Potential Obstacles

For LGBTQ2+ Communities

Contracting HIV/AIDS:

  • LGB people may be at higher risk of contracting HIV / AIDS because they have been identified as using illicit substances and abusing alcohol at higher rates than the heterosexual population.
    • Research has shown that heavy drug and alcohol users more often engage in unsafe sex and therefore are a higher risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (Banks, 2003).
  • Researchers have identified a link between internalized homophobia and risky sexual behaviour. Individuals with stronger feelings of internalized homophobia have been found to participate in risky sexual behaviour more often than people with lower internalized homophobia.
    • Kelly (2002) found that reducing sexual risk taking behaviour hinged partly on positive self-esteem and pride, which can be negatively affected by homophobia (cited in Banks, 2003).
  • LGBT youth who are involved in the sex trade may choose to engage in unsafe sexual activities in order to receive greater monetary compensation or to meet other psychological and material needs.
  • Some transgender people choose to change their bodies using hormones. Because of the cost of hormones and the difficulty that many transgender people face accessing them, some transgender people are forced to share available hormones and needles with others. This places them at a very high risk for contracting HIV, Hepatitis C and other blood borne diseases.


Banks, Christopher. (2003). The Cost of Homophobia: Literature Review on the Human Impact of Homophobia in Canada. [Saskatoon, SK: Gay and Lesbian Health Services.]

Harris Interactive and GLSEN (2005). From Teasing to Torment: School Climate in America, A Survey of Students and Teachers. [New York: GLSEN.]

Mallon, G.P. (1994). Counselling Strategies for Gay and Lesbian Youth in Helping Gay and Lesbian Youth: New Policies, New Programs, New Practice. Decrescenzo, T. (Ed). Haworth Press. 75 – 91.

Patton, C. (2005). Anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Violence in 2004: A Report of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. [National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. New York, NY.]

Sullivan, C., Sommer, S., and Moff, J. (2001). Youth in the Margins: A Report on the Unmet Needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Adolescents in Foster Care. [New York: Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund.]

Connoley, R. (2005) Statistics of GLB Homelessness. The Safe Schools Coalition [Online]
Available: http://www.safeschoolscoalition.org/RG-homeless.html

Taylor, Catherine et al. (2011). Every Class in Every School: Final Report on the First National Climate Survey on Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia in Canadian Schools [Online]
Available: http://egale.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/EgaleFinalReport-web.pdf