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Discrimination in Sports

To Sam

At school, i came out as gay and now when we play football or anything that involves people picking teams, i am picked last and they say something like ‘she‘ll be trying to touch us‘ or ‘lesbos cant play sport‘ and all the people on the team that i get put on (apart from my friends) leave me out. The people who deal with bullying never help, what should i do?

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Sam

Hi there,

Being treated differently or unfairly because of your sexuality is a type of discrimination. Discrimination is illegal and there are ways to get help

Telling people about your sexuality is often called coming out and it can help to be prepared for different reactions. Not everyone will be supportive but no one should ever make you feel bad for being who you are.

Homophobic bullying is bullying which focuses on someone’s sexuality. It can include being called names and being left out from a team or being picked last.  You shouldn’t be singled out or treated badly and you should be given an equal chance to be part of any sport or game you want to take part in.

You have the right to be treated fairly and with respect when playing sport. It’s wrong for people to bully you and you can report bullying and discrimination. Your teacher or sports coach should take what you say seriously and help stop what’s happening.

Sometimes you might have to tell someone more than once for the bullying or discrimination to stop. Try keeping a record of the time, date and the names of witnesses and show it to your teacher or coach. Ask them about the policies and guidance they follow so you know what to expect.

If you aren’t getting the help you need you can talk your head of year or head teacher and ask them to help. Childline counsellors can also support you and give advice on reporting discrimination and you can call free or log in for a 1-2-1 chat.

Remember that it’s always okay to be who you are and you don’t need to change for anyone else.

I am glad you sent this letter, take care

Sam

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