Researching for LGBTQ Health


We value different types of knowledge, expertise and experience. Diverse perspectives make our research process and our research results more enriching and relevant. Collaborating with others is critical for the success of our research. Here are some of our current collaborators:

Community Partners

Cheryl Dobinson with poster

Cheryl presenting our poster campaign at the White House meeting on bisexual issues.

Cheryl Dobinson

Cheryl Dobinson, MA, is involved in research on bisexual mental health issues as well as on sexual orientation and health disparities, and has co-authored numerous academic articles on these topics. With Dr. Leah Steele, she developed the "Ten Things Bisexual People Should Discuss with Their Health Care Providers" document for the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association in 2008. In 2003 Cheryl completed a study on bisexual health and wellness for the Ontario Public Health Association and was co-convener of the Bi Health Summit held in San Diego. In addition to working on projects such as her bi women's zine, The Fence, Cheryl facilitates support groups (such as The B Side: Exploring Bisexuality), leads workshops and teaches courses on bisexuality.


Sherbourne Health Centre

Sherbourne Health Centre

Sherbourne Health Centre (SHC) provides innovative primary health care, counselling, support, outreach, health promotion and education programs to many individuals who reflect the diverse and vibrant communities of southeast Toronto, the city at large and the province.

Since their inception in 2003, SHC has focused on building connections and building health in the local community – by developing programs and services to fill existing gaps and address healthcare needs and requirements. In 2009/2010, Sherbourne’s programs provided more than 80,000 client contacts to newcomers, children, seniors, the LGBT community and many others who come from the diverse communities they serve.

Sherbourne’s goal is to serve people to the best of their ability and deliver programs and services that are welcoming, inclusive and accessible.

333 Sherbourne Street
Toronto, ON M5A 2S5


Rainbow Health Ontario

Rainbow Health Ontario

Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO) is a province-wide program that works to improve the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in Ontario through education, research, outreach and public policy advocacy. Based at the Sherbourne Health Centre in downtown Toronto, RHO has been providing comprehensive primary health programs and services to the LGBT communities since 2003 and frequently provides consultation and expertise on LGBT health issues.

Anna Travers, Director


The RHO website provides health information, news and events that promote the health and well-being of LGBT people in Ontario. On the RHO website you will find a database of LGBT-friendly health care providers, information about events and research projects as well as resources via their resource database and online store. Check it out!

Loralee Gillis

Loralee is the Research & Policy Coordinator for RHO. She is responsible for supporting the development of LGBT health research in Ontario and for encouraging public policy that supports LGBT health. Before coming to RHO, She worked as the manager of Research and Evaluation at the Association of Ontario Health Centres, the umbrella organization of Community Health Centres in Ontario. In that role she acted as Principal Investigator on a number of large research grants and supported research capacity building in the sector.

Loralee has also worked as a front-line service provider in street outreach and needle exchange services. She is currently completing her Master’s degree in Social Anthropology at York University. Her Master’s research explores the lives and experiences of Women in Southern Ontario who are living with HIV/AIDS.

In addition to having a long history of political activism, Loralee is one of the founders and co-organizers of the Toronto Women’s Bathhouse. Over the last decade she has spent lots of her spare time fighting legal battles which ensued after the Toronto Police raided the Women’s Bathhouse in September 2000. Loralee grew up in Peterborough, Ontario.

LGBTQ Parenting Network

LGBTQ Parenting Network

The LGBTQ Parenting Connection is a network of organizations supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer parents, their children and their communities.

Rachel Epstein, Coordinator

416-324-4100 ext. 5219

Rachel Epstein

Rachel Epstein, MA, has been an LGBTQ parenting activist, educator and researcher for close to 20 years and coordinates the LGBTQ Parenting Network at the Sherbourne Health Centre, providing resources, information and support to LGBTQ parents, prospective parents and their families and training for health care, legal, social work and education professionals. She has published on a wide range of queer parenting issues, including assisted human reproduction, queer spawn in schools, butch pregnancy, and the tensions between queer sexuality, radicalism and parenting. In 2007 Rachel led the Toronto Pride Dyke March and celebrated the 10th anniversary of Dykes Planning Tykes, a program she co-founded in 1997. Rachel is the 2008 winner of the Who's Your Daddy? And Other Writings on Queer Parenting Steinert & Ferreiro Award (Community One Foundation), recognizing her leadership and pivotal contributions towards the support, recognition and inclusion of queer parents and their children in Canada. She is the editor of the groundbreaking anthology, "Who's Your Daddy? And Other Writings on Queer Parenting".

Queer Parenting Programs
The 519 Community Centre

The 519 Queer Parenting Programs

519 Church Street
Toronto, ON M4Y 2C9

Chris Veldhoven, Coordinator


Empowerment Council

The Empowerment Council is a voice for clients/survivors and ex-clients of mental health and addiction services, primarily of CAMH. They are an independent incorporated organization with a board, membership and staff consisting entirely of people who have received mental health and/or addiction services. They conduct systemic advocacy, ensure the representation of the client perspective at CAMH, do outreach and community development, and provide education and information sharing on areas such as client rights, self-advocacy, and critical thinking.

Women’s Health In Women’s Hands Community Health Centre

Women's Health In Women's Hands Community Health Centre

Women’s Health In Women’s Hands (WHIWH) Community Health Centre provides Primary Healthcare to Black Women and Women of Colour from the Caribbean, African, Latin American and South Asian communities in Metropolitan Toronto and surrounding municipalities.

Academic Partners

Andrea Daley

Dr. Andrea Daley is an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work at York University. Her research interests include access and equity issues in health care policy and program delivery for members of sexual minority communities (LGBTQ), women and mental illness, and sexuality and identity. Her research has explored the assumption of heterosexuality in health care policy and service delivery with a focus on the psychiatric and mental health service experiences of lesbian/queer women. Works in progress include a retrospective chart review of women's psychiatric in-patient charts for sexuality content; an exploration of service access and equity issues related to in-home health and social care services for members of Toronto's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities; and an exploration of meanings of 'caring' among inter-professional cancer care providers. She is involved with advocacy work (Toronto) within the area of LGBTQ health.


Leah Steele

Dr. Steele received her MD from McMaster University in 1996, completed her family medicine training at the University of Toronto in 1998 and then completed a PhD in clinical epidemiology in the Health Policy, Management and Evaluation program at the University of Toronto in 2003. She holds a Career Scientist award from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

In addition to collaborating with our team on a number of projects, Leah is affiliated with many institutions in the Toronto area, including the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Science (Adjunct Scientist), the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto (Assistant Professor), the Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute and the Department of Family and Community Medicine at St. Michael's Hospital (Scientist).

Her research interests include equity, social determinants of health, mental health services, primary care and access to care. Specifically, her research interests relate to the equitable delivery of mental health services in primary care with particular attention to socially disadvantaged populations. She also does research on the relationship between sexual orientation and barriers to health service delivery. Clinically, she provides addiction services to marginalized clients in Toronto's core (Methadone Works program of Toronto Public Health).


Greta Bauer

Dr. Greta Bauer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics at The University of Western Ontario. Her primary research interests are in sexually transmitted infections and the broader health of sexual and gender minority communities. Coming from an interdisciplinary background, her work has spanned the biological, behavioural and social, with a strong emphasis on quantitative research methods. For instance, she is interested in community-based epidemiology and methodologic and ethical issues in studying hidden populations. Currently, among other things, such as collaborating with our team, Greta is a Principal Investigator on the Trans PULSE Project—an exciting community-based research project concerning the problems identified within Ontario trans communities regarding health (physical, mental, social, and sexual) and access to health and social services. A long-term ally, she is committed to improving the health of trans communities.


The Trans PULSE Project

The Trans PULSE Project is a mixed-methods project that explores the ways in which social exclusion, cisnormativity (the belief that trans identities or bodies are less authentic or "normal"), and transphobia shape health and health care for trans people. From April 2009 to May 2010, 433 trans people from across Ontario completed a 87-page survey. Data are now being analyzed and disseminated through a variety of mediums.

Charmaine C. Williams

Dr. Charmaine C. Williams is the Associate Dean Academic of Social Work and the Factor-Inwentash Chair in Social Work in Health and Mental Health. Her research bridges practice and access and equity issues that affect access to primary health care for racial minority women, HIV prevention in the Black communities, and individual and family experience of living with serious and persistent mental illnesses. The majority of her practice experience has been in the mental health care system where she worked in inpatient and outpatient services, and with individuals, families and groups. She has also been involved in organizational change initiatives in the health care sector, developing and delivering professional education in the areas of anti-racism, cultural competence, mental health and addictions, and addressing policy, procedural issues and complaints as the Anti-Racism Officer for the University of Toronto.


Abbie E. Goldberg

Abbie E. Goldberg received her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and completed her pre-doctoral internship at Yale Medical School. She is currently an associate professor of psychology at Clark University, where she has been since 2005. She is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Donaldson Adoption Institute. Dr. Goldberg is the author of over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as two books: Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children: Research on the Family Life Cycle (2010: APA) and Gay Dads: Transitions to Adoptive Fatherhood (2012; NYU Press). She is the co-editor (with Katherine R. Allen) of the book, LGB-Parent Families: Innovations in Research and Implications for Practice (2013; Springer). She has received grant funds from a variety of sources, including the National Institutes of Health, the American Psychological Foundation, the Williams Institute, the Spencer Foundation, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. Dr. Goldberg has also served as a consultant to many organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign and COLAGE: People with a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer Parent.

Margaret Robinson

Margaret Robinson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology & Social Anthropology, at Dalhousie University in Halifax, where she teaches in the Indigenous Studies program.

A bisexual and two-spirit scholar from Eski'kewaq, Nova Scotia, Margaret is also a member of the Lennox Island First Nation. Her work examines the impact of intersecting oppressions and draws on critical, postcolonial, and queer theories, intersectionality, and third wave feminism. She has been a community based researcher since 2009, incorporating participatory, action-based, feminist, and Indigenous research methods. She has led studies on decolonizing research funding in Canada, cultural interventions for Indigenous youth in conflict with the law, two-spirit people's understanding of mental health, cannabis use among bisexual women, and bisexual women's relationship choices. In 2016 she led the development of The Bisexuality Disclosure Kit, and also headed a team that created and validated a measure of microaggressions and microaffirmations experienced by bisexual women.

She conducted her postdoctoral training at the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health with Dr. Lori Ross and with Dr. Janet Smylie at the Centre for Research on Inner City Health.


Jake Pyne

Jake Pyne joined the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team in January 2010 as part of a community-based research trainee position with the Centre for the Study of Gender, Social Inequities and Mental Health. Jake has worked in a variety of research and advocacy roles in Toronto's trans community over the past 15 years and was a Co-Investigator on the Trans PULSE study and on the Reproductive Mental Health team at the Centre for the Study of Gender, Social Inequities and Mental Health. As part of the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team, Jake led the Transforming Family study from 2010-2012, which explored trans parents experiences of discrimination as well as the strengths that trans people bring to parenting. He is currently leading a small study exploring trans women's experiences of motherhood entitled: Regulating the Boundaries of Motherhood: A Case Study of Trans Women's Experiences in Relationship to Motherhood. He is a Trudeau Scholar and a doctoral student in the McMaster School of Social Work. His work focuses on the new generation of trans youth who are blocking puberty and transitioning young and asks how their futures have become thinkable in this time and place.


Corey Flanders

Corey Flanders is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Education at Mount Holyoke College. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team from 2014-2016. Corey's research interests include addressing health inequities experienced by sexual and gender minority people through community-based and mixed-methods research approaches.


Jaime Caravaca-Morera

Jaime Caravaca-Morera is a professional nurse, professor and researcher at the University of Costa Rica, Costa Rica. He has completed the International Research Capacity-Building Program for Health Related Professionals to Study the Drug Phenomenon in Latin America. Currently Jaime is a PhD student at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil.

Jaime has been working in the area of health and vulnerable populations for almost 5 years. With regards his Master's Degree, Jaime worked with homeless people and crack users. His current dissertation research examines the life stories and social representations of sex, body, gender and sexuality among transgender people in Brazil, Canada and Costa Rica.

He is member of the History of Nursing and Health Care Knowledge Study Group (GEHCES) and the Group of Researchers in Mental Health and Drug Consumption (APIS) in Brazil. He is interested in public health, international health, vulnerable populations, drug use phenomenon, homelessness, gender and queer studies.