Poverty in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirit (LGBTQ2S+) populations in Canada: an intersectional review of the literature

Authors:
Hannah KiaUniversity of Toronto, Canada

Search for other papers by Hannah Kia in
Current site
Google Scholar
Close
,
Margaret RobinsonDalhousie University, Canada

Search for other papers by Margaret Robinson in
Current site
Google Scholar
Close
,
Jenna MacKayUniversity of Toronto, Canada

Search for other papers by Jenna MacKay in
Current site
Google Scholar
Close
, and
Lori E. RossUniversity of Toronto, Canada

Search for other papers by Lori E. Ross in
Current site
Google Scholar
Close
Restricted access
Get eTOC alerts
Rights and permissions Cite this article

Despite the prominence of poverty in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit, and other sexual and gender minorities (LGBTQ2S+) in Canada, studies that centre the material conditions of these groups as sites of inquiry remain scant. Accordingly, in this paper we present an intersectional narrative review of the limited Canadian literature on LGBTQ2S+ poverty. We examine 39 studies, published between 2000 and 2018, that report Canadian data on poverty in LGBTQ2S+ youth, older adults, racial minorities and Indigenous groups. We highlight intersectional differences reflected across these axes of social location, and consider research, policy and practice implications of our analysis.

  • Abichahine, H. and Veenstra, G. (2016) Inter-categorical intersectionality and leisure-based physical activity in Canada. Health Promotion International, doi: 10.1093/heapro/daw009.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Abramovich, A.I. (2014) Young, queer and trans, homeless, and besieged: A critical action research study of how policy and culture create oppressive conditions for LGBTQ youth in Toronto’s shelter system. PhD Thesis, Canada: University of Toronto.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Abramovich, A.I. (2015) A focused response to prevent and end LGBTQ2S youth homelessness, Report for the Government of Alberta, Canada: Dr. Alex Abramovich Consulting Services, https://open.alberta.ca/publications/a-focused-response-to-prevent-and-end-lgbtq2s-youth-homelessness (accessed 26 Feb 2019).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Abramovich, A.I. (2016) Preventing, reducing and ending LGBTQ2S youth homelessness: The need for targeted strategies, Social Inclusion, 4(4): 8696. doi: 10.17645/si.v4i4.669

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Abramovich, A.I. (2017) Understanding how policy and culture create oppressive conditions for LGBTQ2S youth in the shelter system, Journal of Homosexuality, 64(11): 1484501. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2016.1244449

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Adam, B.D. and Rangel, J.C. (2015) The post-migration sexual citizenship of Latino gay men in Canada, Citizenship Studies, 19(6/7): 68295. doi: 10.1080/13621025.2015.1053797

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Adam, B.D. and Rangel, J.C. (2017) Migration and sexual health among gay Latino migrants to Canada, Canadian Journal of Sociology, 42(4): 40324.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Addis, S., Davies, M., Greene, G., Macbride-Stewart, S. and Shepherd, M. (2009) The health, social care, and housing needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender older people: A review of the literature, Health and Social Care, 17: 647658.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Albelda, R., Schneebaum, A., Badgett, M.V.L. and Gates, G. (2009) Poverty in the lesbian, gay, and bisexual community, Report, USA: Williams Institute, March. https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Albelda-Badgett-Schneebaum-Gates-LGB-Poverty-Report-March-2009.pdf (accessed 26 February 2019).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Albert, T. and Williams, G. (1998) The economic burden of HIV/AIDS in Canada. Report, Canadian Policy Research Networks, Renouf Publishing, Canada. http://librarypdf.catie.ca/PDF/P2/15210.pdf (accessed 26 Feb 2019).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Alessi, E.J. (2016) Resilience in sexual and gender minority forced migrants: a qualitative exploration, Traumatology, 22(3): 203213. doi: 10.1037/trm0000077

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Badgett, M.V.L. (2003) Money, myths, and change: The economic lives of lesbians and gay men, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

  • Bergeron, S. and Senn, C.Y. (2003) Healthcare utilization in a sample of Canadian lesbian women: predictors of risk and resilience, Women and Health, 37(3): 1935. doi: 10.1300/J013v37n03_02

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bowleg, L. (2008) When Black + Lesbian + Woman ≠ Black Lesbian Woman: The methodological challenges of qualitative and quantitative intersectionality research, Sex Roles, 59(5-6): 312-325.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brennan, D.J., Emlet, C.A., Brennenstuhl, S., Rueda, S. and OHTN Cohort Study Research Team (2013) Socio-demographic profile of older adults with HIV/AIDS: gender and sexual orientation differences, Canadian Journal on Aging, 32(1): 3143. doi: 10.1017/S0714980813000068

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Browne, K. and Nash, C.J. (2014) Resisting LGBT rights where ‘we have won’: Canada and Great Britain, Journal of Human Rights, 13(3): 32236. doi: 10.1080/14754835.2014.923754

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation (2019) LGBTQ2S+ housing needs and challenges, www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/housing-observer-online/2019-housing-observer/lgbtq2s-housing-needs-challenges (accessed 27 Aug 2019).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cho, S., Crenshaw, K.W. and McCall, L. (2013) Toward a field of intersectionality studies: Theory, applications, and praxis, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 38: 785810.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chuang, H.T., Devins, G.M., Hunsley, J. and Gill, M.J. (1989) Psychosocial distress and well-being among gay and bisexual men with human immunodeficiency virus syndrome, American Journal of Psychiatry, 146(7): 87680. doi: 10.1176/ajp.146.7.876

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Clark, N. (2016) Red intersectionality and violence-informed witnessing praxis with Indigenous girls, Girlhood Studies, 9(2): 4664. doi: 10.3167/ghs.2016.090205

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Collins, P.H. (2009) Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment, New York, NY: Routledge.

  • Cook, D.A. (2008) Narrowing the focus and broadening horizons: complementary roles for systematic and nonsystematic reviews, Advances in Health Sciences Education, 13: 3915. doi: 10.1007/s10459-008-9140-4

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cook, D.A. and West, C.P. (2012) Conducting systematic reviews in medical education: a stepwise approach, Medical Education, 46: 94352. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2012.04328.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Crenshaw, K. (1989) Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist politics, The University of Chicago Legal Forum, 140: 139167.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DeFilippis, J.N. (2016) ‘What about the rest of us?’ An overview of LGBT poverty issues and a call to action, Journal of Progressive Human Services, 27: 143174.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Egale (2017) Bill C-16 passes! https://egale.ca/billc16/ (accessed 25 Feb 2019).

  • Foster, J.E. and Wolfson, M.C. (2010) Polarization and the decline of the middle class: Canada and the US, Journal of Economic Inequality, 8: 24773. doi: 10.1007/s10888-009-9122-7

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fredriksen-Goldsen, K.I. and Muraco, A. (2010) Aging and sexual orientation: A 25 year review of the literature, Research on Aging, 32: 372413.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Frederick, T.J., Ross, L.E., Bruno, T.L. and Erickson, P.G. (2011) Exploring gender and sexual minority status among street-involved youth, Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 6(2): 16683. doi: 10.1080/17450128.2011.564225

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gattis, M.N. (2011) An ecological systems comparison between homeless sexual minority youths and homeless heterosexual youths, Journal of Social Service Research, 39(1): 3849. doi: 10.1080/01488376.2011.633814

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gattis, M.N. (2013) Psychosocial problems of homeless sexual minority youths and their heterosexual counterparts, PhD Thesis, USA: Washington University.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • George, C., Alary, M., Hogg, R.S., Otis, J., Remis, R.S., Mâsse, B., Turmel, B., Leclerc, R., Lavoie, R., Vincelette, J., Parent, R., Chan, K., Martindale, S., Miller, M.L., Kraib, K.J.P. and Schechter, M.T. (2007) HIV and ethnicity in Canada: is the HIV risk-taking behaviour of young foreign-born MSM similar to Canadian-born MSM?, AIDS Care, 19(1): 916. doi: 10.1080/09540120600909398

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GLAAD (2019) Nondiscrimination laws and the LGBTQ community. https://www.glaad.org/reference/nondiscrimination (accessed 26 Aug 2019).

  • Gorey, K.M., Richter, N.L., Luginaah, I.N., Hamm, C., Holoway, E.J., Zou, G. and Balagurusamy, M.K. (2015) Breast cancer among women living in poverty: better care in Canada than in the United States, Social Work Research, 39: 10718. doi: 10.1093/swr/svv006

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Government of British Columbia (2019) Youth employment program, www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/careers-myhr/job-seekers/internship-co-op-opportunities/youth-employment-program (accessed 27 Aug 2019).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Government of Canada (2018a) Rights of LGBTI persons, www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/rights-lgbti-persons.html (accessed 26 Aug 2019).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Government of Canada (2018b) Opportunity for all – Canada’s first poverty reduction strategy, https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/campaigns/poverty-reduction.html (accessed 25 Feb 2019).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hankivsky, O. and Cormier, R. (2011) Intersectionality and public policy: some lessons from existing models, Political Research Quarterly, 64(1): 21729. doi: 10.1177/1065912910376385

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Iwasaki, Y., Bartlett, J., MacKay, K., Mactavish, J. and Ristock, J. (2005) Social exclusion and resilience as frameworks of stress and coping among selected non-dominant groups, International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 7(3): 417. doi: 10.1080/14623730.2005.9721870

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jewell, L.M. and Morrison, M.A. (2010) ‘But there’s a million jokes about everybody...’: prevalence of, and reasons for, directing negative behaviors toward gay men on a Canadian university campus, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 25(11): 2094112. doi: 10.1177/0886260509354499

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kidd, S.A., Gaetz, S. and O’Grady, B. (2017) The 2015 national Canadian homeless youth survey: mental health and addiction findings, The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 62(7): 493500. doi: 10.1177/0706743717702076

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kojima, D. (2014) Migrant intimacies: mobilies-in-difference and Basue tactics in queer Asian diasporas, Anthropologica, 56(1): 3344.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lachowsky, N.J., Dulai, J.J.S., Cui, Z., Sereda, P., Rich, A., Patterson, T.L., Corneil, T.T., Montaner, J.S.G., Roth, E.A., Hogg, R.S. and Moore, D.M. (2017) Lifetime doctor-diagnosed mental health conditions and current substance use among gay and bisexual men living in Vancouver, Canada, Substance Use and Misuse, 52(6): 78597. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2016.1264965

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lessard, D., Lebouché, B., Engler, K. and Thomas, R. (2016) An analysis of socio- demographic and behavioural factors among immigrant MSM in Montreal from an HIV-testing site sample, The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 25(1): 5360. doi: 10.3138/cjhs.251-A4

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lewis, N.M. (2012) Remapping disclosure: Gay men’s segmented journeys of moving out and coming out, Social and Cultural Geography, 13(3): 21131. doi: 10.1080/14649365.2012.677469

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Logie, C.H., Lacombe-Duncan, A., Lee-Foon, N., Ryan, S. and Ramsay, H. (2016) ‘It’s for us –newcomers, LGBTQ persons, and HIV-positive persons. You feel free to be’: a qualitative study exploring social support group participation among African and Caribbean lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender newcomers and refugees in Toronto, Canada, BMC International Health and Human Rights, doi: 10.1186/s12914-016-0092-0.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lyons, T., Krüsi, A., Pierre, L., Smith, A., Small, W. and Shannon, K. (2016) Experiences of trans women and two-spirit persons accessing women-specific health and housing services in a downtown neighborhood of Vancouver, Canada. LGBT Health, 3(5): 373378. doi: 10.1089/lgbt.2016.0060

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McCall, L. (2005) The complexity of intersectionality, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 30: 1771800.

  • McCreary Centre Society (2008) Moving upstream: Aboriginal marginalized and street involved youth in BC. Report, Canada: McCreary Centre Society. http://www.mcs.bc.ca/pdf/Moving_Upstream_Websmall.pdf (accessed 26 Feb 2019).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Millett, G.A., Peterson, J.L., Flores, S.A., Hart, T.A., Jeffries, W.L., Wilson, P.A., Rourke, S.B., Heilig, C.M., Elford, J., Fenton, K.A. and Remis, R.S. (2012) Comparisons of disparities and risks of HIV infection in black and other men who have sex with men in Canada, UK, and USA: a meta-analysis, Lancet, 380(9839): 3418. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60899-X

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mule, N.J., Ross, L.E., Deeprose, B., Jackson, B.E., Daley, A., Travers, A. and Moore, D. (2009) Promoting LGBT health and wellbeing through inclusive policy development, International Journal for Equity in Health, doi: doi: 10.1186/1475-9276-8-18.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Murray, D.A.B. (2014) Real queer: ‘authentic’ LGBT refugee claimants and homonationalism in the Canadian refugee system, Anthropologica, 56(1): 2132.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nakhaie, R. and Wijesingha, R. (2015) Discrimination and health of male and female Canadian immigrant, Journal of International Migration and Integration, 16(4): 125572. doi: 10.1007/s12134-014-0392-y

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nierobisz, A., Searl, M. and Théroux, C. (2008) Human rights commissions and public policy: The role of the Canadian Human Rights Commission in advancing sexual orientation equality rights in Canada, Report for the Canadian Human Rights Commission, Canada, www.chrc-ccdp.gc.ca/sites/default/files/soer_eng_1.pdf (accessed 26 Feb 2019).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ploeg, J., Lohfeld, L. and Walsh, C.A. (2013) What is ‘elder abuse’? Voices from the margin: the views of underrepresented Canadian older adults, Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, 25(5): 396424. doi: 10.1080/08946566.2013.780956

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ristock, J., Zoccole, A. and Passante, L. (2010) Aboriginal two-spirit and LGBTQ migration, mobility and health research project: Winnipeg, final report. www.2spirits.com/PDFolder/MMHReport.pdf (accessed 25 Feb 2019).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ristock, J., Zoccole, A. and Potskin, J. (2011) Aboriginal two-spirit and LGB TQ migration, mobility and health research project: Vancouver, final report, http://www.2spirits.com/PDFolder/2011%20Vancouver%20full%20report%20final.pdf (accessed 25 Feb 2019).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Robinson, M. (2017) Two-spirit and bisexual people: different umbrella, same rain, Journal of Bisexuality, 17(1): 729. doi: 10.1080/15299716.2016.1261266

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ross, L.E., O’Gorman, L., MacLeod, M.A., Bauer, G.R., MacKay, J. and Robinson, M. (2016) Bisexuality, poverty and mental health: a mixed methods analysis, Social Science and Medicine, 156: 6472. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.03.009

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ross, L.E., Salway, T., Tarasoff, L.A., MacKay, J.M., Hawkins, B.W. and Fehr, C.P. (2018) Prevalence of depression and anxiety among bisexual people compared to gay, lesbian, and heterosexual individuals: a systematic review and meta-analysis, The Journal of Sex Research, 55: 43556. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2017.1387755

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Saewyc, E., Poon, C., Wang, N., Homma, Y., Smith, A. and the McCreary Centre Society. (2007). Not yet equal: The health of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth in BC. Report, McCreary Centre Society, Canada. http://www.mcs.bc.ca/pdf/not_yet_equal_web.pdf (accessed 26 Feb 2019).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Scheim, A.I., Zong, X., Giblon, R. and Bauer, G.R. (2017) Disparities in access to family physicians among transgender people in Ontario. Canada. International Journal of Transgenderism, 18(3): 34352. doi: 10.1080/15532739.2017.1323069

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Skinner, D. (2015) Critical perspectives on LGBT public health, Critical Public Health, 25(5): 50912. doi: 10.1080/09581596.2015.1062845

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, M. (2008) Political institutions and lesbian and gay rights in the United States and Canada, New York: Routledge.

  • Statistics Canada (2006) 2006 census: aboriginal peoples in Canada in 2006: Inuit, Métis and First Nations, www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2006/as-sa/97–558/p2-eng.cfm (accessed 25 Feb 2019).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Taylor, C. (2009) Health and safety issues for aboriginal transgender/two spirit people in Manitoba, Canadian Journal of Aboriginal Community-Based HIV/AIDS Research, 2: 6384.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Taylor, C., Peter, T., McMinn, T.L., Elliott, T., Beldom, S., Ferry, A., Gross, Z., Paquin, S. and Schacter, K. (2011) Every class in every school: The first national climate survey on homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in Canadian schools, Report, Canada: Egale Canada Human Rights Trust, https://egale.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/EgaleFinalReport-web.pdf (accessed 26 Feb 2019)

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thomeer, M.B. (2013) Sexual minority status and self-rated health: The importance of socioeconomic status, age, and sex, American Journal of Public Health, 103: 881888.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Veale, J., Saewyc, E., Frohard-Dourlent, H., Dobson, S., Clarke, B. and the Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey Research Group (2015) Being safe, being me: Results of the Canadian trans youth health survey, Report, Canada: the University of British Columbia.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Waite, S. (2015). Does it get better? A quasi-cohort analysis of sexual minority wage gaps, Social Science Research, 54: 11330. doi: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2015.06.024

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wolfe, P. (2006) Settler colonialism and the elimination of the native, Journal of Genocide Research, 8(4): 387409. doi: 10.1080/14623520601056240

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Young, M.E., Razack, S., Hanson, M.D., Slade, S., Varpio, L., Dore, K.L. and McKnight, D. (2012) Calling for a broader conceptualization of diversity: surface and deep diversity in four Canadian medical schools, Academic Medicine, 87(11): 150110. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31826daf74

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yuval-Davis, N. (2006) Intersectionality and feminist politics, European Journal of Women’s Studies, 13(3): 193209.

Hannah KiaUniversity of Toronto, Canada

Search for other papers by Hannah Kia in
Current site
Google Scholar
Close
,
Margaret RobinsonDalhousie University, Canada

Search for other papers by Margaret Robinson in
Current site
Google Scholar
Close
,
Jenna MacKayUniversity of Toronto, Canada

Search for other papers by Jenna MacKay in
Current site
Google Scholar
Close
, and
Lori E. RossUniversity of Toronto, Canada

Search for other papers by Lori E. Ross in
Current site
Google Scholar
Close

Content Metrics

May 2022 onwards Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 848 849 365
Full Text Views 1559 1561 0
PDF Downloads 1139 1139 0

Altmetrics

Dimensions