Being Safe, Being Me: Results of the Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey


The Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey, completed in collaboration with universities and health researchers across Canada between October 2013 and May 2014, was the first and largest of its kind in Canada. The Survey included 923 individuals participating, between the ages 14-25, from all provinces and territories except Nunavut and the Yukon. They were asked a range of questions in English or French on their home and school life, physical and mental health, access to health care, and gender identity. The health issues facing trans* youth may be different from other youth, and we want to ensure that the voices of trans* youth are heard.

A few key findings:

  • Eighty-three per cent of participants lived in their “felt gender” at least part-time; half lived in their felt gender full-time. Those who lived in their felt gender all the time were almost 50 per cent more likely to report good or excellent mental health.
  • Nearly two-thirds of youth reported self-harm within the past year. More than one in three had attempted suicide.
  • Seventy per cent of participants reported sexual harassment. Two-thirds reported discrimination because of their gender identity.
  • More than one in three, or 36 per cent, of the younger participants (ages 14-18) had been physically threatened or injured in the past year.
  • One in three youth did not have an adult in their family they could talk to about problems, and seven in 10 felt their family did not understand them. When they felt cared about and supported by family, they reported better health.
  • Only 15 per cent of youth with a family doctor report feeling comfortable discussing their transgender-specific health care needs.
  • One-third of younger (ages 14-18) and half of older youth (ages 19-25) reported missing needed physical health care during the past year, and even more missed needed mental health care.


Read the community report: BEING SAFE, BEING ME: Results of the Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey

Read in French: ÊTRE EN SÉCURITÉ, ÊTRE SOI-MÊME: Résultats de l’enquête canadienne sur la santé des jeunes trans



Principal Investigator: Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc

Co-Investigators: Dr. Line Chamberland, Dr. Anita DeLongis, Dr. Gilbert Émond, Dr. Jacqueline Gahagan, Dr. André P. Grace, Dan Metzger, Dr. Tracey Peter, Annie Smith, Dr. Catherine Taylor, Dr. Robb Travers, Dr. Ann Travers, Dr. Kris Wells, and the Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey Research Group

Funded by CIHR Open Operating Grants under the grant “Reducing stigma, promoting resilience: Population health interventions for LGBTQ youth”, 2012-2017