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Raising Awareness: The Relationship Between Sexuality, Gender and Poverty

Within the World Health Organization’s definition of sexuality, it states that sexuality is a central aspect of being human, and that it is influenced by the interaction of biological, psychological, social, economic, political, cultural, historical, and religious/spiritual factors. Which, to sum it up, indicates that sexuality both affects, and is affected by, many areas of a person’s life. Many of us would agree that poverty is also a factor that affects many areas of people’s lives, but what is often overlooked is the fact that there is a relationship between sexuality and poverty.

However, because there has been progress towards acceptance of 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals in Canada in recent years, I know that I myself have often forgot about the struggles that this community is still facing. For example, I was shocked to learn that historically, 2SLGBTQIA+ Canadians have accounted for a disproportionately large percentage of Canadians who are homeless, at risk of becoming homeless, and in core housing need. This is especially true for members of at-risk groups who are also members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. These groups include youth, seniors, Indigenous people, newcomers, or people with mental health or addiction issues. In fact, nearly 1 out of every 3 homeless young people in Canada identifies as 2SLGBTQIA+.

Safe and secure spaces to live in and express yourself are sometimes overlooked as being luxuries compared to things like food when discussing poverty. But insecure spaces and places are a common experience when living in poverty, and especially so when your sexual identity places you at risk of discrimination or violence. People may be evicted from their homes, disowned by their families, or move into densely populated areas in search of employment opportunities. Privacy becomes hard to achieve in poverty and this can be dangerous for 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals wanting to form sexual relationships in communities that stigmatize homosexuality.

There are many different factors in our lives that can lead us to poverty and/or homelessness. Some of them are more obvious than others, which is why I wanted to bring attention to the way that one’s sexuality can affect their likelihood of becoming unhoused. Social and community supports are an important part of preventing poverty and/or homelessness. Below is a list of resources within Saskatchewan that may be helpful to those who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+ and who may or may not be facing poverty or becoming unhoused. If you are interested in getting involved and making a difference in your community, I encourage you to contact these organizations to either donate, volunteer, or just show your support.

Resources

Out Saskatoon

OUT Saskatoon has many different programs for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth as well as housing and counselling.

TransSask

TransSask has many different programs and peer support groups for transgender individuals.

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters has a program called Prism for 2SLGBTQIA+ children and youth who are paired with an older 2SLGBTQIA+ mentor.

UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity

UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity was developed at the University of Regina, but serves the entire city and the southern Saskatchewan area.

The Saskatchewan Pride Network

The Saskatchewan Pride Network supports queer and trans families and individuals across the province. For professional support, appropriate health, housing and food security referral, or information please contact Taylor at 1-306-692-3388.

Trans Umbrella Foundation
University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union Pride Centre
Moose Jaw Pride

Source

CMHC SCHL

2SLGBTQIA+ Housing Needs and Challenges