Hey, I don't know what posting her is going to do but if anyone has any advice that might help me out of this then maybe it's worth it. I've been at this new school since September and I literally can't go in any more because of how awful it is. It's the absolute worst and every day this group of guys makes it their mission to ruin my life. They make "jokes" about me being a bummer or gayboy in front of the entire class (teachers do nothing) they push me about, spit at me, they even put a dead bird in my bag and kicked it about the yard. I'm constantly frightened of when I'm gonna see them next or wha they'll do. Every day I cry on the way to school, and every day on the way back. Teachers don't give a shit and can't talk to my parents about it cuz I'm not out yet and mum and dad would flip.
Just seems like there's no way out until I eventually leave after sixth form and I can't live like this for that long. Please help.
Thanks for your post. I'm Justin, a member of the OutLife support team.
Firstly I'm so sorry that you're going through what sounds like a horrendous time at the moment. LGBTQ+ bullying can be a horrendous experience. I can relate because I was also bullied when I was at school. I'm a fairly feminine gay man, and was especially so in my teens. Lots of bullies at school saw this as an opportunity and did similar things to me like public shaming and violent attacks. No two people's experience is ever the same, but I absolutely understand where you're coming from, and some of the feelings you're having.
First thing's first: you're not alone. It sounds from this post like you feel you've got nowhere to turn, but even if you feel you can't talk to parents or teachers, there are other people out there who can help you make things better. LGBTQ+ bullying is relatively commonplace, which is a bad thing in some ways, but also means that there are organisations who are very experienced assisting people in your situation.
Below I'm going to direct you to some resources - some are things you can read online, others are helplines and people who will listen and might be able to help. In the meantime though, I've extracted some practical advice from the Childline website on bullying, which might help you navigate your day to day:
Listen to yourself Don’t go to places that make you uncomfortable. If you get that uneasy feeling or tightness in your stomach, it’s your body and mind telling you that something might not be right. Make sure you’ve got people you trust with you.
Tell someone (note: I know you've said you feel you can't do this, but there's more to be said about this in a bit) If you’re worried about being bullied at school, tell an adult who you trust. If they don’t help you, you can get support from the head teacher to make a complaint. Schools have to take bullying seriously and protect you.
Keep a diary of what’s happening (note: quite a few bullying charities recommend this) Write down what happened, when and how it made you feel. This can be a really good way to gather evidence if you decide to tell someone.
Tell the police If you’re out in a public place and feel unsafe or scared, you can seek support from the police. You can also talk to them if someone has committed a hate crime or acted illegally towards you because of your gender or sexuality. You can call 101 to speak to the police or dial 999 in an emergency.
Stay safe online The internet can be a great way to get support and feel less isolated. But make sure you report abusive behaviour online and block people who make nasty comments.
Okay, hopefully some of that was helpful. The one you're probably stuck on is telling your parents or the school. Whilst we can't tell you what you should do, it's worth noting that, at least on the school's part, they're obliged to ensure your safety and well-being. If your teachers aren't acting on what you're telling them, then someone further up the chain, like a head of year, or even student welfare officer (assuming your school has something like this) might be able to help.
This is taken from the UK government's website, in a section on anti-LGBTQ+ bullying (https://www.gov.uk/bullying-at-school):
"By law, all state (not private) schools must have a behaviour policy in place that includes measures to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils.
This policy is decided by the school. All teachers, pupils and parents must be told what it is.
Anti-discrimination law Schools must also follow anti-discrimination law. This means staff must act to prevent discrimination, harassment and victimisation within the school. This applies to all schools in England and Wales, and most schools in Scotland."
It's also worth noting that some forms of bullying are illegal, and should be reported to the police, these include violence or assault, theft, repeated harassment or intimidation, for example name calling, threats and abusive phone calls, emails or text messages.
That's the information section over. If you're looking to talk to someone, then there are also organisations that you can call, free of charge, and speak to an advisor:
- EACH is a charity dedicated to tackling anti-LGBTQ+ bullying and it runs a helpline for young people who are being bullied. It offers totally confidential advice, and could help you find a way forward. Call them on 0808 1000 143 each.education/homophobic-transphobic-helpline
- Switchboard is an LGBTQ+ helpline operated by volunteers who all identify as LGBTQ+. It's an awesome service, and they'll gladly talk about anything you'd like. Call them on 0300 330 0630, 10am-10pm.
- Childline is more of a generalist charity, but it also runs a helpline where you can talk about bullying. It's a long-standing and trusted service. Call them on 0800 1111. Childline also runs one-to-one counsellor chat which is also confidential. Some people prefer not to talk on the phone, and if that includes you this could be useful. www.childline.org.uk/get-support/1-2-1-counsellor-chat/
- Ditch the label is an international anti-bullying charity that has a tonne of online resources and a bunch of message boards where you can chat to other people about bullying. www.ditchthelabel.org/get-help/
I hope you've found some of the above helpful. If you've got any more questions or just want to let us know how you're getting along, then please don't hesitate to post again