Participate in the consultation on gender and sexual diversity statistical metadata standards

Release date: January 29, 2021

Introduction

Statistical standards for gender and sexual diversity (such as the definition of the concept and the classifications that define their categories) allow for the reporting of statistically diverse groups of the population in a consistent manner. It is important to ensure its relevance by taking into account the wider social context when updating the gender standard and creating standards relating to the concepts of sexual orientation and belonging to the LGBTQ2+ population.

Consultation objectives

This public consultation will ultimately improve statistics about the LGBTQ2+ population. Specifically, Statistics Canada is seeking feedback on:

  1. proposed updates to the standard on gender of person and
  2. proposed new standards for sexual orientation and LGBTQ2+ status of person.

Feedback from Canadians will be valuable to ensure that Statistics Canada uses appropriate conceptual definitions that take into account the different points of view emanating from communities.

Background

Standards and measure of gender and sexual orientation

Statistics Canada released new sex at birth and gender variables and classifications in April 2018 in order to better reflect how Canadians describe themselves and to address information gaps on Canada's transgender population, including the non-binary population, while maintaining the same high standards for quality and historical comparability of the data. The goal was also to improve data quality by clarifying the concept of sex used to-date.

Participants in the consultation are invited to review the proposed updates on the gender standard. Among other changes, the definition of gender, the usage sections and the comparison to relevant internationally recognized standards have been expanded. In addition, some category definitions in the classifications have been updated. The new category names 'Transgender non-binary person' and 'Non-binary gender' have replaced 'Transgender person, not elsewhere classified' and 'Gender diverse' in the previous standard.

Statistics Canada has been collecting information about sexual orientation since 2003. The new standards related to sex at birth and gender released in 2018 allowed for a more nuanced understanding of sexual orientation and the ability to cover the full LGBTQ2+ population, including persons who are transgender or non-binary.

Participants in the consultation are invited to review the proposed measure and standards Statistics Canada will use to measure and disseminate information about the LGBTQ2+ population.

More information about how these classifications are related is provided in the Annex - Mapping of sexual identity, transgender status and LGBTQ2+ status of person.

How to participate

Individuals and organizations are invited to review and provide feedback on the measure, definitions and classifications for the new standards.

Feedback can be provided by email in English or French at statcan.csds-lgbtq2-cnsd-lgbtq2.statcan@canada.ca. All feedback must contain the name of the respondent(s) and the name of the organization (when respondents are proposing changes on behalf of an organization).

This consultation is open from February 2, 2021 to March 12, 2021.

Treatment of comments

Statistics Canada will review all feedback received. Statistics Canada reserves the right to use independent consultants or government employees, if deemed necessary, to assess these.

If deemed appropriate, a representative of Statistics Canada will contact respondents by email to request additional questions or seek clarification on a particular aspect of their feedback.

Please note that feedback will not necessarily result in changes in the proposed standards.

Costs associated with feedback

Statistics Canada will not reimburse respondents for expenses incurred in developing their proposal.

Official languages

Proposals may be written in either of Canada's official languages—English or French. Include your contact information in the event you need to be contacted for additional information or clarification.

Confidentiality

Statistics Canada is committed to respecting the privacy of consultation participants. All personal information created, held or collected by the Agency is protected by the Privacy Act. For more information on Statistics Canada's privacy policies, please consult the Privacy notice.

Note of appreciation

We thank all participants for their interest and involvement in this consultation. Your contributions are valuable to us.

Enquiries

If you have any enquiries about this process, please send them to: statcan.csds-lgbtq2-cnsd-lgbtq2.statcan@canada.ca.

Standards and measure of gender and sexual orientation

Statistics Canada uses tested and trusted statistical standards to ensure that the quality of the data produced is consistent over time and across collections.

Statistics Canada develops harmonized survey questions to be able to collect the same conceptual information across different surveys. This information is then disseminated according to our statistical standards (in particular, variables and classifications).

The question used to collect information on gender has already been finalized for the 2021 Census. The question that Statistics Canada is proposing to collect information on sexual orientation will ask:

What is your sexual orientation? Would you say you are:

  • Heterosexual or straight
  • Gay or lesbian
  • Bisexual
  • Or please specify

How are standardized variables used?

A variable is a characteristic of a statistical unit being observed that may assume more than one of a set of values to which a numerical measure or a category from a classification can be assigned. When a variable is approved as a departmental standard by Statistics Canada, it becomes mandatory to use it for all surveys and census, when appropriate. A statistical variable consists of two main parts: the characteristic (property) of a population being measured (e.g., gender, sex at birth, age, revenue, etc.) and the statistical unit (object class) being observed (e.g., person, household, census family, etc.).

Classifications within a statistical variable provide categories that can be used in tables and charts to disseminate information collected using a particular statistical variable. Several factors affect what level of detail can be disseminated using a particular classification, to protect respondents' confidentiality and meet data quality standards. For example, in 2018, the Survey of Safety in Public and Private Spaces (SSPPS) estimated 4% of the Canadian population aged 15 and older was lesbian, gay, bisexual, or a sexual orientation that is not heterosexual. According to the SSPPS, 0.24% of Canadians indicated that they were transgender, including those who are non-binary. Surveys with a smaller sample size may not be able to reliably estimate these groups individually. This is especially the case for transgender (including non-binary) Canadians, who are included in LGBTQ2+ communities.

For this reason, the classifications assigned to standardized variables provide both larger and finer levels of aggregation (see mapping in the Annex - Mapping of sexual identity, transgender status and LGBTQ2+ status of person). Developing multilevel classifications for statistical variables allows Statistics Canada to report on the results in a consistent way that meets data quality standards while protecting Canadians' confidentiality.

Below you will find the proposed statistical standards for three variables: gender of person, sexual orientation of person and LGBTQ2+ status of person. These include classifications for the main components of sexual orientation - sexual identity, sexual attraction, and sexual behaviour, which can be measured separately.

Gender of person

Proposed updated standard for gender of person

Definition

Gender refers to a person's social or personal identity as a man, woman or non-binary person (a person who is not exclusively male or female). Conceptions of gender are influenced by several factors, including biological characteristics, cultural and behavioural norms, and self-identity.

Gender includes the concepts of:

  • gender identity (felt gender), which is the gender that a person feels internally
  • gender expression (lived gender), which is the gender a person expresses publicly in their daily life, including at work, at home or in the broader community.

A person's current gender may differ from the sex they were assigned at birth (male or female), and may differ from what is indicated on their current legal documents. A person's gender may change over time. Some people may not identify with a specific gender or with the concept of gender as a whole.

Person refers to an individual and is the unit of analysis for most social statistics programs.

Usage

Sex and gender refer to two different concepts, but are interrelated. While sex is understood in terms of biological features, gender is a multidimensional concept that is influenced by several additional factors, including biological characteristics, cultural and behavioural norms, and self-identity. Caution should be exercised when comparing counts for sex with those for gender. For example, female sex is not exactly the same as female gender.

Gender is also different from the concept of sexual orientation, which is an umbrella term that includes a person's sexual identity, sexual attraction and sexual behaviour.

In this standard, the concept of gender falls within the realm of 'gender identity' as a field of study, which generally encompasses gender expression as well. Gender is a complex subject with various cultural and international conceptions. Furthermore, this concept is strongly affected by ongoing social change and, as a result, is constantly evolving.

The variable 'Gender of person' and the 'Classification of gender' are expected to be used by default in most social statistics programs at Statistics Canada. The variable 'Sex of person' and the 'Classification of sex' are to be used in conjunction with the variable 'Gender of person' and the 'Classification of gender', where information on sex at birth is needed, for example, for some demographic and health programs and to estimate the transgender or LGBTQ2+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, Two-Spirit or another non-binary gender or minority sexual identity) population. In statistical programs, gender may be reported in terms of a person's felt or lived gender, as well as how one is perceived by others, depending on whether information on gender is based on self-reported data or done by proxy.

The gender question can be asked of children, depending on the survey population.

Classifications

Classification of gender
Code Category Definition
1 Male gender This category includes persons whose current gender was reported as male. This includes cisgender and transgender persons whose current gender was reported as male.
2 Female gender This category includes persons whose current gender was reported as female. This includes cisgender and transgender persons whose current gender was reported as female.
3 Non-binary gender

This category includes persons whose current gender was not reported exclusively as male or female. It also includes persons whose current gender was reported as both male and female, neither male nor female, either male or female in addition to another gender, or those who were identified as being unsure of their gender. As well, it includes persons whose current gender was reported, for example, as agender, pangender, genderqueer, genderfluid, or gender-nonconforming. It also includes persons whose current gender was reported as Two-Spirit, a term specific to Indigenous people from North America.

Usage

The category names of the 'Classification of gender' are not unique to the field of gender and gender identity. In French, the terms 'genre masculin' and 'genre féminin' are also used to describe the grammatical gender of nouns. In English, the terms 'male' and 'female' are used as biological sex categories. The terms 'genre masculin' and 'genre féminin' in French, as well as 'male' and 'female' in English, are also suitable gender terms, provided that the context is clear. They are familiar to the public and used across Canada on driver's licences and birth certificates.

For analytical purposes, the use of 'man' or 'boy' instead of 'male', as well as the use of 'woman' or 'girl' instead of 'female', may be considered.

The umbrella term 'non-binary' is increasingly being used to refer to people who would describe their gender as neither exclusively male or female nor man or woman, as mentioned in the In-Depth Review of Measuring Gender Identity conducted by Statistics Canada and the United Kingdom's Office for National Statistics in 2019. However, individuals who fall under the category of non-binary gender within this classification do not necessarily use this label for their gender identity.

In English, the term 'another gender', translated as 'un autre genre' in French, may be used. However, it is preferable to refer to the umbrella term 'non binaire' in French. The term 'un autre genre' can be confusing, as the term 'genre' has multiple meanings in French.

Binary genders include both transgender and cisgender men and women whose current gender was reported as exclusively male or exclusively female.

Non-binary genders include persons whose current gender was not reported as either of the binary genders, as both binary genders, or as a binary gender in addition to another gender.

Classification of transgender status
Code Category Definition
1 Cisgender person This category includes persons whose sex assigned at birth was reported as the same as their current gender.
1.1 Cisgender man This category includes persons whose sex assigned at birth was reported as male and whose current gender was also reported as male.
1.2 Cisgender woman This category includes persons whose sex assigned at birth was reported as female and whose current gender was also reported as female.
2 Transgender person This category includes persons whose reported sex assigned at birth differs from their current gender. It also includes persons who are non-binary, that is, whose current gender was not reported exclusively as male or female.
2.1 Transgender man This category includes persons whose sex assigned at birth was reported as female and whose current gender was reported as male. It also includes persons whose current gender was reported as trans man.
2.2 Transgender woman This category includes persons whose sex assigned at birth was reported as male and whose current gender was reported as female. It also includes persons whose current gender was reported as trans woman.
2.3 Transgender non-binary person

This category includes persons whose current gender was not reported exclusively as male or female. It also includes persons whose current gender was reported as both male and female, neither male nor female, either male or female in addition to another gender, or those who were identified as being unsure of their gender. As well, it includes persons whose current gender was reported, for example, as agender, pangender, genderqueer, genderfluid, or gender-nonconforming. It also includes persons whose current gender was reported as Two-Spirit, a term specific to Indigenous people from North America.

Usage

Data for this classification may be derived from sex at birth and gender by cross-classifying the categories of the 'Classification of sex' (male and female) with the 'Classification of gender' (male gender, female gender and non-binary gender).

This classification supports the publication of data on minority gender identities, which include transgender men and women, as well as non-binary persons.

Individuals classified as cisgender or transgender within this classification do not necessarily use these terms to describe their gender identity. Although non-binary genders are included in the transgender category, not all non-binary individuals identify with this term, nor do they consider themselves to be transgender in the same way as transgender men and women do.

Sexual orientation and LGBTQ2+ status of person

Proposed new statistical standard for sexual orientation of person

Definition

Sexual orientation refers to an umbrella term that includes a person's sexual identity, sexual attraction and sexual behaviour. Sexual identity refers to how a person perceives their sexuality (e.g., lesbian, straight, bisexual), sexual attraction refers to whom a person finds sexually appealing, and sexual behaviour refers to with whom a person engages in sexual activity. A person's sexual orientation may change over time.

Person refers to an individual and is the unit of analysis for most social statistics programs.

Usage

Sexual orientation is distinct from the concepts of gender and sex.

This definition of sexual orientation encompasses three distinct concepts: sexual identity, sexual attraction and sexual behaviour. These three components of sexual orientation are related but do not necessarily correspond to each other, and the three can be measured separately. For statistical purposes, it is important to indicate which of these three concepts is being measured in the specific context.

The minimum age for responding to sexual orientation questions depends on which component of sexual orientation is targeted. The minimum age for asking about sexual identity is 15. The minimum age for asking questions about sexual attraction and sexual behaviour need to be considered in light of the survey purpose and target population.

Sexual orientation is a complex and evolving subject matter for which there is no universally acknowledged definition. The underlying concept being measured is affected by ongoing social change, making the defining of categories difficult. Every effort has been made to create a standard that reflects the terminology used internationally, in academic literature, and guided by qualitative testing and consultation at the time of its creation.

Classifications

Classification of sexual orientation – sexual identity
Code Category Definition
1 Heterosexual or straight This category includes persons whose current sexual identity was reported as heterosexual or straight. It includes persons who have physically and/or emotionally intimate feelings only towards persons of a different sex or gender than their own.
2 Minority sexual identity This category includes persons whose current sexual identity was reported as gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, queer, Two-Spirit, or another sexual identity that is not heterosexual or straight.
2.1 Gay or lesbian This category includes persons whose current sexual identity was reported as gay or lesbian. It includes persons who have physically and/or emotionally intimate feelings only towards persons of the same sex or gender as their own.
2.2 Bisexual This category includes persons whose current sexual identity was reported as bisexual. It includes persons who have physically and/or emotionally intimate feelings both towards persons of their own sex or gender and persons of a different sex or gender.
2.3 Pansexual; asexual; queer, n.o.s.Footnote 1; Two-Spirit, n.o.s.; or sexual identity, n.e.c.Footnote 2 This category includes persons whose current sexual identity was reported as pansexual, asexual, queer, Two-Spirit, or another sexual identity that is not heterosexual or straight, gay, lesbian or bisexual.
2.3.1 Pansexual This category includes persons whose current sexual identity was reported as pansexual. It includes persons who have physically and/or emotionally intimate feelings towards persons of any sex or gender.
2.3.2 Asexual This category includes persons whose current sexual identity was reported as asexual. It includes persons who have little or no interest in sex. It also includes persons who reported not having a sexual orientation.
2.3.3 Queer, n.o.s. This category includes persons whose current sexual identity was reported as queer. Some people use this term to denote any sexuality other than heterosexual or straight; for others, the term carries strong political connotations and a reclamation of a derogatory term; while there remain those for whom the term carries stigma.
2.3.4 Two-Spirit, n.o.s. This category includes Indigenous people from North America whose current sexual identity was reported as Two-Spirit. It includes Indigenous people whose cultural role embodies both female and male spirits. Indigenous people may understand Two-Spirit to be an umbrella term that includes those who embrace various sexual identities, gender identities and expressions. Some Indigenous people may not identify with the term 'Two-Spirit', instead preferring to use a different term specific to their culture.
2.3.5 Sexual identity, n.e.c. This category includes persons who reported a current sexual identity that is not heterosexual or straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, queer or Two-Spirit.
Footnote 1

Not otherwise specified.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

Not elsewhere classified.

Return to footnote 2 referrer

Usage

Sexual identity is self-declared – that is, it is up to the person to choose how they best describe their identity. In the context of most statistical surveys, sexual identity is the component most readily associated with the term 'sexual orientation', and the two can be used interchangeably (e.g., discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation may target lesbian, gay and bisexual Canadians). This classification is intended to provide inclusive definitions that are descriptive of all people who may use the particular term to self-identify.

Classification of sexual orientation – sexual attraction
Code Category Definition
1 Person only or mostly attracted to persons of a different gender This category includes persons who reported being only or mostly attracted to persons of a different gender.
1.1 Person only attracted to persons of a different gender This category includes persons who reported being only attracted to persons of a different gender. It includes male persons who reported being only attracted to persons of female gender or persons of non-binary gender, female persons who reported being only attracted to persons of male gender or persons of non-binary gender, and persons of non-binary gender who reported being only attracted to persons of either male gender or female gender.
1.2 Person mostly attracted to persons of a different gender This category includes persons who reported being mostly attracted to persons of a different gender. It includes male persons who reported being mostly attracted to persons of female gender or persons of non-binary gender, female persons who reported being mostly attracted to persons of male gender or persons of non-binary gender, and persons of non-binary gender who reported being mostly attracted to persons of either male gender or female gender.
2 Person only or mostly attracted to persons of the same gender This category includes persons who reported being only or mostly attracted to persons of the same gender.
2.1 Person only attracted to persons of the same gender This category includes persons who reported being only attracted to persons of the same gender. It includes male persons who reported being only attracted to persons of male gender, female persons who reported being only attracted to persons of female gender, and persons of non-binary gender who reported being only attracted to persons of non-binary gender.
2.2 Person mostly attracted to persons of the same gender This category includes persons who reported being mostly attracted to persons of the same gender. It includes male persons who reported being mostly attracted to persons of male gender, female persons who reported being mostly attracted to persons of female gender, and persons of non-binary gender who reported being mostly attracted to persons of non-binary gender.
3 Person equally attracted to persons of multiple genders This category includes persons who reported being equally attracted to persons of male gender, female gender and/or non-binary gender.
3.1 Person equally attracted to persons of two genders This category includes persons who reported being equally attracted to two genders.
3.1.1 Person equally attracted to persons of two genders other than their own This category includes persons who reported being equally attracted to persons of two genders other than their own. It includes male persons who reported being equally attracted to both persons of female gender and non-binary gender, female persons who reported being equally attracted to both persons of male gender and non-binary gender, and persons of non-binary gender who reported being equally attracted to both persons of male gender and female gender.
3.1.2 Person equally attracted to persons of the same and different gender This category includes persons who reported being equally attracted to persons of the same and different gender. It includes male persons who reported being equally attracted to both persons of male gender and either female gender or non-binary gender, female persons who reported being equally attracted to both persons of female gender and either male gender or non-binary gender, and persons of non-binary gender who reported being equally attracted to both persons of non-binary gender and either male gender or female gender.
3.2 Person equally attracted to persons of all genders This category includes persons who reported being equally attracted to all genders—persons of male gender, female gender and non-binary gender. It includes persons who are attracted to persons regardless of gender.
4 Person unsure of their sexual attraction This category includes persons who reported not being sure to which gender they are attracted.
5 Person who does not experience sexual attraction This category includes persons who reported not experiencing sexual attraction.
Classification of sexual orientation – sexual attraction, variant
Code Category Definition
1 Person only or mostly attracted to persons of male gender This category includes persons who reported being only or mostly attracted to persons of male gender.
1.1 Person only attracted to persons of male gender This category includes persons who reported being only attracted to persons of male gender.
1.2 Person mostly attracted to persons of male gender This category includes persons who reported being mostly attracted to persons of male gender. It includes persons who reported also being attracted to persons of female gender and/or persons of non-binary gender to a smaller degree.
2 Person only or mostly attracted to persons of female gender This category includes persons who reported being only or mostly attracted to persons of female gender.
2.1 Person only attracted to persons of female gender This category includes persons who reported being only attracted to persons of female gender.
2.2 Person mostly attracted to persons of female gender This category includes persons who reported being mostly attracted to persons of female gender. It includes persons who reported also being attracted to persons of male gender and/or persons of non-binary gender to a smaller degree.
3 Person only or mostly attracted to persons of non-binary gender This category includes persons who reported being only or mostly attracted to persons who are non-binary.
3.1 Person only attracted to persons of non-binary gender This category includes persons who reported being only attracted to persons who are non-binary.
3.2 Person mostly attracted to persons of non-binary gender This category includes persons who reported being mostly attracted to persons who are non-binary. It includes persons who reported also being attracted to persons of male gender and/or female gender to a smaller degree.
4 Person equally attracted to persons of multiple genders This category includes persons who reported being attracted to persons of at least two genders, as well as persons who reported being attracted to all genders equally. It includes persons who are attracted to persons regardless of gender.
4.1 Person equally attracted to persons of two genders This category includes persons who reported being equally attracted to two genders.
4.1.1 Person equally attracted to persons of male gender and female gender This category includes persons who reported being equally attracted to persons of male gender and female gender.
4.1.2 Person equally attracted to persons of male and non-binary gender This category includes persons who reported being equally attracted to persons of male gender and non-binary gender.
4.1.3 Person equally attracted to persons of female and non-binary gender This category includes persons who reported being equally attracted to persons of female gender and non-binary gender.
4.2 Person equally attracted to persons of all genders This category includes persons who reported being equally attracted to all genders—persons of male gender, female gender and non-binary gender. It includes persons who are attracted to persons regardless of gender.
5 Person unsure of their sexual attraction This category includes persons who reported not being sure to which gender they are attracted.
6 Person who does not experience sexual attraction This category includes persons who reported not experiencing sexual attraction.

Usage

The measure of sexual attraction is most appropriate for younger populations who may not have identified their sexuality yet.

The categorical classification can be evaluated with gender of the respondent to derive relational information (e.g., attraction to the same gender) for analyses.

The sexual attraction standard is based on the gender identity and expression of the other person as information about sex at birth (or even current sex) is not necessarily known at the point that attraction occurs.

It is important to include attraction to persons of non-binary genders. At Statistics Canada, 'non-binary' is an umbrella term used to describe genders that are not exclusively male or female. Attraction to other people of non-binary genders may not necessarily represent same-gender attraction (e.g., agender, Two-Spirit, genderfluid are all non-binary genders). However, for analytical purposes, they could be included alongside male and female respondents attracted to same-gender persons.

Classification of sexual orientation – sexual behaviour
Code Category Definition
1 Person with different-sex partners only This category includes persons who reported engaging in sexual activity only with partners of a different sex.
1.1 Female person with only male partners This category includes female persons who reported engaging in sexual activity only with partners of male sex.
1.2 Male person with only female partners This category includes male persons who reported engaging in sexual activity only with partners of female sex.
2 Person with same-sex partners only This category includes persons who reported engaging in sexual activity only with partners of the same sex.
2.1 Male person with only male partners This category includes male persons who reported engaging in sexual activity only with partners of male sex.
2.2 Female person with only female partners This category includes female persons who reported engaging in sexual activity only with partners of female sex.
3 Person with both male and female partners This category includes persons who reported engaging in sexual activity with both partners of male sex and female sex.
3.1 Male person with both male and female partners This category includes male persons who reported engaging in sexual activity with both partners of male sex and female sex.
3.2 Female person with both male and female partners This category includes female persons who reported engaging in sexual activity with both partners of male sex and female sex.
4 Person with partners who are neither male nor female This category includes persons who reported engaging in sexual activity with at least one partner who does not fit into the categories of male or female sex, for example partners who are intersex.
4.1 Male person with partners who are neither male nor female This category includes male persons who reported engaging in sexual activity with at least one partner who does not fit into the categories of male or female sex, for example partners who are intersex.
4.2 Female person with partners who are neither male nor female This category includes female persons who reported engaging in sexual activity with at least one partner who does not fit into the categories of male or female sex, for example partners who are intersex.
Classification of sexual orientation – sexual behaviour, variant
Code Category Definition
1 Person with male partners only This category includes persons who reported engaging in sexual activity only with partners of male sex.
2 Person with female partners only This category includes persons who reported engaging in sexual activity only with partners of female sex.
3 Person with both male and female partners This category includes persons who reported engaging in sexual activity with partners of both male and female sex.
4 Person with partners who are neither male nor female This category includes persons who reported engaging in sexual activity with at least one partner who does not fit into the categories of male and female sex, for example partners who are intersex.

Usage

The sexual behaviour component of sexual orientation is often measured to support information needs related to sexual and reproductive health. Sexual behaviour categories reference sex of the partners (not gender identity or expression) to accurately assess possible risks based on biological sex characteristics of the person, such as pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

The categorical classification can be evaluated with sex of the respondent to derive relational information (e.g., whether the respondent reported engaging in same-sex sexual activity) for analyses.

When sexual behaviour is measured and disseminated, groups should be identified using terminology that refers to behaviour and not identity (e.g., 'men who have sex with men' and not 'gay and bisexual men').

What constitutes 'sexual activity' and the reference period in which it occurred may vary depending on what is being measured in a given survey. As such, the definition of sexual activity for each survey should be provided, and the measure should ask respondents to refer to a specific time-period (e.g., in the past year, in your lifetime). Only those sexually active during the reference period are in scope for this classification.

Proposed new statistical standard for LGBTQ2+ status of person

Definition

LGBTQ2+ status refers to whether or not a person is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, Two-Spirit, or another non-binary gender or minority sexual identity.

Person refers to an individual and is the unit of analysis for most social statistics programs.

Derivation

'LGBTQ2+ status' is derived from information on 'Transgender status' and 'Sexual orientation- sexual identity'. The 'Transgender status' classification identifies persons whose current gender is not the same as their sex at birth (which includes the non-binary population). Together with persons reporting a minority sexual identity, they constitute the LGBTQ2+ population.

Classifications

Classification of LGBTQ2+ status
Code Category Definition
1 LGBTQ2+ person This category includes persons who reported a minority sexual identity and persons who are transgender. It includes persons whose current sexual identity was reported as gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, queer, Two-Spirit, or another sexual identity that is not heterosexual or straight. It also includes persons whose reported sex assigned at birth differs from their current gender, including those who are non-binary, that is, whose current gender was not reported exclusively as male or female (e.g., their gender was reported as agender, pangender, genderqueer, or genderfluid).
2 Non-LGBTQ2+ (Heterosexual and cisgender) person This category includes persons whose current sexual identity was reported as heterosexual and whose sex at birth is the same as their current gender.

Usage

Where 'heterosexual and cisgender' appears in brackets in the category name, it may be omitted when the context provides clarification.

Annex

Annex - Mapping of sexual identity, transgender status and LGBTQ2+ status of person

Data quality and confidentiality standards must be met when Statistics Canada disseminates survey results in tables, charts and analyses. Disaggregated data about gender and sexual diversity can be of lower quality if the collected sample size is too small. In such cases, it may be helpful to combine gender and sexual minority respondents to produce estimates related to the broader LGBTQ2+ population. LGBTQ2+ status can only be derived for surveys that collect information about sex at birth, gender, and sexual orientation.

The highest level of aggregation is the LGBTQ2+ status classification. It includes persons classified as transgender and those identifying as a sexual identity other than heterosexual. However, when sample-size allows, the lowest level of aggregation should be used to specifically address differences within the LGBTQ2+ populations.

While statistics about heterosexual, lesbian, gay, and bisexual Canadians have been collected since 2003, to-date, estimates of more detailed sexual identity categories have not met Statistics Canada standards for quality and confidentiality to be released. Future surveys may be able to disseminate more detailed categories depending on the survey purpose and target demographic.

Proposed mapping of transgender and sexual identity classifications to LGBTQ2+ status
LGBTQ2+ status Transgender status Minority sexual identity Sexual identity (default aggregation) Sexual identity (detailed)
No Cisgender No Heterosexual or straight Heterosexual or straight
Yes Transgender
Cisgender Yes Gay or lesbian Gay or lesbian
Bisexual Bisexual
Pansexual; asexual; queer, n.o.s.; Two-Spirit, n.o.s.; or sexual identity, n.e.c. Pansexual
Asexual
Queer, n.o.s.
Two-Spirit, n.o.s.
Sexual identity, n.e.c.
Transgender Gay or lesbian Gay or lesbian
Bisexual Bisexual
Pansexual; asexual; queer, n.o.s.; Two-Spirit, n.o.s.; or sexual identity, n.e.c. Pansexual
Asexual
Queer, n.o.s.
Two-Spirit, n.o.s.
Sexual identity, n.e.c.

Sexual identity is the default and main measure of sexual orientation at Statistics Canada, and informs the LGBTQ2+ status variable (along with gender and sex at birth). LGBTQ2+ status is a derived variable that is not measured directly.

Additional measures to collect information about sexual attraction and/or sexual behaviour may be included if relevant for the survey purpose (e.g., to inform issues of sexual and reproductive health). The attraction component is most often measured in younger populations (e.g., Canadian Health Survey of Children and Youth), who may not yet identify with a particular sexuality. Inclusion and analysis of multiple measures of sexual orientation can inform research on more complex public health issues. To-date, Statistics Canada has not measured all three dimensions on a single instrument, although the Canadian Community Health Survey (2015-2016) included questions about sexual behaviours with female and/or male partners and sexual orientation (sexual identity).

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