Classification of sexual orientation


The categories of the Classification of sexual orientation are derived using the standardized sexual orientation question. Information on sexual orientation is based on self-reported data.

Individuals are asked to provide a single response to a question on sexual orientation by selecting one of: 'heterosexual (i.e., straight)', 'lesbian or gay', 'bisexual or pansexual', or to provide another term in a write-in field.

The Classification of sexual orientation supports the production and publication of data on the LGB+ population (that is, people whose reported sexual orientation is lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, or another sexual orientation that is not heterosexual).

Persons who reported a sexual orientation other than heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or pansexual are classified under 'sexual orientation, n.e.c.' (not elsewhere classified). This category includes, for example, individuals who reported questioning their sexual orientation, being asexual, demisexual, or queer. It also includes Indigenous people who reported their sexual orientation as being Two-Spirit.

When sample size is too small for disaggregation of a particular subcategory, it must be reported within the aggregate higher-level category (i.e., LGB+).

Recognizing the evolution of terminology, new categories could be added under the Classification of sexual orientation following a thorough examination of responses received.

Date modified: