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:
Partnering with transgender and gender diverse individuals to ensure that we are asking questions that are substantively meaningful to their lived experiences.
Disseminating research through creative means, such as infographics and via social media.
Conveying research findings to individuals within positions of power, such as legislators, school boards, and university administrators.
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.
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 and press articles from our team:
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 :
Medical students at Michigan State University
Allen Neighborhood Center
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
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:
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:
We'll be creating methods of disseminating findings from this study directly with policy makers