Homophobic bullying in school
Homophobic bullying is a result of homophobia and ignorance about people within the LGBTQIA community. Just like any other form of bullying in school, homophobic bullying can negatively affect the victim’s self-esteem, academic performance and mental health. Here’s more.
What is homophobic bullying?
Homophobic bullying is the harassment of people who are within LGBTQIA community or people who don’t act in a way that’s considered ‘traditionally heterosexual’. This type of bullying can be verbal (through words) or even violent.
Examples of homophobic bullying in school include picking on someone because of their sexuality or gender, making jokes about a person’s sexuality and treating them differently to their peers.
Who are victims of homophobic bullying?
You don’t have to identify as LGBTQIA+ to fall victim to this type of bullying. Some people are bullied because they don’t fit gender stereotypes, like when a male displays qualities that are considered more feminine and when a female acts in a way that’s seen as masculine. People (friends and family) who are close to members of the LGBTQIA+ community can also experience homophobic bullying in some instances.
Bullying can have really harmful effects on victims. People who are bullied can go through feelings of loneliness, depression, low self-esteem and even suicidal thoughts. It’s important to understand that there should be no place for homophobia and discrimination in schools and there should be rules to protect learners against this unfair treatment.
If you see or hear other students bullying or making homophobic comments, you can speak up or report them to a teacher or principal. If your teacher is involved in the homophobic comments, then you are within your rights to report them to the principal or the Department of Education.
What to do if you’re a victim
If you or someone you know is a victim of homophobic bullying in school, you can contact the Triangle Project on 021 422 0255 for help. You are also able to report this to your principal, district Department of Education and/or the school governing body. No one deserves to be shamed, bullied or mistreated for their gender or sexuality.
Homophobic bullying that takes place in schools and on campus is harmful to victims and leads to a lot of mental health and self-esteem issues. It’s important for each of us to play our part in not only educating those around us about this issue, but also making sure that we speak out against it.
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