Psychological effects of LGBT bullying
Audri had to be home-schooled when she was a child because of LGBT bullying in school. She was teased and suffered being called names like like he-she, man, it, dyke, transvestite, and sir.
Although her mother pushed Audri to go back to school, she eventually found out how bad the bullying was and pulled her daughter out of school.
Audri remembered telling her mother: “You don’t know what it’s like to go to that hell every day.”
Now Audri is part of the PFLAG (Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays) chapter in Laurel, Mississippi and has become involved in LGBT activism. She’s only 15 years old.
Coping mechanisms against LGBT bullying
Fortunately, Audri used a type of coping mechanism against bullying called sublimation, where she put her negative feelings to good use.
Audri explained in We Are The Youth: “I wanted to get involved more and help people not to go through what I went through.”
But while Audrey’s case is a positive response, the psychological effect of bullying is more often than not negative.
According to studies, members of the LGBT have more chances of being bullied by their peers in schools. Among the forms of bullying they suffer, name-calling is the highest followed by physical bullying and physical assault.
Though the more obvious result of bullying is that children become afraid of going to school, skipping class or dropping out altogether, the long-term effects are more alarming.
Results of LGBT bullying
Adult LGBT who were bullied as children mostly suffer from either post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety disorder, while others are found to be high users of drugs and alcohol.
In a study done by Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, it was discovered that bullying effects can spill over to adulthood.
“It’s very well established how problematic bullying is short-term,” said clinical psychologist William Copeland, who led the study.
“I was surprised that a decade down the road after they’ve been victimized, when they kind of transitioned to adulthood, we would still see these emotional marks for the victims,” Copeland said.
According to the study, LGBT adults experience a sense of worthlessness and depression due to school bullying and this sometimes leads to suicide later on.
Given the long-term effects of LGBT bullying, prevention is still the best medicine. In this case, laws on anti-bullying can help against LGBT bullying in schools with a recent study showing how effective these laws are.