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People get bullied for all sorts of things and for no reason at all. Some bullying is directed at something about you, like being a girl, or because of your race or culture, or being gay. In a way, these are special types of bullying, partly because they focus on something the victim has no choice over and can do nothing to change.

Racist bullying might include these sorts of things:

  • using discriminatory or offensive language to describe members of a particular group
  • mocking colour, appearance, dress, customs, language, or accent
  • making racist jokes
  • encouraging or inciting others to take on racist viewpoints
  • promoting racist internet sites
  • wearing racist badges and signs
  • writing racist graffiti
  • sending racist text messages, phone calls or emails
  • excluding people from social groups because of their race or culture
  • physically attacking (or threatening to attack) people because of their race or culture

Racist bullying is especially nasty because it insults the victim's family too

Homophobic bullying means

  • someone is picked on either because they are gay or bisexual, or because people see them that way.
  • this might be because they don't conform to what most people think girls or boys 'ought' to look like, or wear, or behave, or it might be because of their parents or carers.
  • whether the person being bullied is gay or not, then they are being treated badly because of others' prejudices.
  • if they are gay then their identity is being criticised, put down and insulted;
  • if they are not gay they are being put down for looking or behaving in a certain way and pressured into behaving or dressing differently.
  • either way, homophobic bullying is trying to insist that there is only one 'good' or 'right' kind of sexuality. Maybe people have a right to think that if they want to, but they don't have a right to hurt others because of it.

Gender bullying means putting someone down or treating them badly because they are one sex or the other.

  • sometimes it is about saying one sex is 'better' than the other, like mocking or laughing at particular things about the other sex, or using insulting words that are more hurtful to one sex, either spoken out loud or written in graffiti
  • sometimes it involves sexual harassment, pressuring someone to do sexual things they don't want to do (this might be really clear, or it could be loads of hints). Sexual harassment can also involve:
  • commenting on appearance and attractiveness
  • spreading rumours questioning sexual reputation
  • showing someone pornographic material
  • actual sexual assault or rape

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