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Stigma and discrimination harm the wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and contribute to migration from contexts of sexual persecution and criminalization. Yet LGBT newcomers and refugees often face marginalization and struggles meeting the social determinants of health (SDOH) following immigration to countries such as Canada. Social isolation is a key social determinant of health that may play a significant role in shaping health disparities among LGBT newcomers and refugees. Social support may moderate the effect of stressors on mental health, reduce social isolation, and build social networks.

Pervasive sexual stigma and discrimination are chronic, cumulative stressors that have deleterious health impacts among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Meyer’s minority stress model describes the role of distal processes, such as enacted stigma, whereby people experience acts of violence and unequal treatment (e.g., harassment), and perceived stigma, including concerns of rejection and negative treatment by others because of actual or perceived LGBT identity, in contributing to health disparities among LGBT people. LGBT people may migrate to a new country due to sexual stigma, often including imprisonment, abuse, and threat of execution.

Upon migration, marginalization of LGBT people may be exacerbated for those experiencing intersecting stigma associated with sexuality, race, gender, class, and immigration status [8]. This intersecting marginalization among LGBT newcomers and refugees contributes to significant challenges in realizing the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) including meeting basic needs, such as secure housing and employment, and emotional wellbeing, including social support. A SDOH framework posits that the conditions necessary for health are shaped by individuals’ immediate, social, and political environments [9]. Newcomers and refugees frequently experience difficulties navigating Canada’s complex immigration processes, adapting to cultural norms, and being denied access to healthcare. LGBT newcomers and refugees face additional challenges related to social isolation due to intersecting oppression based on race/ethnicity and LGBT identity, contributing further to health and mental health disparities. Social support may play a significant role in moderating the effects of sexual stigma on health among LGBT people, yet little attention has been afforded to strategies that may build social support among LGBT newcomers and refugees in the Canadian context.


Multicultural Council of Windsor & Essex County

7651 Tecumseh Rd E, 2nd Floor
Windsor, ONT, N8T 3H1
Phone: 519-255-1127

The priority is to provide settlement services to newcomers who have become Canadian citizens, refugee claimants, permanent residents, international students, temporary foreign workers or persons who have received special permission to remain in Canada for the purpose of becoming a permanent resident.

South Essex Community Council

215 Talbot St E
Leamington, ONT, N8H 3X5
Phone: 519-326-8629

A comprehensive range of settlement services including: assessment, one-to-one counselling and information and referral * Interpretation services available in Low-German, Spanish and Arabic * Other languages available upon request

Language services include classroom instruction and one-to-one tutoring * Free on-site childcare is available * Conversation classes run throughout the year * Registration and formal language assessment is required for all LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) classes.

New Canadian Centre For Excellence

660 Ouellette Avenue
Windsor, Ontario N9A 1C1 
Phone: 519-258-4076

New Canadians’ Centre of Excellence Inc. is a community based, direct-service agency which exists to assist, support and promote the full and equitable participation of immigrants and refugees in all aspects of social, cultural and economic life in the Windsor-Essex Region.

Windsor Women Working With Immigrant Women

1368 Ouellette Ave
Windsor, ONT, N8X 1J9
Phone: 519-973-5588

Assisting first generation Canadians and their families to become full and productive members of Canadian society

Centre for immigrant and visible minority women and their families
- Workshops and information sessions - culturally sensitive employment counselling by appointment
- support services
- information and referrals on social services, advocacy, community and government programs
- child minding for clients only


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WE PrideFest Rainbow Reverse430

Windsor Essex Pride Fest

Phone: (226) 348-3378
General Inquiries: [email protected]

2109 Ottawa Street, Unit 216
Windsor, Ontario, N8Y 1R8

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