a screen shot or a photo of bullying on social media will also provide proof of the bullying if the bully attempts to delete or edit what has been said.
  • Don’t engage with the bully
    By exchanging hurtful words and insults with the bully or even by returning the physical abuse you can put yourself in a situation where you might get into trouble as well. It may seem like a difficult thing to try to do but don’t allow yourself to stoop to the bully’s levels. To walk away and get help makes you the bigger person.

Bullying is scary but what you need to remember is that you’re not alone and there are people who can and will help you.

PLACES WHERE YOU CAN GET HELP

The Lesbian & Gay Foundation

If you need help and support, we are here for you. We offer free counselling for people under 25 and you can also receive help and advice from us via our telephone and email helpline: 0845 3 30 30 30 / helpline@lgf.org.uk

Some people find that they like to hang around other LGB&T people and that sharing experiences with friends and other people like you is helpful. If you would like to get to know other LGB&T people in your area then why not join an LGB&T youth group? There are quite a few within the North West. Click here for a list of youth groups and sessions that you can attend!

POSITIVE VIDEOS

LGF - Enough is Enough!
http://www.lgf.org.uk/Take-Action/enough-is-enough-/

Stonewall videos of ‘it gets better’
http://www.youtube.com/user/stonewalluk/videos

It Gets Better project
Messages of support from around the world http://www.itgetsbetter.org/#J4DfjTV_n8A
Celebrity messages of support http://www.itgetsbetter.org/video/c/celebrity

EDGY VIDEOS (beware these videos may contain explicit language)

        FCKH8 campaign videos
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIoBlb64LOg

ANTI-BULLYING WEEK

The 17th to 21st of November marks National Anti-Bullying week!

This week is time for everyone – young and old – to think about what they can do to help reduce and put an end to bullying and how we can support those who are victims of bullying.

There are tonnes of ways for you to get involved! Why not hold a fundraising event to help raise money for charities that aim to end bullying? You could do this at school, your local youth club or even in your community! You could hold a meeting in your school to look at your schools bullying policy and maybe how you could improve it! For some more ideas about how you can get involved take a look here.

If you are being bullied, one of the most important things to do is to tell someone. If you can, try and tell a friend, a teacher or even your parents. Don’t suffer in silence, get help and support from those around you. Here are a few other places where you can get help:
 

The Lesbian & Gay Foundation
If you need help and support, we are here for you. We offer free counselling for people under 25 and you can also receive help and advice from us via our telephone and email helpline: 0845 3 30 30 30 / helpline@lgf.org.uk.