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Differences in sexual orientation: How people can react

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

When a person identifies with being gay, lesbian, transgender, queer/questioning they can be treated unfairly and unkindly by other people. This may be because:

  • They do not like people with a different sexuality from themselves

  • They do not understand

  • They have religious beliefs that they use to justify their thoughts

  • They fear a social stigma from others who may not want to be friends with them if they were seen to be supporting people of a different sexual orientation.

A minority of people in society find it difficult to accept others who are different from them and this can lead to the following:


This is when a person treats another person who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender unfairly because of that person's sexual orientation.

Hate Crime

This is the action people take to targeted a person or group of people and physically or emotionally abuse them because, in this instance, of their sexual orientation.


This is the action taken to treat a person differently because of their gender or sexual orientation.


This is when a person faces intolerance and verbal abuse from another person; in this case, based on their gender or sexual orientation.


This is when a person, persistently and over a period of time, is mean, humiliates and embarrasses a person in front of others because of the perceived differences, in this case differences in sexual orientation.


Family and/or friends may not be able to accept that a member of their family or friendship group who find it hard to accept people for who they are.

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