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About The Outlook Study

The OutLook Study began as a comprehensive needs assessment of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) communities in Waterloo Region, and is a partnership between various organizations in the Region of Waterloo. It is the largest study of its kind in Canada to date, measuring numerous indicators of health and wellbeing of the local LGBTQ communities. In the inital phase, five-hundred and twenty-six LGBTQ+ people over the age of 16 living or working in Waterloo Region were surveyed!

Although the survey has finished, the OutLook Study team is working to create factsheets, presentations, and publications with data to highlight important findings from the study.

Over 90% of participants said growing up they heard that people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or trans were abnormal.

Objectives and Outputs 

The purpose of the study is to acquire data to assist the Rainbow Commuity Council (RCC) and its constituent members in impacting regional policies, programs and services, by:

  • Providing a baseline of the experiences of LGBTQ individuals in relation to social and personal well-being and primary health care needs in Waterloo Region;
  • Generating reports that can be used by the RCC and its constituent members to apply for core funding to address the needs highlighted in the data; and
  • Publishing articles, e-bulletins, and support other knowledge transfer activities of the results to the LGBTQ communities in Waterloo Region.
  • The OutLook Study explores topics such as harassment, discrimination, intimate partner violence, community supports and one’s sense of belonging. It also investigates the sexual health behaviours and needs of gay, bisexual, trans and other men who have sex with men.

The study has received Research Ethics Board approval from both Wilfrid Laurier University and Region of Waterloo Public Health. 

Shifting Our OutLook

Shifting our OutLook: A Waterloo Region Symposium to Enhance the Health and Well-being of Gender and Sexual Minorities was a two-day symposium, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). This symposium aims to gather approximately 75 decision makers in the Region of Waterloo, Ontario to share data and discuss findings from the OutLook Study of local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) persons, and to develop action plans for programming and policy change.

Stakeholders exchanged data across five key health and wellness themes from the OutLook Study

  • Understanding the types of violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTQ individuals in the Region and their effects on health outcomes.
  • Understanding and responding to the unique healthcare concerns of trans people in the Region of Waterloo.
  • Understanding the types of healthcare access barriers facing LGBTQ individuals.
  • Understanding early childhood experience of LGBTQ persons, with a particular focus on bullying and its effects on health outcomes later in life.
  • Understanding the unique health needs of Indigenous and racialized LGBTQ communities.


The OutLook Study utilizes a community-based method, and coordinates the research with various organizations in Waterloo Region, including: 


The OutLook team is grateful to have recieved funding from the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) and The Canadian Intsitutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Contact Us:

Robb Travers, Research Group Co-Director


Todd Coleman, Research Group Co-Director