A group of LGBTQ+ teenagers in Reykjavik face daily harassment, reports RÚV.
The teens are frequently barked at, stoned, chased, and told to harm themselves by other teens and children. The group states that they have always been bullied, but it has gotten more intense recently.
It is believed that the bullying originates from a TikTok trend of barking at LGBTQ+ people to dehumanize and invalidate them. As the trend has become more popular, the bullying has intensified to the point that the teens do not feel safe leaving their homes or being alone.
“You just feel like you’ve been violated. It’s just harassment, it’s just horrible. You get tired of it and it makes you really depressed when it happens over a long period of time,” says Dagbjört Heiða Sigfúsdóttir.
The group faces daily harassment everywhere they go. The teens state that they are terrified every time they leave their houses, go on the bus, or do everyday errands. The constant harassment has taken a toll on the mental health and well-being of the teens.
“She gets nervous sometimes,” says mother to Iðunn Birna Þórisdóttir, Arna Hrund Arnardóttir. “At one point, she was self-harming to try to rid herself of these feelings.”
Parents of the teens wish that the bullies would understand the impact they are having and understand how it is causing severe distress to their children. The parents have noticed how their children have become depressed and isolated due to the harassment.
The harassment became so harmful last year, that one of the group’s friends committed suicide. Along with the constant harassment, the group has had to process the loss of their friend.
If you or someone you know faces harassment or bullying due to sexual orientation or gender identity, it is possible to reach out to the following resources for help:
For counseling, you can reach the National Queer Organisation directly. You can also contact the Social Centre for Queer Youth. And as always, you can also contact Trans Ísland or the National Queer Organisation for more information and resources.
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