Hamilton Health Sciences
LGBTQ+ Task Force

What is homophobic bullying?

Homophobic bullying is any hostile or offensive action relating to one's sexual orientation. These actions might be:

  • verbal, physical or emotional harassment (social exclusion)
  • 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

Homophobic bullying is often present in an environment that fails to challenge and respond to homophobia.

Homophobic slurs are used as put-downs, regardless of the target's sexual orientation. Anti-LGBTQ+ epithets and homophobic comments and conduct are prohibited by the Code’s protection against discrimination because of sexual orientation, no matter what the target's sexual orientation is, or is perceived to be. Also, depending of the circumstances, such behaviour may also be seen as a form of sexual harassment (gender-based harassment) for the purposes of filing a human rights claim under the Code.

The impact of discrimination and harassment on LGBTQ+ youth

  • 30% of suicides are LGBTQ+
  • 43% of trans-identified people attempt suicide
  • 26% of LGBTQ+ youth are told to leave home
  • LGBT youth are more likely to become homeless

Information taken from PFLAG Canada's website:

Ontario Human Rights Commission

Hamilton Health Sciences • Hamilton, Ontario • 905.521.2100

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