Researching for LGBTQ Health

Projects

On this page, you will find information about what we do, including Active and Past projects. Please visit our Resources page for things we have produced as a result of some of our research (e.g., papers, reports, posters, brochures). Click on the title of each project to learn more.

To learn more about our research or to share ideas you have for possible future projects, please contact us!

Active Projects

Active Projects

Sexual Health Services Access for Women with Psychiatric Disabilities

Our project is guided by two overarching goals: (1) to develop an understanding of sexual health service access for women with psychiatric disabilities (refers to cisgender, trans and gender-queer women with mental health issues and/or personal experiences of psychiatric, mental health, or addiction services), and (2) to create evidence-informed recommendations for enhancing access to equitable, quality sexual health services for this group.

Microaggressions and Microaffirmations among Bisexual Women

Previous research indicates that bisexual women experience subtle stressors and supports (or microaggressions and microaffirmations), and that these experiences are related to mental health. However, there is not yet a valid way to measure these day-to-day experiences. This project is aimed at developing a validated measure that can be used to assess daily microaggressions and microaffirmations in order to better understand the relationship between these experiences and the mental health of bisexual women. We are approaching this project from a community-based mixed-methods design, in order to ensure that the eventual quantitative measures are rooted in the lived experience of bisexual women.

Identifying Obstacles to Accessing Mental Health Services by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and 2-Spirit (LGBTQ2) Homeless Youth through Brokered Dialogue

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and 2-Spirit (LGBTQ2S) youth are overrepresented in the homeless youth population across Canada, but underrepresented in homeless shelters. Although we have known about this issue for over two decades, it has been neglected and inadequately addressed for far too long. This issue has been left out of important dialogue on youth homelessness until fairly recently.

Trans: Life stories and social representations of sex, body, gender and sexuality among transgender people in Brazil, Canada and Costa Rica

A qualitative research aimed at understanding the social representations of sex, body, gender and sexuality from the perspective of transgender subjects in Brazil, Canada and Costa Rica through their life stories.

The Specific Objectives of this project are:

  1. To analyze the social representations of sex, body, gender and sexuality attributed by Brazilian, Canadian and Costa Rican transgender people through their life stories.
  2. To unveil the impact of social institutions from the perspective of transgender people in the formation of social representations related to sex, body, gender and sexuality.
  3. To compare the differences and similarities between the legislation and policy for transgender people in Brazil, Canada and Costa Rica.

Understanding the sexual and reproductive health needs of young bisexual women in Toronto

This project is a community-based focus group study aimed at understanding the positive and negative factors that contribute to young bisexual women’s sexual and reproductive health (SRH), the challenges or obstacles to maintaining their SRH, their perspectives of existing SRH disparities observed among young bi women, and their suggestions for change.

Defining Community for LGBT People with Schizophrenia

This is a longitudinal, mixed-methods study exploring the experiences, beliefs, behaviors, and places that constitute community participation for LGBTQ people who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia or psychosis.

Psychosocial Needs of Older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Adults Living with HIV/AIDS on Accessing Health Care Services

This study will explore psychological and social needs that older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) adults with HIV/AIDS develop or arrive with when accessing health care services in Canada, and will additionally examine the same range of needs in older LGBTQ adults with other chronic illnesses as grounds for comparison. Approximately 25 HIV-positive adults over the age of 50 self-identifying as LGBTQ will participate in in-person semi-structured interviews, along with 10-15 LGBTQ adults living with other chronic illnesses, also over the age of 50. AIDS service organizations and LGBTQ community agencies will assist with recruitment across two Canadian urban centres (Toronto and Vancouver).

Investigating Trans Persons' Experiences Accessing Mental Health Services

Recent research indicates that rates of depression and suicidality are elevated within transgender/transsexual/transitioned (trans) populations (Grant et al., 2010; Bauer et al, 2013). At the same time, gender minorities report experiencing discrimination from service providers when accessing mental health care. This may lead to the avoidance of necessary psychological support programs.

Illicit Cannabis Use Among Bisexual Women in Ontario

Our study takes a normalization approach, framing recreational cannabis use as a normal social phenomenon rather than as an individual problem. This study will address a key gap in Canadian research while also making a significant contribution to the literature on bisexual women’s cannabis use.

Postpartum Mental Health among Visible and Invisible Sexual Minority Women

Our preliminary data indicates that invisible sexual minority women (i.e., women who have a history of sexual relationships with women, but who are currently partnered with men) are at elevated risk for postpartum depression, compared to visible sexual minority women and heterosexual women. Our project aims to build upon this work and understand these differences.

Regulating the Boundaries of Motherhood: A Study of Trans Women’s Experiences in Relationship to Motherhood

This project aims to understand how trans women who are parents may be excluded from claiming the status of "mother," and how they are impacted by this exclusion.

Bisexual Identity: Implications for Mental and Sexual Health

Using a multiplicity of theories we will work to understand the health differences between bisexual men and other men.

Retrospective Chart Review of Women's Psychiatric In-patient Charts

This project examines the construction of gender, sexuality, race, and class within the particular time and place of one urban, Canadian, clinical psychiatric setting.

Guidelines for Community Based Research in Mental Health and Addictions

This project aims to produce a user-friendly document, which will encourage the use of Community-Based Research in the area of mental health and/or addictions.

Risk and Resilience among Bisexual People in Ontario: A Community-Based Study of Bisexual Mental Health

The Risk & Resilience project surveyed bisexual people from across Ontario about their mental health and their experiences with mental health support and services.

Past Projects

Past Projects

Two-Spirited Roundtable Discussion Series

Starting in January of 2014, Margaret will host Aboriginal talking circles in Thunder Bay, Timmins, Sudbury and Ottawa, and Toronto, and hopes to have over 70 participants. “Our project is initiated and led by two-spirited people ourselves,” she explains. “Our communities have been exploited by researchers in the past, so it’s important that we don’t replicate that kind of pattern.”

Pathways to Effective Depression Treatment

Pathways is a community-based research project that asked women and/or trans people of all sexual orientations about their experiences with depression and seeking mental health services

Access to primary care for people with serious mental health and/or substance use issues: A qualitative study

We want to learn about what happens when people with serious mental health and/or substance use issues go to the doctor or try to go to the doctor and don’t get the care they need. We also want to learn about positive primary care experiences.

Transforming Family: Trans Voices on Parenting

In 2010, the Transforming Family project was launched to document the impact of transphobia on trans parents and draw attention to the strengths that trans folks bring to parenting.

Creating Our Families: A pilot study of the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people accessing assisted human reproduction services in Ontario

In the summer of 2010, we began recruiting LGBTQ people from all across Ontario in order to learn about their experiences with Assisted Human Reproduction services.

Using Theatre to Disseminate LGBT Peoples’ Experiences with Assisted Human Reproduction Services

We disseminated the results of the Creating Our Families project to two key audiences: AHR service providers and LGBTQ prospective parents. We used interactive “forum” theatre to share what we learned.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, and two-spirit adoption in Ontario: Policy, practice and personal narratives

An overarching goal of our work in the area of LGBTQ parenting is to improve the quality and accessibility of health and social services for all LGBTQ parents and prospective parents. One of our earlier studies addressed this goal by focusing on LGBTQ adoption.

Mothering on the Margins

The goals of this research was: (a) to learn about factors that contribute to emotional wellbeing in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, and Two-Spirit (LGBT) mothers and mothers-to-be, and (b) to learn what services LGBT mothers and mothers-to-be find helpful, and what services they wish existed, to address their emotional needs.

Understanding the context of bisexual mental health

This was a qualitative study of bisexual people’s experiences with mental health services and care in Ontario.