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Bullying, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia

Gender identity | Staying safe

Bullying and harassment is illegal. You have the right to get help and to challenge bullying if you are experiencing it for any reason.

Sept. 30, 2022

Bullying can include things like being left out of activities, being called names, being ignored, someone vandalising or damaging your home, being sent abusive letters or messages online, abusive graffiti, threats or physical and verbal abuse.

Bullies might threaten to tell your family about your sexual orientation or gender identity, or tell people in school/college or your local community.

Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are words that describe the prejudices of people who have negative or hateful feelings towards people who identify as anything other than heterosexual or cisgender.

Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic crimes are all forms of hate crime, and as such are taken very seriously by police. Most police forces have a liaison officer who will deal with reports of hate crime against people who are LGBTQ+.

LGBTQ+ anti-abuse charity Galop has further advice on their website if you need more information about this.

Cyber bullying

For many of us, a big chunk of our social lives now takes place online. You can connect with people in your local area or in any part of the world through websites, apps and social media – and talking to other people who are LGBTQ+ online is great, because it can make you feel like you’re not on your own.

But be aware that people can feel a little braver online, which makes it easy for bullies to take advantage. Just because bullying happens online or on social media doesn’t make it OK or less serious: if you are bullied online you should report it in the same way as you would report someone shouting abuse in the street. It’s the same thing.

If anyone is sending you abusive or threatening messages – for any reason – report it to the police. Homophobic, biphobic or transphobic language is also not acceptable and should be reported.

As a general guideline, if someone bullies you or someone else on social media, take a screenshot and report this through the website or app they used to send their message (screenshots can be important because often bullies will delete their abusive posts to avoid getting into trouble).

Reporting a crime

You can report a crime to Kent Police online or by calling 101. In an emergency, call 999.

If you feel the incident is due to you being LGBTQ+ it is either a hate crime or a hate incident – don't be afraid to report it in this way.