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MSW student Amy O’Leary provides insight on the Canadian Government’s LGBTQ2 survey and priority policy issues for LGBTQ2 communities

On November 267, Canada’s federal government launched an LGBTQ2 survey to help inform a federal LGBTQ2 Action Plan. The purpose of the survey is to help the Canadian government “better understand the daily realities and experiences of LGBTQ2 people in Canada in areas such as employment, healthcare, housing and homelessness, and safety.”

The Hill Times, published in Ottawa, asked Members of Parliament and community leaders for their perspectives on the survey and actions that could be taken to improve the lives of the LGBTQ2 community based on current research and reports.

Factor-Inwentash Faculty Master of Social Work student Amy O’Leary was among those who provided insight.

From The Hill Times:

“Amy O’Leary, a masters of social work student, intern at Trans Lifeline, and trans woman, was positive about the consultations, and the survey in particular. She said she found the questions regarding gender expression and gender identity to be surprisingly inclusive and noted that, overall, it addressed a lot of different areas, including discrimination in the workplace. She said the consultations were a “good use of time,” as service users would be the primary people who would know about “the ins and outs of where marginalization has occurred.”

“As someone in the community of the community, Ms. O’Leary said that the biggest issues facing LGBTQ2 people are an over-centralization of resources in major cities and a lack of medical education around queer patients. She referred to the “trans broken arm syndrome,” where if a transgender person goes to a doctor with a broken arm, there’s the possibility they might imply their sexuality or gender identity is to blame for the injury. Supporting that was an action plan from LGBTQ2 advocacy group Egale that noted 60 per cent of health-care providers had never received training for cultural competence regarding trans populations.

“To combat these issues, Ms. O’Leary said that there should be broad education reform, with public medical schools implementing queer-inclusive lectures, and government promoting policy around inclusive education as part of its agenda.”

The full article in The Hill Times can be found here.

The LGBTQ2 survey is open to anyone in Canada aged 16 or older who self-identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, Transgender, intersex, queer and/or Two-Spirit as well as those who identify as part of the LGBTQ2 community, but use different terms or concepts to refer to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and expression. It runs until February 28, 2021 and takes about 15 minutes to complete. Participation is voluntary and anonymous.