CMHA Toronto joins individuals and organizations worldwide to celebrate the history, courage and diversity of Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex and asexual (2SLGBTQIA+) individuals for Pride Month in June.
While Pride festivals across the province recognize Ontario’s vibrant and creative 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, it’s important to note that these individuals continue to face specific mental health issues and barriers for accessing supports.
2SLGBTQIA+ people are as diverse as the general Canadian population in their experiences of mental health and well-being, but they face higher risks for some mental health issues due to the effects of discrimination and the social determinants of health. This includes issues in finding safe, secure housing, appropriate health care, or a supportive work environment, particularly for transgender individuals and with people who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+ and have other intersectionalities.
Additional factors that may impact mental health and well-being for 2SLGBTQIA+ people include the process of “coming out” (sharing one’s sexual or gender identity with others), gender transition, internalized oppression, isolation and alienation and loss of family or social supports. 2SLGBTQIA+ people may also experience other forms of marginalization – such as racism, sexism, poverty or other factors – alongside homophobia or transphobia that negatively impact on mental health.
For more on 2SLGBTQIA+ communities and mental health, visit the Rainbow Health Ontario website.