If people call you names then they might make nasty remarks saying that you are gay, whether you are or not. Rumours and gossip might be spread about you.
You might be picked on in this way because you're quiet, good looking or because you have good friends of the same sex.
What to do about gay bullyingIf you're being bullied in this way you need to tell your parents and report it to a teacher. Keep a diary of the remarks. If this sort of bullying spills over into violence then it should be reported to the police as a hate crime. Many police forces have specialist units to deal with these incidents.
The people who make these remarks are trying to make you lose your temper
so it's best not to respond to the taunts or if you feel you need to, just say, "Whatever".
In many cases the people who are picking on you are projecting their prejudice on to others. They may also hear gay jibes being used at home or by older people who hold outdated attitudes.
What should schools do about gay bullying?
Schools should deal with homophobia as it's called by including it in their bullying policies. In 2003 a survey of 300 schools found that 82 per cent of teachers were aware of gay name calling in their schools and 26 per cent knew of physical incidents.
Some schools are also dealing with the problem by raising it in citizenship lessons, looking at how to tackle prejudice and discrimination.
There are a number of organisations which help pupils with these issues including our friends at Stonewall, Schools Out and the Intercom Trust.