The Aurora School Bullying Project
From the local press:
Stonewall case studies:
Stonewall, the LGB lobby group, provided narratives of LGBT bullying:
Case study 3 - Tim is now 21 and lives in Leicestershire
"I was bullied for over 5 years, the worst was in year 10 when I started my GCSEs. People kind of outed me and then it was hell for months. It got so bad, I was put on anti-depressants and had to see a psychologist. I never told anyone the real problem though for a long time (the fact that I was being bullied for being gay, not just 'being bullied') and to this day I have long term anxiety and self-confidence problems. Since then I've had several lots of counselling and regularly have prescription drugs from the doctor."
"I had serious panic attacks night after night and used to hit my head against the wall to try and make them stop. I'd cry myself to sleep every night, go to sleep feeling sick with anxiety and wake up feeling sick with anxiety. I lost lots of weight. In the mornings on the way to school I'd often sit on the train bridge but never had the courage to do it."
"It's difficult thinking about it now and so I don't very often but my anxiety and panic attacks are a reminder. I was also turned down from being an English assistant in French schools this year due to there being 'a history of anxiety' in my medical notes. Even simple things like early mornings and Sunday nights make me anxious. It reminds me of then, when I'd get up at 6.30am to go to hell and on Sunday nights when the luxury of not being bullied for the weekend was over."
"With regard to how the school handled it, at first they were supportive but as soon as the teachers found out I was gay, they became my enemies too. It was a Church of England school and one teacher even mentioned me getting 'cured' in a South American cathedral. I was often told I was to blame and that they couldn't help me. They said they didn't have any policy against homophobic bullying and that I just had to take it."
"Teachers actually permitted students to say things - one teacher told me that some of her year pupils were possibly going to beat me up but said she was powerless because it was all my fault. The school pretended nothing was going on - I was to blame for everything. My parents got called up because I was disturbing OTHER pupils by being so depressed. My parents almost took me out of school. As soon as teachers found out I was gay, it was like a switch - I went to see one of the nice ones after school one day and she said she couldn't help me anymore. References were made to 'certain legislation'. I begged the teacher who called my parents not to call them in case they found out I was gay but she did."
"Unfortunately I was the only 'out' gay person in a school of 1400 people, I felt totally alone. Most people, at least once, said something or spat or threw something. It became the most normal thing to be walking down a corridor and have everyone part like the Red Sea. Everyone would shout, 'Bums against the wall, Tim's coming'. On the 2 minute walk from the Sixth Form Centre to the main school (it continued till I left at age 18) I would have to get ready for all the groups of people to say things and shout things."
"Every day for years this happened, not one day went by for over five years when I didn't receive some sort of bullying. I can't start to describe how I felt, it's difficult to express. It's hard to talk about it which is why I blank it out. I really do fear that it has affected me for life."
From the Stonewall website: www.stonewall.org.uk