Some young people who are LGBTQ+ experience bullying on the basis of their identity. Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying can be very upsetting and difficult to deal with.
Bullying can make you feel scared and alone, and negatively impact your self-esteem. Bullying that relates to your identity can be especially difficult if you are not out to everyone in your life, or found it difficult to come out to your friends and family.
It is important to remember that it is not your fault that you are being bullied. Everyone has the right to feel safe and happy at home, in school and at work.
Telling a trusted adult about what you are going through is an important first step. This might be a parent, caregiver, aunt or uncle, teacher, sports coach or youth worker.
If you are worried about speaking to an adult, bringing a friend with you to talk about being bullied might help.
If the bullying is happening in school, or involves someone who goes to your school, you can speak to a trusted teacher or your year head.
All primary and secondary schools in Ireland need to have an Anti-Bullying Policy. All schools are required to mention homophobic and transphobic bullying in their Anti-Bullying Policy. The policy should also include the steps that the school will take to investigate, follow up on, and record instances of bullying. A copy of this policy should be available on your school’s website.
If you are worried about talking to someone in your school about bullying, it might be helpful to read through this policy so that you understand how your school will respond to the complaint.
It is important that you do what feels right for you. You can talk to one of Belong To’s youth workers or find a local LGBTQ+ youth group and talk to the youth worker there. For 24/7 free, anonymous support, you can text HELLO to 50808.