results of a survey about transphobia

Montreal, May 1, 2017 — This survey, conducted by Leger Marketing, is related to the theme of the 2017 campaign “Regardless of Gender” launched by Fondation Émergence and disseminated as part of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (May 17th). This campaign highlights the realities and challenges facing trans individuals.

With the many legislative developments that have been adopted in recent years to better protect trans people, Fondation Émergence wanted to get a picture of Canadians’ and Quebecers’ opinions, perceptions and knowledge of transphobia.

This survey follows on the adoption in Quebec of draft bill 103, whose goal is to accelerate the fight against transphobia and more specifically to improve the situation of transgender minors. In addition, gender identity and gender expression were added to the prohibited grounds for discrimination enshrined in the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms in June 2016.

Among the survey results, Mr. Claude Leblond, President of Fondation Émergence, pointed out that “the vast majority of Canadians (82%) stated that they know the term 'gender identity', while the meanings of ‘transphobia’ (58%) and ‘gender expression’ (60%) seemed to be less well-known." Also, according to Leblond, “It is interesting to note that the proportion of Quebecers who know at least one of these three terms (69%) is significantly below that of the rest of Canada (91%).” “These results tell us that much remains to be done towards increasing public awareness in Quebec to ensure the social dignity and equality of trans people,” he added.

In addition, thanks to the financial support of the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN/confederation of national trade unions) Fondation Émergence was able to poll opinions about inclusion initiatives taken by unions:

“Overall, the adoption of a workplace anti-discrimination policy (34% of Canadians, 24% of Quebecers) seems to be the most popular initiative among Canadian unions when it comes to issues of sexual or gender diversity.”


  • Three quarters of Canadians (74%) and almost two thirds of Quebecers (63%) consider that their awareness of the challenges faced by trans people has improved over the past five years;

  • Nearly three quarters of Canadians (72%) and Quebecers (77%) believe that trans people are subjected to discrimination by employers;

  • Overall, Canadians (49%) and Quebecers (49%) have encountered more offensive comments about trans people on social networks than in their workplace (18% of Canadians, 15% of Quebecers) or in an educational environment (17% of Canadians, 17% of Quebecers).


This study was carried out from January 30 to February 2, 2017, through a web-based survey conducted among a random sample of 1,523 French- and English-speaking Canadians aged 18 or older and recruited from the LegerWeb panel.

Using the most recent Statistics Canada census data, the results were weighted according to gender, age, region, native language, education level and the presence or absence of minor children in the household, in order to make the sample representative of the entire adult Canadian population.

Financial Support

This survey was made possible thanks to the financial support of the National Bank of Canada, the Fight against homophobia program of the Ministère de la Justice du Québec and the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN).

About Fondation Émergence

Fondation Émergence’s works to fight homophobia and transphobia and to defend the rights of LGBT people, as well as their social inclusion, via awareness campaigns, projects, surveys and awards as part of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transpobia on May 17th, which it initiated in 2003.,

2017 Fight against homophobia transphobia campaign

Official presenter: National Bank of Canada

Theme: “No Matter the Gender”

The campaign, whose goal is to raise public awareness, highlights certain human issues that trans people have to deal with.

Awareness material is available free of charge. In addition to the French and English versions of the posters, nine other foreign language versions—German, Arabic, Chinese, Creole, Spanish, Hebrew, Japanese, Portuguese and Russian—are available as downloads.

To order awareness material

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