Grab The Meic – Dealing With Homophobic Bullying
If you’re being bullied and nobody will help you out then what can you do? Fiona contacted Grab the Meic because she’s being bullied because of her sexuality. Here’s our advice.
This article is part of Meic’s LGBTQ+ History Month Campaign – check it out here
This article is also available in Welsh – I ddarllen y cynnwys yma yn Gymraeg – clicia yma.
Grab the Meic is your opportunity to ask us about anything that’s worrying you. We’re here to listen and give advice. If you want to #grabthemeic then check out this page, but remember this advice is not instant. If you need advice quickly then please contact the helpline
I’ve been subjected to homophobic bullying in college since the second week in September. I’ve been to three different senior staff members to tell them. One told me it was my fault for being gay. Another shut me down straight away and mentioned how I handled being pushed on the bus and being called an “effing fa***t”. Another said she didn’t have time for this and that I shouldn’t go back unless I had something for her to deal with! I’ve also been to see the Principal. He had the 6 that were bullying me in his office and asked them not to communicate with me. Nothing was said about the homophobic bullying.
On a daily basis, I get hit, kicked or tripped. They call me a ‘fa***t’ and a ‘dyke’. Nobody in college is willing to deal with the situation, and I don’t know what else to do. More people are now joining in, and it has gone up to 12 people bullying me now.
Fiona (*name changed to protect their identity)
Thanks for coming through to us at Meic. We’re sorry to hear that you are experiencing homophobic bullying in college. We can understand that you must be feeling angry and frustrated, and we are disappointed to hear that staff at the college don’t appear to have supported you or taken appropriate action to address and deal with the offensive, hurtful bullying behaviour.
Have you talked to anyone else who could help and who you trust… your parents or carers maybe? They may be concerned and want to support you to take action on this.
You have rights
From what you have described, it sounds like you’re going through a really tough time. You should not have to deal with this mistreatment and be left feeling unsafe anywhere, let alone in your daily life in college – this is unacceptable.
You have the right to be yourself without the fear of discrimination or harm. The Equality Act was passed in 2010 to protect groups particularly affected by discrimination in society. The Act identified 9 Protected Characteristics (groups of people protected by law from discrimination). These Protected Characteristics include sexual orientation.
This means that it is unlawful to discriminate against people based on their sexuality.
Click here for more information on the Protected Characteristics in the Equality Act 2010.
What you can do next
As we mentioned above, you have the right to live without fear of homophobic bullying. You said that you reported it to 3 of your tutors and the Principal but that no significant action was taken and that the bullying was still happening.
Here’s some thing you could do:
- Contact the LGBT+ Cymru Helpline on 0800 917 9996. This service provides counselling and support to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Allies and Families in Wales.
- Contact the Children’s Commissioner for Wales for help and advice.
- Report the physical attacks to the Police – this can be done over the telephone by calling 101.
If you don’t feel your parents are best placed to help you with the above or would prefer someone independent of your family, then Meic could advocate on your behalf. Advocacy is when someone contacts a professional or an organisation on your behalf to tell them how you’re feeling, what you want to happen, and to get you the help you need. You could think of it as someone acting as your voice to make sure that you are heard. Meic can also help you find out about the college’s complaints process
Bullying of any kind can lead to feelings of isolation and fear. These feelings are likely to affect your mood and may result in a period of poor mental health. If you feel it would help to talk about these experiences, consider asking the college to arrange support and counselling for you. Again, Meic can help you with this if you don’t feel confident about asking yourself.
We hope this information has been helpful to you. We hope that the bullying ends soon so that you can continue college life in a more positive environment.
The Meic Helpline Team
If you need to talk to someone about anything that’s bothering you, then call Meic to talk to a friendly advisor.
Meic is an information and advocacy helpline for children and young people aged 0-25 in Wales. We are open 8am to midnight, 7 days a week. You can contact us free on the phone (080880 23456), text message (84001) or online chat.