Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia
Discrimination against people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
Whilst things are getting better for LGBT people, most LGBT people still face discrimination, aggression and misunderstanding at different points of their life. If you’re an LGBT person and have faced discrimination, this can be really hurtful. You should never have to put up with this kind of behaviour. Remember, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being LGBT. If someone treats you badly because of your sexual orientation or gender identity, there is something wrong with them, not with you.
What counts as homophobia, biphobia or transphobia?
Any time an LGBT person is treated as less simply by virtue of being LGBT, this counts as homophobia, transphobia or biphobia. This ranges from making a joke designed to belittle an LGBT person, up to serious violence and discriminatory laws.
Many homophobic, transphobic and biphobic people sometimes claim that their behaviour is not discriminatory and that they are entitled to their opinion. However, you are the expert on your own experience, and only you can decide whether you have experienced discrimination or not.
What should I do if I’ve been a victim of homophobia, transphobia or biphobia?
It can be so hurtful and frustrating to have to deal with discrimination. It can take so long to accept your sexual orientation or gender identity, and it can be really upsetting when others don’t accept you for who you are.
A good first port of call is to contact BeLonG To Youth Services. This is an organisation dedicated to supporting LGBT young people.
It can really help to talk to other LGBT people your age. BeLonG To run LGBT youth groups all over the country. You can find a list of them here. Most colleges have an LGBT society too, so if you’re in college, this could be a great way to meet other LGBT people.
Homophobia, transphobia and biphobia are really serious and you should never feel afraid to report it to the Gardai. The Gardai have LGBT liaison officers who are trained in LGBT issues and can help you if you need to report crime. You can find a list of Garda Liaison Officers here. Outhouse is an LGBT community resource centre in Dublin. If you feel too nervous to go to the Garda station, you can contact Outhouse on 01 8734999, and they can set up an appointment with the Garda Liaison Officer for you at Outhouse, on Capel Street in Dublin City Centre.
Dealing with discrimination can be tough on your mental health. Make sure to talk to people about how you’re feeling. You could talk to a trusted friend or family member, or you can call one of the following helplines for support:
- LGBT Helpline - 1890 929 539 - 7 days a week - www.lgbt.ie
- Gay Switchboard Ireland – 01 872 1055 - www.gayswitchboard.ie
- TENI - Transgender Equality Network Ireland - 085 147 7166 or visit - www.teni.ie
- Dublin Lesbian Line - 01 8729911 - www.dublinlesbianline.ie
- Outhouse - 01 8734999 - www.outhouse.ie
- Crime Victims Helpline - 116 006 - www.crimevictimshelpline.ie
- Samaritans Ireland - 1850 60 90 90 - www.samaritans.org
You can also report LGBT hate crime at www.stophatecrime.ie
If you’re being discriminated against at work or by a service provider, contact a Citizens Information or the Equality Authority in Ireland. Free Legal Advice (FLAC) have lawyers that that specifically deal with LGBT issues. They offer free legal clinics once a month at Outhouse in Dublin. Contact Outhouse on 01 8734999 for details.