Child welfare in Ontario

“Child welfare” refers to the system of services provided to children and youth in need of protection because they have been or are at risk of being abused and/or neglected, as well as services provided to families to prevent their child or youth from coming into care, or to facilitate reunification with a child or youth in care.

In Ontario, these services are delivered by children’s aid societies (societies), which are independent, non-profit organizations. At the time of writing, there were 49 societies, including 11 Indigenous societies, in Ontario. The Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) funds and oversees societies.

The paramount purpose of the legislation governing child welfare in Ontario is “to promote the best interests, protection, and well being of children.” Societies have the exclusive mandate under Ontario legislation to deliver child protection services.

To determine whether a child is in need of protection, societies apply a standardized tool called the Ontario Child Welfare Eligibility Spectrumfootnote 16. If a society determines that an investigation is required, they must apply the Ontario Child Protection Standardsfootnote 17. The Child Protection Standards guide the child protection worker throughout the life of the case— from intake, through the investigation, to ongoing case management and closure. When a determination is made that a child is in need of protection, societies provide families with services and supports, and/or referrals to community partners to try, where possible, to prevent children and youth from entering into care, and to address identified protection concerns. The primary goal when any child comes into the care of a society is for the child to be returned home whenever possible, and work is focused on achieving this objective.

Children and youth come to be in the care of societies for a variety of reasons. Children and youth in the care of a society who cannot be returned home are placed in out-of-home care with a caregiver(s) selected based on the child or youth’s needs and the options available in the child or youth’s extended network and community. Finding permanent homes for children and youth in care is a key contributor to improving their outcomes by providing them with safe, nurturing, and stable relationships, as well as opportunities for growth and development. Some children and youth in care will grow up in society care if a permanent home that meets their needs does not become available.

The range of placement options includes:

  • Customary care: a culturally appropriate placement option for Indigenous children and youth in need of protection, where a child or youth is placed with a person who is not the child or youth’s parent, according to the custom of the child or youth’s band or Indigenous community.
  • Kinship care: the placement of a child or youth determined to be in need of protection with a kin or community member until safety issues have been addressed to allow the child or youth's return to their parent(s), or another permanency plan has been established.
  • Foster care: a family-based placement option for a child or youth determined to be in need of protection.
  • Group care: the placement of a child or youth determined to be in need of protection in a children’s residence (e.g., group home). There are two group home options: 1) a staff model that provides care to three or more unrelated children, or 2) a parent model that provides care to five or more unrelated children.
  • Legal custody: occurs when a foster parent, kin or community member obtains a legal custody order in accordance with provincial child welfare legislation for a child or youth in extended society care footnote 18 (up to the age of 18), and that child or youth has been discharged from society care.
  • Adoption: a court order establishing that, for all purposes of law, the adopted child becomes the child of the adoptive parent and the adoptive parent becomes the parent of the adopted child.

To support youth transitioning out of the care of a society, the Youth-in-Transition Worker program, which is delivered by community agencies across the province, links young people as they transition out of care to resources and supports including housing support, education resources, employment services, and life skills training available in the communityfootnote 19.

Rights of LGBT2SQ children and youth

LGBT2SQ children and youth served by Ontario’s child welfare system have the right to be free of discrimination. By examining how human rights legislation applies to LGBT2SQ children and youth, child welfare professionals can gain a greater understanding of how to develop fair, inclusive, and appropriate policies and procedures to protect the rights of, and build safer environments for, the LGBT2SQ children and youth they serve. Workers, leaders, families, and caregivers can educate themselves on international conventions and national and provincial non-discrimination laws by reviewing the following:

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)

  • The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is the most widely accepted human rights treatyfootnote 20. The treaty establishes a wide range of protection and participation rights for children up to the age of 18. The UNCRC states that children everywhere— without discrimination—have rights: to survival; to develop to the fullest; to protection from harmful influences, abuse, and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural, and social lifefootnote 21.

    The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982)

  • The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms enshrines in law the rights and freedoms of all people in Canada. Section 15 (Equality Rights) of the Charter states, “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age, or mental or physical disability.”

    The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Ontario Human Rights Code (1962)

  • The Ontario Human Rights Code is a provincial law that recognizes the dignity and worth of every person, and gives everybody equal rights and opportunities without discrimination in areas such as jobs, housing, and services. Specifically, the Code prohibits actions that discriminate against people based on protected grounds, including: sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.

    The Ontario Human Rights Code

Child and Family Services Act (1990) / Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017

  • The Child and Family Services Act (CFSA) governs many of the province’s programs and services for children and youth. The CFSA’s paramount purpose is to promote the best interests, protection, and well being of children. Ontario has passed the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 (CYFSA) which will repeal and replace the CFSA. The CFSA's preamble recognizes that the Government of Ontario is committed to the principles that services provided to children and families should be child-centred, should respect their identity, diversity and the principle of inclusion, and be informed by awareness of systemic biases and racism, and the need to address these barriers.

    The Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017

Ontario Human Rights Commission, Policy on Discrimination and Harassment because of Sexual Orientation (2006)

  • The policy was developed to help the public and Commission staff gain a better understanding of how the Ontario Human Rights Code protects Ontarians of all sexual orientations and to sensitize them to the issues faced by persons on the basis of sexual orientation and same-sex/ assigned sex and/or same gender partnership status. It also aims to raise awareness among service providers, employers, and landlords of their obligations under the Code.

    The Ontario Human Rights Commission, Policy on Discrimination and Harassment because of Sexual Orientation

Ontario Human Rights Commission, Policy on Harassment because of Gender Identity and Gender Expression

Key concepts

The previous section provided some definitions of LGBT2SQ identities. This section provides information on some additional key concepts that are important to understand before moving to the sections that follow.

Intersectionality

“Intersectionality” is a concept first defined by Kimberlé Crenshawfootnote 22 that describes how people are shaped by their many identities, including their sex/ assigned sex, race, ethnicity, language, ability, faith, age, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, and the ways in which these identities intersect. Some examples of intersecting identities include a gay man of colour or a cisgender woman with a disability.

Together, these identities can result in unique and distinct experiences for an individual or group that may create barriers or opportunities.

Understanding intersectionality is central to providing holistic supports and services to children and youth impacted by the risks and challenges associated with their gender identity, gender expression, and/or sexual orientation. Indigenous, Black and racialized LGBT2SQ children and youth need access to holistic supports and services that distinctly affirm and support their identities as Indigenous/Two-Spirit, Black, racialized, and LGBT2SQ. At all stages of service delivery, service providers should consider whether the child or youth has access to all of the communities with which they identify, including cultural and faith-based communities. Service providers and caregivers should also consider intersections with a child or youth’s ability-related identities. The availability or absence of holistic supports and services that relate to multiple dimensions of a child or youth’s identity can impact all other areas of their life.

Many CAS staff understand very little about the needs of LGBT2SQ youth, including the very basics such as letting trans youth wear whatever clothing they want.

Society Staff

… colonization has greatly impacted the status and position of Two-Spirit people by suppressing Two-Spirit traditions and roles. With the forced change in gender construction over the last four hundred years, Two-Spirit people were alienated and persecuted for their practices, which ultimately resulted in the incomplete erasure of their teachings, practices, and roles and the emergence of homophobia and transphobia in Indigenous societies. Two-Spirit people continue to grapple with unique challenges that are shaped by their intertwining experiences of race, gender, and sexuality.

Native Youth Sexual Health Network and the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (2015)

For further information, please visit the Native Youth Sexual Health Network or the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres

Understanding that individuals face different levels of risk and different challenges will contribute to policies, programs, and services that are inclusive, reflect the diversity of children and youth in the child welfare system, and better meet their needs. These are also critical considerations in developing policies, programs and services that respond to the complex and layered nature of systemic discrimination. Some individuals are at higher risk of discrimination because they face multiple prejudices and stereotypes based on their particular set of intersecting identities. In addition to discriminatory experiences based on their gender and sexual identities, LGBT2SQ children and youth who are, for example, from racialized, Black or Indigenous communities, may also experience inequitable treatment based on those identities.

Discrimination

Discrimination is the act of treating an individual or a group of people unequally and generally arises from negative attitudes, fear or hatred, and stereotypical assumptions and biasesfootnote 23. LGBT2SQ children and youth may face discrimination in care systems if they receive inequitable treatment due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Systemic discrimination occurs when an organization creates or maintains inequity on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression (e.g., not allowing a gay youth the same dating rights as a heterosexual youth, treating a trans identity as a mental health problem, prohibiting same sex and/or same gender couples from adopting a child). Discrimination can be the result of “doing things the way they’ve always been done,” without considering how they impact particular groups differently. It can be direct and easy to detect, or subtle and hidden, but still harmful either way.

Discrimination can operate on multiple levels and so must be addressed at each of these levels:

  • Individual - attitudes and actions by an individual that reflect discrimination against a social group.
  • Organizational - policies, values, structures, and practices in organizations that disadvantage some social groups and advantage others, whether intended or not.
  • Societal/Cultural - system level values, policies, structures, practices, social norms and roles, and language that reflect and reinforce the belief that one social group is superior to another.

Differences in the treatment of LGBT2SQ children and youth, including those in the child welfare system, stem fundamentally from the perspective that the behaviours and values of those who are heterosexual and cisgender are the norm. These assumptions, often unconscious, can result in services that exclude the experiences and needs of those who identify as LGBT2SQ (e.g., assumption that a family includes two parents of different sexes and/or genders).

  • Heterosexism: A system of beliefs, attitudes, biases, practices, and discrimination that favours opposite-gender/sex, sexuality and relationships. It can include the presumption that other people are heterosexual or that different gender/sex attractions and relationships are the norm and therefore superior to other identities or relationships. Heterosexism results in advantages automatically being given to heterosexual persons simply because they are heterosexual (this is often referred to as “heterosexual privilege”). A few examples of heterosexual privilege include: being able to display simple affection in public without the fear of retaliation, violence, or harassment; and children’s books only reflecting heterosexual parentsfootnote 24. Gaining awareness of the ways in which heterosexual people benefit from this privilege is critical to preventing the perpetuation of heterosexist beliefs.
  • Cissexism: Prejudice and discrimination against trans or genderqueer identities and/or expressions. This includes the presumption that being cisgender is the superior and more desirable gender identityfootnote 25.
  • Homophobia: Fear and/or hatred of homosexuality, often demonstrated by name-calling, bullying, exclusion, prejudice, discrimination, or acts of violence—anyone who is LGBT2SQ (or assumed to be) can be the target of homophobiafootnote 26. An example of homophobia is using the phrase “that’s so gay” to refer to something negative.
  • Biphobia: Fear and/or hatred of bisexuality, often demonstrated by name-calling, bullying, exclusion, prejudice, discrimination, or acts of violence—anyone who is or is assumed to be bisexual or experiences attraction to multiple sexes and/or genders can be the target of biphobiafootnote 27. An example of biphobia is assuming someone who identifies as bisexual is “just confused” or “hasn’t made up their mind” about their sexual orientation.
  • Transphobia: Negative attitudes, feelings, and/ or actions towards, and fear or hatred of trans people and communities. Like other forms of oppression, it is based on stereotypes and misconceptions that are used to justify discrimination, harassment, and violence toward trans people, or those perceived to be transfootnote 28. An example of transphobia is refusing to use the correct name or pronouns for a trans person.

LGBT2SQ children and youth and the child welfare system: Risks and challenges

LGBT2SQ children and youth can experience unique risks and challenges in the child welfare system. This section discusses some of these risks and challenges, as well as some that LGBT2SQ children and youth may face more generally.

By becoming aware, child protection workers, agencies, residential service providers, and caregivers can take steps to address and minimize these risks and challenges. The fact that an LGBT2SQ child or youth may be at risk of these challenges should be considered in decision-making about placements, permanency planning, and other services.

Family rejection

Supportive relationships with family members promote healthy development in all children and youth. Unfortunately, the over-representation of LGBT2SQ children and youth in the child welfare system is in part due to children and youth being forced out of their homes, or leaving voluntarily due to rejection or physical or emotional abuse by their familyfootnote 29. When children and youth are forced to leave home for reasons beyond their control, they may experience homelessness, poverty, violence, and other risks.

It comes down to not receiving respect. Period.

Youth

According to a study conducted by the Family Acceptance Project, LGBT2SQ youth who reported high levels of family rejection were 8.4 times more likely to have attempted suicide, 5.9 times more likely to be depressed, and 3.4 times more likely to use drugs than LGBT2SQ peers from families that reported no or low levels of family rejectionfootnote 30. Further, a recent Ontario study conducted by TransPulse found that transgender youth who had supportive families experienced a 93% reduction in suicide attempts over one year, compared to transgender youth who did not have supportive familiesfootnote 31.

Research has also shown that, if given the chance to learn about LGBT2SQ identities and experiences, and to understand the negative impacts that their rejection has on children and youth, parents, caregivers, and other family members may become more supportivefootnote 32.

Healthcare concerns and needs

While LGBT2SQ children and youth often struggle with the same health concerns as non-LGBT2SQ children and youth, they are also much more likely to experience mental health and addictions issues.

  • People who identify as LGBT2SQ have higher rates of depression and anxiety than the general population due to the negative impacts of stigma, prejudice, and discriminationfootnote 33;
  • LGBT2SQ children and youth are more likely than their peers to use drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with “isolation, alienation and discrimination from a homophobic society;”footnote 34.
  • Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQ children and youth are at a higher risk of experiencing suicidal thoughts or engaging in suicide attempts than non-Indigenous children and youth stemming from the impact of colonization, intergenerational trauma, and systemic racism;footnote 35.
  • In a study of transgender youth in Ontario, approximately half had thought about suicide and one in five had attempted suicide in the preceding year;footnote 36 and
  • Transgender children and youth who choose and are able to transition require specialized care and supportfootnote 37. Lack of access to these supports can significantly affect their mental health and wellbeing.

In general, LGBT2SQ individuals receive poorer quality health care than the general population as a result of stigma, discrimination, exclusion, and lack of access to quality carefootnote 38. Many health care providers have little to no training on LGBT2SQ health issues, or on providing specialized clinical care for members of LGBT2SQ communities. As a result, health care providers may not be sensitive to the particular health needs of, or be knowledgeable about, how to best support LGBT2SQ children and youth footnote 39. Access to appropriate health and mental health services for transgender and gender diverse children and youth is even more limited and challenging. Accessing affirming health care services may be even more challenging for LGBT2SQ children and youth outside of large urban centres, where specialized health care can be limited and training for health care professionals on appropriate LGBT2SQ care is less accessible.

Because of negative past experiences with the health care system, LGBT2SQ people may delay or avoid seeking health and mental health supports, or may choose to withhold personal information from health care providersfootnote 40.

LGBT2SQ children and youth involved in the child welfare system may have particular challenges getting appropriate health care. Frequent placement moves, for example, may make it even more difficult to find health care providers with whom they can build trust and feel confident about how they will be treated in talking openly about health issues.

Resources

LGBT2SQ-friendly health services and information on sexual and gender diversity

Violence and harassment

Gender-based violence and harassment

Gender-based violence can include any form of violence (e.g., sexual harassment, assault, exploitation, physical threats, and emotional and psychological violence) that is based on an individual’s gender, gender expression or gender identity, and is intended to control, humiliate or harm the individualfootnote 41. Violence based on gender is an issue that affects diverse populations including women-identified persons, Indigenous persons, LGBT2SQ persons, racialized women, persons with disabilities, and seniors. Lesbian and bisexual girls and women, transgender girls and women, gender fluid people, LGBT2SQ communities of colour, Two-Spirit and LGBTQ Indigenous communities, LGBTQ newcomers and refugees, LGBT2SQ persons with disabilities, and LGBT2SQ persons with HIV/AIDS are disproportionately impacted by this violencefootnote 42footnote 43. The absence of LGBT2SQ inclusive policies and programs may result in further harm to LGBT2SQ survivors of gender-based violence, and could contribute to the perpetuation of gender-based violence.

Harassment and violence in school

School can be a challenging place for children and youth in the child welfare system. Those who identify as LGBT2SQ may face experiences that compound these challenges. For example, research indicates that many LGBT2SQ students routinely face discrimination, harassment, bullying, and violence by other students—and even some teachers—on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expressionfootnote 44.

A 2011 Canadian study, conducted by Egale Canada Human Rights Trust that surveyed over 3,700 students from across Canada, found that:footnote 45

  • two out of three LGBT2SQ students reported feeling unsafe at school;
  • over two-thirds of students reported hearing homophobic expressions such as “that’s so gay” every day at school;
  • more than half of transgender students reported feeling unsafe in change rooms and washrooms;
  • approximately half of all LGBT2SQ students and three-quarters of transgender students reported that they have been verbally harassed at school; and
  • approximately one-quarter of LGBT2SQ students, and more than one-third of transgender students, reported being physically harassed or assaulted at school.

The study found that LGBT2SQ children and youth are more likely to miss class due to feeling unsafe, which impacted their academic performancefootnote 46 and demonstrates that experiences of bias, harassment, and violence can have a profoundly negative effect on a student’s success in school, and their general wellbeing.

For LGBT2SQ children and youth involved in the child welfare system, the experience of moving from placement to placement and changing schools in the process can further compromise education. Consistently supportive allies, caregivers, workers, and teachers are essential to helping LGBT2SQ children and youth cope with these realities.

Bullying

Unfortunately, many children and youth will experience bullying—as someone who has been bullied, as someone who witnesses bullying, or someone who has bullied, or a combination of all three. Bullying is a particularly significant issue for LGBT2SQ children and youth.

LGBT2SQ children and youth experience high rates of cyberbullying and online harassment in comparison with their non-LGBT2SQ peers. U.S. based research has found that LGBT2SQ youth are harassed or bullied online three times more often, and sexually harassed four times more often, than their non-LGBT2SQ peersfootnote 47.

The consequences of bullying are significant:

  • Bullying has been found to be associated with a loss of interest in school activities, decreased quality of school work, poorer grades, and poorer attendance recordsfootnote 48.
  • Approximately one-third of LGBT2SQ youth who have been bullied have attempted suicide in comparison with 7% of the total youth populationfootnote 49.

In addition, LGBT2SQ children and youth may have fewer supports available to help them address bullying and its impactsfootnote 50. Those who are in care may also experience bullying in their foster or group home; as a result, they may lack a safe home environment, which is so important to helping children and youth cope with bullying footnote 51.

Homelessness

In 2015, the first national study of children and youth who experience homelessness concluded that involvement in the child welfare system is a key risk factor for homelessness. Of the 1,103 respondents surveyed from 47 different communities across 10 provinces and territories, a high percentage of homeless youth had previous involvement with protection services (57.8%), and experienced one or more forms of abuse (63.1%) and/or neglect (37%)footnote 52.

Additionally, a disproportionate number of LGBT2SQ children and youth experience homelessness. In Canada, 29.5% of homeless youth report being LGBT2SQfootnote 53 In addition to the reasons that other youth become homeless, LGBT2SQ children and youth involved with the child welfare system may have left placements because they did not feel supportedfootnote 54.

With no fixed address, regular meals, clean clothes or showers, homeless youth may drop out of school and/or find it difficult to find or keep a job. For these reasons, many homeless youth lack the education, job experience or life skills to transition to independencefootnote 55.

On the street, LGBT2SQ children and youth may face barriers to accessing homeless shelters and other programs aimed at supporting street-involved children and youth. LGBT2SQ children and youth have reported being afraid to access mainstream shelters for fear of psychological, physical, or sexual violence. Transgender and gender fluid youth in particular may face barriers because homeless shelters and other support programs are often segregated by gender, and may not have an understanding of transgender and gender diverse children and youth and their needsfootnote 56. Lack of access to LGBT2SQ-inclusive shelters and programs is even greater outside of large urban centres.

Two-Spirit and LGBTQ Indigenous children and youth are particularly at risk of homelessness. They face unique barriers to accessing safe, affirming and culturally appropriate housing. Some Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQ children and youth are forced to relocate to urban centres to find housing which can result in limited access to community, language, culture, and ceremonyfootnote 57.

The risk of homelessness speaks to the need for appropriate placements for LGBT2SQ children and youth in the child welfare system and the importance of working to support family acceptance and reunification.

Myths and stereotypes

Social norms can influence our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours, and shape our understanding and assumptions about what is acceptable and what is not. There are a number of myths and stereotypes about LGBT2SQ communities that, when left unchallenged, have a harmful impact on LGBT2SQ children and youth.

Training and education can help dispel myths and build affirming and inclusive environments that recognize the realities of LGBT2SQ children and youth. Child protection workers and leaders, residential service providers, and caregivers can reinforce affirming practices by modelling appropriate behaviours, speaking out when they hear individuals supporting myths, and intervening when they witness behaviours that promote discrimination.

Here are some common myths and misconceptions about LGBT2SQ children, youth, and communities, and facts to counteract them. Child welfare service providers, leaders, and caregivers can consider how these myths have influenced their own thinking, the organizational culture for decision-making involving LGBT2SQ children and youth, and how services for LGBT2SQ children and youth have been shaped as a consequence:

MythFact
“I don't know any LGBT2SQ people.”It is estimated that around 10% of the population is LGBT2SQ and research indicates that approximately one in every four families has a member who identifies as LGBT2SQfootnote 58.Some research suggests that LGBT2SQ children and youth may represent more than 10% of child welfare clients due to family rejection and other risk factorsfootnote 59. Additionally, Egale’s First National Climate Survey on Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia in Canadian Schoolsfootnote 60 found that over 14% of students self-identified as LGBT2SQ. It’s important to remember that not all LGBT2SQ individuals are open about their sexual and/or gender diversity for various reasons, including safety and lack of support.
“Sex and gender are the same thing.”While sex/assigned sex and gender are often connected concepts, they are not the same thing. Sex/assigned sex is the classification of a person as male, female, or intersex based on biological characteristics while gender is based on a person’s internal and individual experience.
“Adolescents are too young to know their sexual orientation and gender identity.”Research has consistently shown that the average age of awareness of a lesbian, gay or bisexual identity is 10 years of age. Research confirms that children become aware of their gender identity by the age of three to five yearsfootnote 61.
“You can change an LGBT2SQ youth's identity.”Being LGBT2SQ is neither a choice, nor a phase. Medical and psychological experts agree that attempting to change someone’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity does not work and often causes harmfootnote 62.
“Parents cause their children to become LGBT2SQ.”Just as we cannot explain what makes some people heterosexual or cisgender, we do not understand what makes other people LGBT2SQ.
“Transgender people are just confused about their gender. It's just a phase.”Individuals do not choose to be transgender, much like other individuals do not choose to be cisgender. Research indicates gender identity cannot be changed by therapies designed to make a person “match” their sex/assigned sexfootnote 63.
“Gender identity and sexual orientation are the same thing.”Gender identity and sexual orientation are two completely separate aspects of a person’s identity. Gender identity is a person’s internal and individual experience of gender, while sexual orientation speaks to a person’s attraction.
“A person is either “straight” or “gay.”Many experts view sexual orientation as diverse and fluid, recognizing that many people are not exclusively homosexual or heterosexual.
“A bisexual person is just confused.”A person who identifies as bisexual experiences attraction to people of more than one sex/assigned sex or gender. It does not mean that they are confused about their sexual orientation.
“I can tell if an individual is LGBT2SQ.”This premise is based on the false assumption that all LGBT2SQ people exhibit what society has determined to be stereotypical behaviour of LGBT2SQ individuals. Many self-identified heterosexual (or “straight”) individuals exhibit mannerisms or behaviours that society considers as being “gay.”
“Coming out is a one-time event.”Coming out is a lifelong and daily process as LGBT2SQ individuals decide how to express their identity/orientation and to whom they wish to reveal their identity/orientation.
“All LGBT2SQ people have had some kind of negative experience to 'make them that way'.”There is no evidence linking child abuse with sexual orientation or gender identity later in life.
“Children raised by same-sex parents are more likely to be LGBT2SQ themselves.”Research has concluded that children raised by same-gender parents are no more or less likely to be LGBT2SQ than children raised by heterosexual parentsfootnote 64.
“There is no longer discrimination against LGBT2SQ individuals.”Many children and youth still regularly experience and/or witness anti-LGBT2SQ put downs and fight cissexist expectations of gender on a daily basis.
LGBT2SQ is one community.”LGBT2SQ people are as diverse and intersectional as non-LGBT2SQ populations. People of any race, ethnicity, religious or spiritual affiliation, language, age, and ability can identify as LGBT2SQ. When referring to LGBT2SQ groups, it is more appropriate to say LGBT2SQ communities.

Footnotes