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SWERV is a new project created by a group of university researchers, students, and partners from LGBTQIA+ communities across Canada. Our (current) goal: to work with more than 2000 (two thousand) LGBTQIA+ youth across Canada by having them fill out the SWERV survey.

We created the SWERV survey to document the individual experiences of LGBTQIA+ youth so that we can become better informed on the challenges they are facing, and potential solutions.

We need this information to make sure that we are heard and taken seriously by decision-making people and groups in the areas of rules, policy, laws, and financing of organisations.

As researchers who are members and allies of many gender and sexual diversity communities, this is our top priority, and what motivates us to do this work!

The letters S, W, E, R and V stand for Social Well-being, Empowerment and Resilience in the face of Adversity. We are looking to better understand the ways that experiencing certain forms of bullying and intimidation can affect positive development, well-being, empowerment and community and social participation in young LGBTQIA+ people.

Some studies suggest that having negative experiences that are rooted in our sexual orientations, gender identities, or bodies can have negative effects on the positive development of LGBTQIA+ youth. Pretty obvious, right?

But there are still a lot of aspects of life as a young LGBTQIA+ person that we do not understand. Limited understanding of the effects of experiences means that we do not always have the tools to know the best course of action to support their positive development, or increase well-being and eliminate obstacles for them.

So SWERV aims to fill a gap in research, and to understand and help young LGBTQIA+ people, their allies, and decision-makers to make better decisions on rules, policies, laws, and financing. Project SWERV will make it possible for future decisions to be based on valid and recent information.

SWERV aims to better understand the things that help people towards well-being and positive development, like social support or resilience, and factors that might limit them, like intimidation, homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, racism, or poverty.

Positive Development

Positive development refers to different social, psychological or behavioural traits which make a person feel generally positive about themselves, their attitudes and actions.

An example of positive development would be having a positive view of one’s skills and abilities (competence).

Other ways that SWERV aims to measure positive development are to look at how a person feels about their self-worth (confidence), how they measure their character and personality against social norms and morality, feeling empathy, and having an interest and an ability in creating and maintaining positive, reciprocal connections with others.

Project SWERV seeks to understand this concept by asking three (3) questions:

What positive and negative experiences are being experienced by young LGBTQIA+ people in Canada? These might include positive experiences with family, friends and community organizations. They might also include negative ones such as bullying, intimidation or discrimination based on heteronormativity, sexism, racism and other types of oppression.

How do these experiences help or harm young LGBTQIA+ people?

What other elements contribute to young LGBTQIA+ people’s well-being? These might be social media tools, networks and/or communities, spending time in community organizations and online spaces, etc.

If you live in Canada, understand French or English, and are:

Between 15 and 29 years old,

You have a sexual orientation that is not 100% heterosexual


You are not 100% cisgender.



Click here to participate :

You will be invited to read the consent form and decide whether or not you agree to participate. It will probably take around 20 to 30 minutes to complete, and you are always free to choose not to answer a question, and to exit the questionnaire, temporarily or not.

Another way to participate in the SWERV project is to follow us on social media. We will have lots of interesting material coming out and links to other sexual and gender diversity groups!