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I’m being bullied

What is HBT bullying?

Young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity (LGTBQ) can find they are targeted by bullies. This is sometimes known as homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying.

Bullying is never okay and its never your fault. You should be able to feel safe and comfortable being who you are, and should never have to explain or justify your sexual or gender identity to anyone else.

Types of bullying

There are many different ways in which people can be bullied. You may be experiencing one kind of bullying or several kinds. Whatever the case, bullying is never acceptable.

  • Physical bullying includes any kind of hitting, punching or violence against you, or having your possessions stolen or damaged.
  • Verbal bullying means any insults, threats or abuse that are said to you. These could include homophobic words such as ‘faggot’ or ‘tranny’.
  • Cyberbullying can include sending abusive texts, calls or emails, sharing videos or picture messages, or using social media, instant messaging (IM) apps, or online forums or blogs to write abusive or threatening messages.
  • Indirect bullying means things that happen behind someone’s back, such as spreading rumours, or excluding them because of their sexuality or gender identity.
  • Mental bullying can involve threatening to tell others about someone’s sexuality, or actually telling people, publicly humiliating someone else, or sabotaging their friendships and academic achievements.

Telling someone you’re being bullied

If you are experiencing any kind of bullying, it’s important to tell someone you trust, such as a parent, a teacher or a good friend. They can listen to you, discuss what you want to do next and help you take action to stop the bullying.

If it’s happening in school, it’s important to find a teacher you can speak to about it. Your school has a responsibility to keep you safe, and will have a policy for dealing with bullying.

You may also want to keep a diary noting down details of any incidents that happen and how they make you feel. If you are experiencing cyberbullying, it’s a good idea to save the messages as evidence of what has happened.

Handling bullying on your own can be really tough. It usually helps to tell someone what’s happening and how you’re feeling. If you don’t feel confident speaking to someone you know, you can call ChildLine on 0800 1111 – all calls are free and confidential.

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