Homophobia and bullying

Homophobia is a dislike or fear of someone who is lesbian, gay or bisexual for no other reason apart from their sexuality.

Homophobic views can be shown in a variety of ways ranging from name calling, shouting abuse in the street or discrimination against LGB people to things like beating someone up or destroying something that belongs to them.

Some people may express their dislike or fear of people who they feel are different from themselves by bullying them. People are bullied for lots of reasons such as the way that they look, act or speak, or their religion or ethnic background. They may also be bullied because of their sexuality, this is called homophobic bullying.

No matter what the reason is, homophobia and bullying are never acceptable. Both these things can stop you from feeling safe or like you fit in.  If you have experienced either of these things you could feel sad, scared, lonely and depressed. You may also feel angry that other people could act like that.

All these things can have an effect on your mental well being.

What can I do about it?

Speak to a teacher, school or college counsellor, or someone that you trust. If you are being bullied at work, talk to your manager, union representative or someone from human resources.

If you are worried about disclosing your sexuality you do not have to say the bullying is homophobic. Schools, colleges and employers have a legal duty to deal with bullying and homophobic incidents. Once you tell them they must take action and do something to try and stop this happening again.

You could also seek help and support from your friends or an organisation such as the LGF.

Any sort of homophobia, whether it is violence or somebody shouting at you in the street, can be reported to the police as a homophobic hate incident or hate crime.