Where can I find LGBTQ+ positive health services?

In Ontario, many health care providers have LGBTQ+ positive spaces where health professionals deliver appropriate care.

Some members of the LGBTQ+ community have had negative experiences with doctors or other health professionals. They may have faced heterosexisim, homophobia or discrimination and avoid getting medical care because they are not sure what kind of treatment they will receive.

It is illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in Canada. If you have a bad experience with a health care professional who is discriminatory against you, you may want to get help from a community legal clinic or make a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission or the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

Many of the resources and organizations in this article offer positive spaces for LGBTQ+ people, however some service providers may not have had training on LGBTQ+ specific issues and their attitudes and awareness may vary.

General Healthcare

To access general healthcare, you may want to find a family doctor, visit a walk-in clinic or visit a community health clinic (CHC) in your community.

Below are some resources that may help you find a healthcare provider and learn about Ontario's healthcare system.

  • Access Alliance - This clinic offers primary health care, illness and disease prevention and health education services to LGBTQ+ immigrants and refugees of all ages who live in the City of Toronto.
  • Rainbow Health Education - A directory of LGBTQ+ friendly health or social services providers. From Rainbow Health Ontario.
  • 211 Ontario -  A directory of community, social, government and health services across all of Ontario. You can search for a particular service in your area. From 211 Ontario.
  • Settlement.Org Health section – Information about health insurance, finding a medical professional, low-cost healthcare and more.

Sexual Health

There may be a sexual health clinic in your area. They may provide services such as low-cost birth control, emergency contraception, testing for sexually-transmitted infections or pregnancy, and counselling.

Ask your local community health centre (CHC) if they have a sexual health clinic. Some CHCs provide health care services to people who do not have OHIP.

Below are some clinics and resources you may find helpful.

  • AIDS & Sexual Health Infoline - Call this phone number from anywhere in Ontario for help and referrals. This service is free, anonymous and available in more than 15 languages.
  • Hassle-Free Clinic (Toronto) - This clinic has free medical services in many areas of sexual health. They have separate clinics for men/trans-identified and women/trans-identified.
  • Brazen - Trans Women Safer Sex Guide – A guide with information about sex and dating safety specifically for trans women.
  • Teen Health Source - A resource where youth can call, text, chat and e-mail questions about sex or sexual health.
  • ScarleTeen - Inclusive, comprehensive and smart sexuality information for teens and youth in their 20s.
  • SexualityandU - Information and resources on sexuality. Administered by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada.

Mental Health & Counseling

There may be a local community health centre (CHC) or mental health program in your area. Some CHCs and local organizations provide health care services and counselling to people who do not have OHIP.

Below are some clinics and resources you may find helpful.

  • Sherbourne Health Centre (Toronto) - This health centre has LGBTQ+ specific programs as well as primary health care services and programs.
  • ReachOUT Griffin Centre (Toronto) - LGBTTGNCQ friendly individual and family counselling and settlement services.
  • LGBT Youthline - Confidential, non-judgemental LGBTTQQ2SI peer support for youth under 26 in Ontario. Call toll-free or use the online chat option for support.
  • Kids Help Phone - Speak to a counsellor or visit the LGBTQ+ forum to post a question and get support.
  • Crisis Resources - Phone numbers of 24/7 distress lines across Ontario. From the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
  • YMCA Youth and Support Services (Toronto) - Services for youth who need counselling or community support. If you are looking for a place to stay, the YMCA’s Sprott House is a LGBTQ+ transitional housing program.
  • Mental Health Helpline - A phone line that provides support and referrals to people with mental health challenges. You can access an interpreter by identifying your language.
  • Rainbow Services - Counselling for LGBTTTIQ people who are concerned about their use of drugs and alcohol.

For More Information

  • Sexual Health Ontario - Information about Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Infections and sexual health clinics.
  • Support Near You - Information on where victims of sexual assault can find support. From the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres.
  • Here to Help - Articles for members of the LGBTQ+ community about mental illness.
  • PFLAG Canada – An organization that provides health information and resources on issues of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
Last updated: November 15, 2016 4003702