Homophobic Bullying is when a young person is targeted with abuse, or other negative behaviours, just because they are lesbian, or gay, or bisexual or transgendered (LGBT). Homophobic bullying...
- can also happen if someone else thinks a person might be LGBT.
- can be physical but is more likely to be name calling (like gay, lezzie or fairy) or emotional bullying (like spreading rumours).
- is the second most common form of bullying, and is three times more likely to happen than racist bullying.
- affects children of all ages, whether the child is LGBT or not.
Most homophobic bullying is invisible to adults
What should I do if my child is being homophobically bullied?
Focus on the bullying!
Talk to your child. Try to respect their wishes and judgement of how serious the situation is. It may be that your child doesn’t want you to do anything more than listen at the moment.
Homophobic bullying can damage self-respect, do what you can to give your child positive, loving support and messages about who they are.
Explain that everyone is different, and that this is ok! The world would be very boring if we were all the same!
Find out what policies and procedures for responding to homophobic bullying are in place at your school.
It is never a young person’s fault they are being bullied, whatever the reason.
What should I do if my child behaves in a homophobic way?
- Some children seem to find all differences threatening. If this is the case, encouraging your child to be happier with themselves may help.
- Lead by example! Be positive about LGBT people yourself.
- Encourage them to ask helpful and appropriate questions about LGBT people.
- Watch positive images of LGBT people on film/TV and use them to start conversations.
- Encourage them to think about the effect their behaviour is having on others and why it is unacceptable.
- 1 in 10 young people will grow up to be lesbian, or gay or bisexual. A smaller number will be born transgendered. Being LGBT is not inherited or genetic or a ‘chosen lifestyle’; it’s just something that some people are.