I’m being bullied for my sexuality, what can I do? - #StandUpToBullying

I’m being bullied for my sexuality, what can I do?

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It’s not your fault

Being bullied, for whatever reason, is never, in any way, ever acceptable. And it’s not your fault. If you’re being bullied because you’re lesbian, gay, bi, trans, or because other people think you are, it’s not ok. Bullies will try to undermine you, they will attack your confidence, try to make you feel bad about yourself and that you deserve to be treated this way. You don’t.

Talk about it

Bullies often pick on people who they think are vulnerable and who they can control. You can challenge this perception by getting support. At school, you could try talking to a teacher or a friend. At home, this could be a parent, guardian or sibling. It’s not just about getting practical help to stop the bullying. By talking to others about what’s happening can make you feel less alone, less scared and more able to take action against the bullies. Groups like Childline or Samaritans offer a place where you can talk to someone and share what you’re going through. It helps, trust me.

Take action

Your school, and the teachers who work there, have an obligation to keep you safe. It’s the law. To be more specific, the Education and Inspections Act 2006 states that all schools have a statutory duty to tackle all forms of bullying, whether it’s racist, sexist, homophobic or transphobic. Most schools have an anti-bullying policy, which you can request or download from their website. This will tell you more about who to talk to, how and what they will do to support you.

But I’m not out . . .

Even if you’re not out as lesbian, gay, bi or trans all the above still applies. The key issue here is that the behaviour of the bully is wrong and must stop. You shouldn’t have to come out for your school to take what’s happening seriously. It may help to write down, in a diary or note book, when the bullying happens, what is said and how it makes you feel. Sticking to the facts, like this, helps to keep the focus on their behaviour rather than whether you are LGBT or not.

If you do want to talk to people about your sexuality or gender identity there are lots of places where you can get support. Stonewall has a list of LGBT youth groups on their website and the following contacts may also be helpful;

R U Coming Out
Albert Kennedy Trust E-mentoring

Gendered Intelligence