Creating Safer Spaces for LGBTQI2+ University Students

Wilfrid Laurier University, McGill University, and the Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity (CCGSD) are proud to announce that we have received a grant from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to promote the wellbeing and academic development of LGBTQI2+ university students in Canada.

Studies conducted in the US indicate that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) university students experience higher rates of discrimination, psychological distress, and poor academic outcomes compared to non-LGBT students. However, due to a lack of research, little is known about LGBT students in Canada, especially from a national perspective.

“We need to understand the experiences and strengths of LGBTQI2+ students on campuses nationwide, including the role of race and other identities, if campuses and community-based services are going to effectively promote their wellbeing and academic success,” said Jeremy Dias, CCGSD’s Executive Director.

A partnership between CCGSD and researchers from Laurier and McGill will address this gap. Using data from an existing survey conducted with over 40,000 diverse college and university students nationwide, the study will explore the experiences, perceptions, wellbeing, and academic development of LGBT students. Findings will be shared this January at CCGSD’s LGBTQ2S+ service providers network summit and policy priorities addressing LGBT students’ needs will be created in collaboration with the summit attendees, including LGBT student leaders.

 

“LGBT students have a lot to share about their experiences, and this study will allow for their voice to be heard and translated into practical recommendations that will positively impact LGBT students and their schools,” said Michael Woodford, the study lead.

 

“We are really excited about this partnership and what it will produce. CCGSD will use the results to help schools to develop policies and programs designed to promote LGBT students’ inclusion, wellbeing, and success,” Jeremy added.

In addition to research reports and articles, online factsheets will be available through the CCGSD’s website. Alongside study findings, these will include strategies for supporting diverse LGBT students. Additional information for university stakeholders and community service providers will also be disseminated through webinars.

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Meet the Researchers

Simon Coulombe, Laurier, https://www.wlu.ca/academics/faculties/faculty-of-science/faculty-profiles/simon-coulombe/index.html

Zack Marshall, McGill, www.zackmarshall.ca

Michael Woodford, Laurier, https://www.wlu.ca/academics/faculties/faculty-of-social-work/faculty-profiles/michael-r-woodford/index.html