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The Wellbeing & Inclusion in Rainbow Leisure (WIRL) Study

Researcher bios and how their research backgrounds relate to this study

I am currently completing my PhD in Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University. My work focuses on intersectionality, discrimination, resilience, and resistance. I hope to enhance the social wellbeing and mental health of diverse LGBTQ2S+ people through my research.

Purpose of this research project

LGBTQ2S+ leisure spaces and activities are often considered safe spaces and contribute to participants’ sense of self and community, identity formation, and overall wellbeing. Diverse LGBTQ2S+ people, including non-binary and racialized individuals, sometimes experience discrimination in these same spaces. The purpose of the WIRL study is to understand experiences within LGBTQ2S+ leisure spaces and activities and how they affect well-being. LGBTQ2S+ leisure spaces and activities include places and activities specifically for LGBTQ2S+ people where they interact with other LGBTQ2S+ people in their free time. The study focuses specifically on community-based spaces, including online spaces. The survey questions focus on both positive and negative experiences, as well as things that can impact wellbeing, such as coping skills, social support, sense of belonging, substance use, and mental health. There will also be questions about experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The WIRL Study is guided by a community research advisory committee made up of diverse LGBTQ2S+ people across Canada and the United States, including individuals who identify as trans, non-binary, Indigenous, and/or racialized.

How this research will help LGBT2SQ people and communities

The research will bring to light issues of discrimination in spaces of leisure, where they are supposedly spaces that are considered safe for all LGBTQ2S+ people. Ideally, the findings will identify factors that contribute to resilience and the ways individuals resist discrimination within LGBTQ2S+ leisure spaces. The resulting product will include recommendations/guidelines to create inclusive spaces for diverse LGBTQ2S+ people, including trans and/or racialized LGBTQ2S+ people. There will also be strategies for enhancing leisure experiences during pandemic situations.


Anyone over the age of 16, anyone who has participated in a LGBTQ2S+ leisure space within the 2 years (24 months), anyone who identifies as a member of the LGBTQ2S+ community, anyone who can complete the survey in English, a resident of Canada or the United States


Participants will receive $10 for completing the survey, or they may choose to have that $10 donated to a LGBTQ2S+ organization (list of 9 organizations provided at the end of the survey)

Mitigation measures

Survey respondents are allowed to skip questions or end the survey early. They are also provided with links to mental health supports throughout various points in the survey, particularly around potentially difficult questions about their experiences of discrimination and mental health.

Promoting the Study

The study is being promoted through social media channels (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter), Facebook/Instagram ads, and email networks.

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