Unfortunately, homophobic bullying is more common than it should be.
Your child might be out and proud, or not out, or entirely straight, and none of these things will make them immune from homophobic bullying.
First and foremost, make sure the home is a safe space: free from homophobic language, such as “that’s so gay”, or derogatory terms aimed at gay people, lesbians, andor transgender people.
You may need to have a chat with other members of the family to make sure they are aware that this type of language is unacceptable.
To address any misconceptions people might be aiming at your child, you should know the real facts about the LGBT Community. There are many places to do this, visit shoutout.ie for a list of terminology. It’s also important to confront any misconceptions you might have had without realising it.
Speak to your child and let them know you are available to discuss this. They might assume you don’t want to hear about homophobic bullying because, it may mean addressing issues about orientation and sexual activity. Make sure they know this is a topic you’re open to speaking about, while respecting their privacy.
Speak to the school, if it’s happening in school or with the other parents if it’s outside school. Let them know this is happening and you’re concerned.
Schools have to address homophobic and transphobic bullying, but might not be aware it’s happening. You could also encourage the school to host a ShoutOut workshop, which tackles homophobic and transphobic bullying.
This is a guest post from Bella Fitzpatrick, Shoutout.ie. The image was taken from their site.