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June 12, 2017
Oxford County Rainbow Coalition presents full report on LGBTQ peoples’ experiences in Oxford County

Report shares promising findings but also identifies disparities for local LGBTQ peoples


NEWS FROM OXFORD COUNTY'S RAINBOW COALITION

Oxford County's Rainbow Coalition logo

Today, the Oxford County Rainbow Coalition is releasing a report that summarizes the experiences and needs related to the health and well-being of the Oxford County lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. The report shares promising findings, but also identifies disparities faced by local LBGTQ people, and recognizes that there is still work to be done to improve supports and services available to LGBTQ community members.

Promising survey findings include the fact that over 90 per cent of survey participants felt that people in their lives, such as friends, partner(s), teachers and classmates were somewhat or very supportive of their sexual orientation. Additionally, half of participants had five or more close friends or relatives that they felt at ease with and who they felt they could talk with about what is on their mind.

Some disparities identified through the survey were related to health and access to health services.

Eighty five per cent of participants had a regular primary health care provider, or had access to a walk-in clinic. However, only 56 per cent of LGBTQ participants had disclosed their sexual orientation to their health care provider, and almost half had interacted with a health care provider that assumed they were heterosexual.

The survey also found that accessing health care services for transgender people who have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their assigned sex at birth was more challenging. Almost one third reported that a primary care provider told them that they did not know enough about trans-related care to provide it, and over half of trans participants reported having to educate health care providers about their needs.

From a community perspective, only 25 per cent of respondents felt a strong sense of belonging to the community. This can be compared to 55 per cent of residents in Oxford County who felt a strong sense of belonging, based on the Oxford County Community Wellbeing Survey. Sixty seven per cent of LGBTQ participants felt there was a need for LGBTQ friendly spaces to socialize in Oxford County.

The report findings highlight that opportunities exist to decrease health inequities and improve communication, acceptance and comfort within Oxford County related to a diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities.

The full report and report summary can be read online on the Oxford County website.

The study was completed through a collaboration between the Oxford County Rainbow Coalition and the Equity Sexual Health and HIV Research Group at Wilfrid Laurier University, with support from Oxford County Public Health & Emergency Services.

Background

In 2016, Oxford County’s Rainbow Coalition commissioned a survey to better understand the experiences and needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in Oxford County. The survey ran from February to July 2016, and included 137 people, 16 years and older, that self-identified as LGBTQ and that lived, worked or went to school in Oxford County.

Graphic

LGBTQ Report Infographic

Social media and online content

Facebook: Oxford County Rainbow Coalition
www.oxfordcounty.ca/speakup 

About Oxford County’s Rainbow Coalition

Oxford County’s Rainbow Coalition recognizes the importance of providing support for Oxford’s LGBTQ community. The Coalition looks to address ongoing issues of homophobia and heterosexism in Oxford County.The Rainbow Coalition is a working group of representatives from Oxford County Public Health, Oxford County Community Health Centre and CMHA Oxford, Ingamo Homes, Woodstock General Hospital, Woodstock Public Library and volunteers from the community. The Coalition’s mission is to create a safer and more supportive Oxford County for all people to live, work and play. For more information visit the Rainbow Coalition Facebook page.


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