Homophobic Bullying. Children’s Services and Education

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  • Homophobic bullying is defined as bullying behaviours that are motivated by prejudice against a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender. You don’t have to be a sexual minority to identity. You don’t have to be a sexual minority to become a target. For example, while using comments like “that’s so gay” may seem innocent, they still contribute to the development of a negative or hostile environment towards sexual minorities. They also serve as a way to keep people in their “gender boxes” by reinforcing stereotypes of what it means to be male or female. Too often homophobia becomes the language of bullying which targets anyone who is perceived as different or outside the “norm”. Homophobic name-calling and gay bashing is bullying with a theme. Bullies who hide behind homophobic beliefs and attitudes are still bullies. In fact, law enforcement may consider homophobic bullying to be a hate incident–something that’s against the law.

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    © 2007 Kristopher Wells. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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    • Wells, K. (2007). Homophobic Bullying. Children’s Services and Education.
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