What can I do if I am being bullied because of my Gender Identity or Sexuality?
Gender Identity - Gender identity is the gender that a person identifies with or feels themselves to be. While biological sex and gender identity are the same for most people, this is not the case for everyone.
Sexuality - Sexuality is about who you are attracted to both physically and emotionally. Everyone has a sexual orientation and there is no set age that people must decide their sexuality and it could change over your lifetime.
Coming to terms with your sexuality or gender identity can be hard, and it’s not very nice when people bully or make fun of you because of it. It’s very important to remember that regardless of what sexuality or gender identity you define as, it is normal and you should be proud of who you are.
What are the different types of bullying?
Homophobic and biphobic bullying – Homophobic and biphobic bullying is behaviour or language that makes a person feel unwelcome, uncomfortable or upset because of their sexuality or perceived sexuality.
Transphobic Bullying – Transphobic bullying is behaviour or language that makes a person feel unwelcome, uncomfortable or upset because of their gender identity. Gender identity is when a person feels they identify as a different gender to their biological gender. There are many different gender identities, a list can be found here.
Tips for dealing with the issue..
If you identify as part of the LGBT+ community, you have the right to feel safe in school, college, community or workplace. If you are experiencing bullying because of your sexuality or gender identity you can:
- Inform a teacher, youth worker or your HR department about the comments being made and how they are impacting you. It’s important to keep a diary of any comments that have taken place, so you’re able to show examples. Once you have spoken about the issues, it’s important to decide a plan of action going forward that you’re comfortable with.
- Challenge behaviour, if you overhear comments and you feel comfortable and safe to, you could explain to the person that their comments are hurtful and please could they refrain from saying them in the future.
- If you’re not happy with the way your school, college, university or workplace have dealt with incidents you have reported, you can report it to the police as a hate crime. To find out more about what a hate crime is, click here.
I am worried about “Coming Out"
There is no pressure for you to “come out”, people sometimes feel very scared or worried about telling people that they’re part of the LGBT+ community. It’s important to know that nothing will change, it is normal for you to be feeling these feelings and it doesn’t change you as a person. We have chosen some great videos that might help you with the “coming out” process…
We have created a YouTube playlist with lots more videos about “Coming Out". To watch the playlist, click here.
How can my school tackle LGBT+ Bullying?
Some of our amazing Anti-Bullying Ambassadors at Sharnbrook Upper School promote LGBT+ equality and diversity to all of their peers. To gain ideas/inspiration check them out in action below:
Need more advice/support? Please check out the below links:
1. List of Sexualities / Gender Identities - http://teenhealthsource.com/sgd/gender-sexuality-abcs/
2.What is a Hate Crime / Incident? - http://www.report-it.org.uk/what_is_hate_crime
3. LGBT Helpline / Switchboard (All Ages) - http://switchboard.lgbt/
4. ChildLine (19 & Under) - https://www.childline.org.uk/Explore/sexual-identity/Pages/Sexual-Identity.aspx
5. Young Stonewall – Charity providing support and advice - http://www.youngstonewall.org.uk/lgbtq-info
NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO?