Bridging Research and Advocacy

A core value of our research team is that research should help inform social change and assist with creating more positive and empowering social contexts for transgender and gender diverse people to live and thrive within. 

How do we live out this value? 

In response to this core value, we seek to conduct meaningful research that can contribute to social change. This means that the studies we conduct are ones we believe can benefit the community directly. We live out this value through: 

Partnerships

Partnering with transgender and gender diverse individuals to ensure that we are asking questions that are substantively meaningful to their lived experiences. 

Disseminating Findings

Disseminating research through creative means, such as infographics and via social media.

Outreach

Conveying research findings to individuals within positions of power, such as legislators, school boards, and university administrators. 

Community Engagement 

Taking research out of the ivory tower of academia. We believe that it is important to communicate research findings to the communities that we work with through  community presentations of our research instead of solely publishing these in costly and often inaccessible academic journals. 

Pride Parade

Examples of Past Advocacy Efforts

Speaking Out Against Anti-Trans Legislation

We have used research to engage in advocacy against anti-trans legislation, such as efforts in South Dakota to restrict restroom access. Some interviews based on this: 

Addressing Anti-Trans Institutional Policies

We have engaged in advocacy to create more affirming social settings for transgender and gender diverse individuals: 

Community Presentations and Trainings 

​We have regularly presented to non-academic outlets, such as the following : 

  • Trans Health Collective at Michigan State University

  • Psychiatry residents at Michigan State University

  • University of Dakota SPECTRUM student group

  • South Dakota Ryan White Prevention Planning Group

  • Chicago Parents of Trans Individuals group meeting 

 

Current Efforts

Assistance Navigating Systems

Trans people experience many legal and political challenges related to changing one's name or gender marker. We created resources to help navigate some of these systems: 

Improving Access to Care

Due to cisnormativity, medical and mental healthcare providers are rarely trained in how to be affirming of trans clients. The ways in which trans people are marginalized at broader societal levels results in this lack of inclusion in training as well. In an effort to address this exclusion, we are: 

  • Providing trainings to various healthcare providers 

  • Developing a list of strategies to improve climate and competence for providers 

  • Creating training videos and materials to improve climate and competence for providers

  • Partnering with Queering Medicine to do outreach to local providers

Research About Sociopolitical Contexts 

​We make sure to include a focus on systems level issues and sociopolitical context in the studies we conduct. Here are a few points related to this: