Homophobia and Bullying - Support
An Introduction . . .
According to some statistics as many as 65% of all young LGBT people have experienced or currently experience homophobic bullying at schools in Britain and of those being bullied 17% have received death threats! This is an awful reality which has to change. One of the most important things to remember if you are a victim is that you are not alone. There are thousands, most likely hundreds of thousands, of people around the world going through exactly the same thing as you, but what can you do? Well there are lots of ways in which you can deal with bullying.
Don't Suffer In Silence . . .
One of the most important things is knowing that you do not have to fight the battle alone. We really recommend that you inform either a friend, member of staff or family member. If you are not openly gay within your family but are at school then the best bet is probably a friend or member of staff rather than a parent or family member. Explain to them what has been happening and make it clear to them what you would like to be done. Naturally if you are just telling a friend then there are limits to how they can help and they would probably only be able to offer support at most. Telling a staff member is likely to achieve a lot more but not always. Be very careful to go to a member of staff that you feel comfortable around and that you feel will deal with incidents both professionally and delicately.
What To Do . . .
If you are directly receiving abuse, either physical or verbal bullying, then the best thing to do is try to walk away from it and, as best you can, give no reaction. If you can, then make your way to a location that you feel safe and comfortable in. If it's at school then perhaps a library or location with lots of staff members present. If you are in a dangerous or life threatening situation then call your emergency services and request the police. If the cases of bullying are occurring in the 'cyber world' such as through the medium of social networks, texts, email, calls, ect. then try and record them, print them out and keep evidence of them. Either contact a teacher or in serious cases contact your local police station. Be sure to show them the evidence of such incidents. This way the people trying to help you will have a lot more to go by.
Why people bully . . .
You should always be able to feel comfortable with who you are, it is important to remember that people usually turn to bullying others in an attempt to make themselves feel better. This is often through their own insecurities. Stay strong and know that you are better than bullies. Various surveys and statistics actually show that people are more likely to become bullies if they have been bullied themselves previously. If you see people being bullied don't just watch it or ignore it, do something about it.