Homophobic bullying is behaviour or language that makes a child or young person feel unwelcome or marginalised because of their perceived or actual sexual orientation. Not all young LGB (Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual) young people experience homophobic bullying and not all homophobic bullying is directed at young LGB people.
Homophobic bullying is wrong and it must be stopped.
Homophobic bullying often occurs as a result of others’ prejudice being directed at a child or young person because:
- They are lesbian, gay or bisexual
- They are perceived to be lesbian, gay or bisexual because they fit certain stereotypes (eg. softly spoken boys, girls that like football, etc.)
- They have LGB friends or family members
- They are perceived as being different
Like other types of bullying, homophobic bullying can take many different forms and can happen online, via phone or in the physical world. Examples of homophobic bullying can include:
- Calling someone names, teasing or humiliating them using homophobic language
- Hitting, kicking, punching or physically hurting someone
- Mocking or imitating someone’s voice, mannerisms, etc.
- Refusing to work or cooperate with someone because of their real or perceived sexual orientation
- Vandalism of property, offensive graffiti or displaying symbols
- Outing someone (telling their family and/or friends they are lesbian, gay or bisexual, whether they are or not) or spreading rumours about their sexual orientation
- Inappropriate sexual comments or gestures
For more information for schools on responding to homophobic bullying, click here.