Belfast Telegraph

Their ‘gay’ slurs are taking their toll

Northern Ireland's number one agony aunt Fiona Hurley answers your problems

Dear Fiona, I’m a 16-year-old girl and people say I’m very pretty but I don’t have time for boys as I’m really into sport.



I don’t hang about with girls other than those on my team because the rest only talk about sex.

I don’t want to be associated with them but they’ve started embarrassing me by saying I’m frigid and gay.

I don’t really have anyone to speak to so do you think there could be something wrong?

I don’t have any friends and feel that everyone’s against me.

Please give me advice.

B

Dear B,

VALUING oneself and not relenting to peer pressure is something to be proud of.

Bullies seek to instill insecurity in others because they feel so inferior, so they’re possibly secretly envious of you.

However, your reluctance to conform may be causing them to react against you.

Group conformity brings benefits such as a sense of belonging and an ‘if everyone’s doing it, it must be okay’ perspective.

Therefore, your lack of endorsement might possibly have forced them into questioning their own sexual behaviour.

Optimal sporting performance takes dedication and personal sacrifice but please ensure you’re not sacrificing friendships and personal development.

You could start gently by building upon established friendships and socialising with your team members.

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