Any hostile or offensive action against lesbians, gay males,
bisexual or transgender people, or those perceived to be lesbian,
gay, bisexual or transgender can be classed as homophobic
These actions might include:
- Verbal, physical, or emotional (social exclusion) harassment,
insulting or degrading comments, name calling, gestures, taunts,
insults or 'jokes'
- Offensive graffiti
- Humiliating, excluding, tormenting, ridiculing or threatening
refusing to work or co-operate with others because of their sexual
orientation or identity.
Children and young people's legal rights
In July 2000, the DFES issued the new statutory guidelines in
Sex and Relationship Education Guidance, which includes the
requirement that schools must provide for the needs of young gay
men and lesbians.
Section 1.30 states:
'It is up to schools to make sure
that the needs of all pupils are met in their programmes. Young
people, whatever their developing sexuality, need to feel that sex
and relationship education is relevant to them and sensitive to
Section 1.32 states:
'Schools need to be able to deal
with homophobic bullying. Guidance issued by the Department (Social
Inclusion: Pupil Support Curricular 10/99) dealt with the
unacceptability of and emotional distress and harm caused by
bullying in whatever form - be it racial, as a result of a pupil's
appearance, related to sexual orientation or for any other
More guidance is available in the DfES publication Stand up for us:
Challenging homophobia in schools.
If you would like more information on homophobic bullying or the
support available for the gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender
community, please contact the following specialist