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

LGBT Youth

Not only are LGBTQI youth experiencing many layers of oppression simultaneously but they are also experiencing a great deal of pressure or bullying from family members, friends, and public institutions like schools, to express themselves in specific ways. All young people, at some time, generally have difficulty fitting in or seeing themselves as normal, so it's no surprise that LGBTQI identified young people are unsure of their place in the world given the pressures they face on a daily basis.

Substance Use and LGBTQI Youth: (

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirited, queer, questioning and intersex youth experience violence, lack of self-esteem, bullying, identity and mental health issues more frequently than heterosexual-identified youth. These issues, especially gender and sexual identity and expression, are complex and can be precursors to substance use, often making LGBTQI youth more susceptible to becoming substance users than heterosexual youth.

LGBTQI youth are smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol more than heterosexual youth, and often also using illicit substances like cocaine, methampetamines, and injection substances. Some LGBTQI youth, like the general population, may use substances recreationally and occassionally. However, some LGBTQI youth may use substances to cope with trauma or bullying, or to fit in better. Some may use substances intentionally to overdose and end their lives.



The Well -
Alternatives for Youth - 

Rainbow Youth Coalition -
Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line -
The Youth Project -


Hamilton Health Sciences • Hamilton, Ontario • 905.521.2100

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