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Template:Discrimination sidebarGay bullying can take one or many different forms, but it often includes verbal or physical actions that are direct or indirect in nature by a person or group against a person who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, or, of questionable sexual orientation, or, one who is perceived to be so. Gay bullying involves intentional and unprovoked actions toward the victim, repeated negative actions by one or more people against another person, and an imbalance of physical or psychological power.[1] In the early 21st century, gay bullying has expanded to include acts conducted over the Internet or cyber-bullying, too, and these act can reach audiences electronically across a city or worldwide in an instant, giving them greater propensity for causing considerable harm.


Gay bullying has occurred worldwide for many decades and continues today.[2] Just a few instances of gay bullying include:

  • In 2010, a gay man from Cameroon, an African nation, was granted asylum in the United Kingdom after reporting that he had been attacked by an angry mob in Cameroon after they saw him kissing his male partner. The Communications Minister of Cameroon, Issa Tchiroma, denied the allegation of persecution of homosexuals.[3]
  • A 32-year old man in Paisley, Scotland was bullied and harassed by his employer a Glasgow publishing firm, before he was fired. He later sued the company and won a £120,000 award.[4]
  • In 2009, Carl Joseph Walker Hoover, an 11-year old boy in Springfield, Massachusetts, hung himself with an electrical cord. His mother said his classmates at his middle school had bullied and called him “gay” on a daily basis.[5]
  • In 1996, Jamie Nabozny won a landmark lawsuit against officials at his former public high school in Ashland, Wisconsin over their refusal to intervene in the "relentless antigay verbal and physical abuse by fellow students" to which he had been subjected and which had resulted in his hospitalization.[6]


Every day, teens face harassment, threats, and violence, and they hear anti-gay slurs such as “homo”, “faggot” and “sissy” about 26 times a day or once every 14 minutes, according to Mental Health America.[7]

About two-thirds of gay and lesbian students in Britain’s schools have suffered from gay bullying, a survey by the Schools Health Education Unit found. Almost all that had been bullied had experience verbal attacks, 41 percent had been physically attacked, and 17 percent had received death threats.[8]

Several studiesTemplate:Which? in the United States and worldwideTemplate:Where have shown that gay, lesbian and bisexual youth attempt suicide at a rate three to six times that of similar age heterosexual youth.[9][unreliable source?]

In 1985, F. Paris estimated that suicides by gay youth may comprise up to 30 percent of all youth suicides in the US.[10] All gay youth likely represent about 2% to 10% of all youth.[citation needed]

There is a high rate of suicides among gay men and lesbian women according to a 1979 Jay and Young study. The study found that 40 percent of gay men and 39 percent of gay women had attempted or seriously thought about suicide.[11]


Around the world, many cities, countries and other jurisdictions have developed laws in recent years that are designed to prevent gay bullying.[citation needed] This includes the US state of Illinois which passed a law (SB3266) in June 2010 that prohibits gay bullying and other forms of bullying in the schools in that state.[12]

See also


  1. US Dept of Education, Bullying Myths and Facts, accessed Oct 2 2010,
  2. Thomas Rogers, "Explaining American schools' gay bullying epidemic," Accessed 12 December, 2010.
  3. BBC News, Cameroon Denies Homoxexuals Face Persecution, July 8, 2010,
  4. BBC News, Harassed gay man’s £120,000 award, Oct 2 2010,
  5. WCVB TV, Boston, accessed Oct 20 2010,
  6. Lambda Legal, "Nabozny v. Podlesny." Accessed 12 December, 2010.
  7. Mental Health American, Bullying and Gay Youth,
  8. BBC News, Gay Bullying in Schools Common, June 26, 2007,
  9. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, accessed Oct 2 2010,
  10. Gay Male and Lesbian Youth Suicide, 1989,
  11. Gay Male and Lesbian Youth Suicide, 1989,, page 3-111
  12. SB3266 Text,

Further reading

  • “Sexual Bullying: Gender Conflict and Pupil Culture in Secondary Schools,” by Neil Duncan (Routledge, 2001, UK)
  • “Gender, Bullying, and Harassment: Strategies to End Sexism and Homophobia in Schools,” by Elizabeth Meyer, (Teacher’s College Press, 2009 USA)
  • "Cyberbullying and the LGBT Community," Human Rights Campaign, USA
  • "You Have to Be Strong to Be Gay": Bullying and Educational Attainment in LGB New Zealanders, Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, (Sept 2008, New Zealand)
  • "Traversing the Margins: Intersectionalities in the Bullying of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth," Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, (Sept 2008, New Zealand)
  • "Homophobic Bullying and Same-Sex Desire in Anglo-American Schools: An Historical Perspective," Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, (Sept 2008, New Zealand)

External links

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