Society’s norms and expectations can reinforce the exclusion and mistreatment of marginalized groups. Bullies may conform to these norms to fit in or gain social approval. Anti-2SLGBTQ+ bullying is fueled by heteronormativity. Heteronormativity is the societal idea that heterosexuality is normal or natural. This societal ideology is based in colonialism and patriarchy. Bullying based on or regarding sexuality, gender identity, or gender expression is a form of identity-based bullying.
Identity-based bullying exists at the crossroads of bullying and bias. It encompasses any bullying that centers on a person’s identity or their perceived affiliation with specific identity groups, such as race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and more. Since identity-based bullying targets who someone is as a person, this kind of bullying can be especially harmful.