In Brief: COVID-19 IMPACTS Among LGBTQ2+ Canadians

Vanier Institute’s In Brief Series: Mobilizing Research on Families in Canada

Diana Gerasimov

February 25, 2021

STUDY: Prokopenko, E., and C. Kevins. “Vulnerabilities Related to COVID-19 Among LGBTQ2+ Canadians,” StatCan COVID-19: Data to Insights for a Better Canada, Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 45-28-0001 (December 15, 2020). Link:

Public health restrictions that have been enforced to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have created unique obstacles for LGBTQ2+ Canadians,1 who already face inequalities in income, financial security and housing compared with their non-LGBTQ2+ counterparts.

The Public Health Agency of Canada identifies people facing financial instability or those within precarious living situations (insecure, inadequate or non-existent housing) as especially vulnerable during the pandemic. The Survey of Safety in Public and Private Spaces 2018 highlights differences in social and economic vulnerabilities of LGBTQ2+, identifying the challenges and stressors that could place them at greater risks to the impacts of COVID-19.

  • The average personal incomes of LGBTQ2+ earners were notably lower ($39,000) than those of non-LGBTQ2+ individuals ($54,000).
  • 33% of LGBTQ2+ Canadians reported difficulties meeting their basic needs – housing, transportation, food and other vital expenses, compared with 27% of non-LGBTQ2+ Canadians.
  • 11% of LGBTQ2+ Canadians reported not being able to handle an unforeseen expense of $500, compared with 7% of non-LGBTQ2+ Canadians.
  • LGBTQ2+ Canadians were more than twice as likely (27%) to have experienced some form of housing insecurity or homelessness, compared with their non-LGBTQ2+ counterparts (13%).
  • LGBTQ2+ Canadians (6%) were three times more likely than non-LGBTQ2+ Canadians (2%) to disclose having had to reside in a shelter, on the streets or in an abandoned building.
  • LGBTQ2+ Canadians were twice as likely than their non-LGBTQ2+ counterparts (7% vs. 3%) to report having to temporarily reside somewhere other than their home, as a result of fleeing an abusive or violent home situation.
  • LGBTQ2+ youth aged 15 to 24 (35%) were more likely to be residing outside of their parents’ homes compared with their non-LGBTQ2+ counterparts (24%).

In August 2020, Egale Canada, in partnership with the African-Canadian Civic Engagement Council and INNOVATIVE Research Group, released findings from their second national report that confirm the pandemic has had an increased impact on LGBTQI2S communities in Canada, and even an even greater one on those who are Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC)2:

  • In comparison with the national population, BIPOC LGBTQI2S were more likely to report that the pandemic has had a significant impact on their overall quality of life (42% vs. 29%).
  • LGBTQI2S people and members of their household have been more affected (52%) by layoffs and/or reduced hours than national respondents (43%).
  • Compared with the total population, members of the BIPOC LGBTQI2S community were more than twice as likely to report that the pandemic has had a significant impact on their mental health (47% vs. 26%).
  • BIPOC LGBTQI2S are least likely (60%) to report feeling confident and secure in their household’s current financial situation, compared with LGBTQI2S (67%) and national respondents (72%).
  • However, among surveyed LGBTQI2S people between March 2020 and June 2020, there was an increase in reported financial confidence from 45% to 67%.

Diana Gerasimov is a writer with a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University in Communication and Cultural Studies.

Read the full study

Related resources:

Celebrating Chosen Family Within the LGBTQ+ Community

In Conversation: Lucy Gallo on Access, Adaptation and Resilience Among LGBTQI2S Youth


  1. This community is composed of Canadians who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Two-Spirit or another minority sexual identity.
  2. Egale Canada, African-Canadian Civic Engagement Council and INNOVATIVE Research Group, “Impact of COVID-19 on Canada’s LGBTQI2S Community,” Second National Report (August 27, 2020). Link:


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