Hamilton Health Sciences
LGBTQI (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender, Queer & Intersex Committee)

Health Statistics

The Cost of the Closet

Literature reviews of the economic (2001) and human (2003) impact of homophobia on Canada by Christopher Banks, Rochon Associated Human Resource Management

Consulting Inc. for Gay and Lesbian Health Services, Saskatoon, SK estimated the annual costs directly attributable to homophobia in Canada at that time to be:

Health or Social Issue (times > national average) 



 Annual Estimates (in millions of $) 

 Suicide (6x) 



 $695 - $823

 Smoking (1.7x) 



 $281 - $623

 Alcohol Abuse (1.6x) 



 $285 - $4,139

 Illicit Drug Use (2.6x) 



 $119 - $221

 Depression (2.15x) 



 $543 -  $2,289

Murder motivated by homophobia in Canada is less well documented. However, anti-gay murder statistics have been reported for Brazil (169 murders in 1999); Minnesota (between 120 and 180 murders between 1969 and 2002); and New South Wales, Australia (37 murders between 1989 and 1999) (Wockner, 2000; Minnesota Gay Homicide Study, 2000; Mouzos &  Thompson, 2000). Cameron, Playfair and Wellum (1994) found that homosexual men were more frequently murdered than men in general based on US obituaries.

There was insufficient scientifically based data to estimate the number of anti-GLB murders in Canada.          

Stats Canada (2004) says that 46% of gay and lesbian victims of hate crime were injured - almost twice the proportion of injury among hate crime victims in general. Not all LGBTTTIQ people are able to surmount cultural, social, institutional barriers, resulting in withdrawal, depression, or even suicide. The suicide rate for LGBTTTIQ teens is estimated to be 3-7 times as great as for other teens.

Adapted from Rainbow Health Network - Educational Toolkit - 2006.


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