Researching for LGBTQ Health

Team

August 2019

Team August 2019

Lori Ross

Lori Ross

Dr. Lori Ross is an Associate Professor in the Social and Behavioural Health Sciences Division of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. She is the leader of the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health Team.

Lori uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches in her research work, with a strong focus on integrating the principles of community-based research. Much of her research focuses on understanding the mental health and service needs of marginalized populations including 2SLGBTQ+ people, in order to improve access to services for these communities.

Lori's most important job is being a Mom to her two kids, ages 14 and 6. Back when she used to have free time, she enjoyed gardening and reading Canadian fiction. She feels immensely privileged to get paid to do work that she loves, in the service of her own community, and together with a fabulous team who are all so passionate about social justice.

Twitter:
@LoriRoss_UofT

Zafiro Andrade

Zafiro Andrade

Zafiro (she/her) is a PhD student at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. She holds a MSc in Health Systems and is also a Medical Doctor. She worked at the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico and has collaborated on research projects across Mexico, Brazil, and Nigeria, ranging from those focused-on HIV/AIDS in men who have sex with men, to research focused on sexual and reproductive health in women. She joined Re:searching for LGBTQ2S+ Health team in September 2019.

Currently, her doctoral research is focused on the mental health of lesbian and bisexual women in Mexico. She is interested in understanding the influence of patriarchy, gender and culture in the autonomy, resiliency and mental health of lesbian and bisexual women.

Zafiro loves eating and cooking Mexican and Japanese food with her wife, biking, and playing fetch with her kitten (yes, kitten ^‿^).

Charles Fehr

Charles Fehr

Charles Fehr joined the Re:searching LGBTQ2S health team in January of 2017 with a continued interest in LGBTQ2S health and wellbeing. He has an MA in Applied Social Psychology where he focused on the effects of prejudicial attitudes and behaviors on members of the LGBTQ community within the context of the workplace. He has previous experience conducting needs assessments and evaluations of student and health services.

Charles is currently a Research Assistant at the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health working as a peer researcher for the "Older and Tougher: gbMSM Resilience Against HIV/AIDS" project. He is a member of the poverty reduction strategy group and participated as a co-author on the bisexual health systematic reviews. He has also worked as a coordinator facilitating research on GBMSM health with the CRUISElab team at Factor Inwentash, Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. Charles is interested in continuing to pursue research on LGBTQ2S health outcomes and to work in research administration.

Nicola Gailits

Nicola Gailits

Nicola Gailits is a PhD Candidate at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (University of Toronto), supervised by Dr. Lori Ross. Collaborating with the Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples (CSSP), her doctoral work explores migratory distress experienced by immigrant women from Latin America living in Toronto. Using postcolonial narrative methodology, this project employs a series of community-based story circles in order to critically explore how immigrant women’s stories of migration may challenge mental health approaches that are dominated by a colonialist biomedical ideology.

Since 2017, Nicola has been working with programs for trans women at CSSP. She was part of a research team that conducted a qualitative evaluation of a 6 month program entitled, LGBTQ Migrant Health: Trans Latinas Rompiendo Barreras, aimed at increasing social and economic inclusion of transgender women who have emigrated from Latin America. This evaluation utilized a new visual methodology, Hand Mapping, which allowed trans women to chart their gender and migratory journeys visually across a tracing of their hand. Nicola is currently working with CSSP to evaluate its follow-up project, Trans S.P.A. (self-care, peer, advocacy), that features monthly peer-led workshops for trans folks in Toronto.

Monica Ghabrial

Monica Ghabrial

Monica (she/her) is a postdoctoral fellow in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University. In this position, she is working with Dr. Greta Bauer on Trans PULSE Canada and Trans Youth CAN!, two projects on trans and non-binary health across Canada.

Monica joined the Re:Searching for LGBTQ2S+ Health Team in 2016 while completing her PhD in Psychology at the University of Toronto. Broadly, her research interests include investigating stress and resilience in marginalized populations and exploring the relationship between physical and mental health. She is especially interested in strengths-based research with queer and trans BIPOC. To this end, Monica developed the first measure of positive identity among queer BIPOC, the Queer People of Color Identity Affirmation Scale, and then conducted the first study of physiological resilience in this population. Thanks to her involvement in the Re:Searching team, Monica has had the opportunity to investigate issues unique to bisexual BIPOC. Monica is also Chair of the Awards Committee of APA’s Division 35 Section 4 (Lesbian, Bisexual, and Trans Concerns) and recently joined the Harvard SOGIE Research group. On her free time, Monica enjoys meeting dogs on the street, sitting in the park, and picking up kettlebells at [her home] gym.

James Gibb

James Gibb

James K Gibb is a Master of Science candidate in Evolutionary and Medical Anthropology at the University of Toronto. Prior to his graduate studies, he received his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Waterloo. His MSc research examines the factors contributing to sexual orientation disparities in adult male height and health using a longitudinal dataset on child growth. His broader research program aims to understand the ways social stigma and discrimination influence non-communicable disease risk among persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities. Specifically, his work seeks to identify critical periods during growth and development where anti-LGBTQ stigma and discrimination "gets under the skin" to impact adult health among sexual and gender minorities.

Jen Goldberg

Jen Goldberg

Jen (she/they) is a Registered Midwife and doctoral student at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, supervised by Dr Lori Ross, and has a Master of Public Health in Family and Community Medicine with a Collaborative Specialization in Indigenous Health from the same school. Jen’s is the PI of a cross-sectional survey project that measures the attitudes of Ontario midwives towards sexual and gender minority people, for which she received a Mentored Midwife Research Grant from the Association of Ontario Midwives.

Jen's doctoral research uses narrative inquiry (critical discourse analysis and narrative analysis) to understand whether/how the narratives in the stories of queer, trans and non-binary midwifery service users have been shaped by cisheteronormativity. Jen solo parents two kids, loves to seek silver linings and belabour metaphors, and makes as much room as possible to connect up close and real with her people, her garden, and the forests.

Emmy Nordstrom Higdon

Melissa Marie

Emmy is a non-binary PhD student (abd) in the School of Social Work at McMaster University, and a bookseller at a social justice oriented independent book shop. They grew up in Newfoundland, but they are now based in Toronto. They currently hold a SSHRC Doctoral Award for their research on social work with other-than-human animals. Emmy lives with psychiatric disabilities and chronic illness, and loves spending time with their partners and adopted dogs and cats, and enjoys film photography, snail mail, roller skating, embroidery, and is an unabashed bookworm.

David Kinitz

David Kinitz

David is a social worker and PhD candidate in the Division of Social and Behavioural Health Sciences at Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. His focus on 2SLGBTQ+ mental health is what led him to join the Re:Searching for LGBTQ2S+ Health team in 2018.

Prior to his doctoral work, David worked in a variety of social service settings, most notably as a clinical social worker in the area of child and adolescent mental health. He has also worked as a college Professor in the areas of mental health, addictions, and social services for several years. David holds a diploma in social services and an undergraduate (Lakehead University) and graduate degree (York University) in social work.

David's research explores health inequities, precarious employment, and poverty, and is centered on critically deconstructing socio-political and economic structures. David directs his research outputs to promote social justice and drive equitable health policy, research practices, and clinical care in order to improve the health and well-being of 2SLGBTQ+ populations.

David is engaged in a variety of projects in addition to his dissertation that centre 2SLGBTQ+ health equity.

Jenna MacKay

Jenna MacKay

Jenna joined the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team in January of 2013 as a qualitative analyst on the bisexual mental health project and is supporting the knowledge translation activities of this project.

Jenna completed an MA in Psychology (Carleton University) and an Hons. BA (cum laude) in Psychology and Women’s Studies (York University). Jenna has ten years of rich, diverse work experience in academic, non-profit, hospital and government contexts. Her work has focused on violence against women, women’s mental health, bisexuality, service access and stakeholder engagement. She is an award winning qualitative researcher and educator, and has presented her work internationally.

In addition to being a researcher, Jenna is a community organizer, educator and artist. She is passionate about documenting marginalized histories and manages the project Psychology’s Feminist Voices. Currently Jenna is working towards a Masters of Social Work at University of Toronto to further marry her passion for research with applied skills and deepen her understanding of health from a systems perspective.

Alan Santinele Martino

Alan Martino

Alan's primary areas of interest include the sociology of sexualities, sociology of gender, and critical disability studies, as well as their intersections. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 46 adults with intellectual disabilities in Ontario, his research explores how adults labeled with intellectual disabilities are kept out of sexual fields – spaces that bring together sexual actors in their pursuit for love, intimacy, and pleasure – through a series of disabling social processes. Alan has worked closely with various self-advocacy groups and service providers in Canada and abroad to address questions related to sexuality and intimate citizenship. In his teaching, he encourages students to understand the interconnections between theory and practice, and to consider the actual applications behind course content.

Dixon Pinto

Dixon Pinto

Dixon Pinto (He/Him) is an undergraduate student in the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) program at McMaster University. Dixon joined the the Re:searching for LGBTQ+ Health team in April 2020 to lead his research thesis work investigating the mental health experiences of BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) 2STLGBQIA+ young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. His research interests include understanding the intersections between race, sexuality, and gender, as well as, developing strong qualitative research methodological skills. His aim is to use his research outputs to inform equity-oriented healthcare for sexual and gender minorities and highlight the unique and important experiences of BIPoC folks within the 2STLGBQIA+ community. In addition to his research endeavours, Dixon is involved with the McMaster Pride Community Centre, where he has experience in peer support, community facilitation, and volunteer leadership.

Mostafa Shokoohi

Mostafa Shokoohi, Ph.D. in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, is a social and behavioral scholar working on reducing disparities in health and behavioral outcomes among a) individuals living with HIV, b) under-studied, underserved, socially marginalized populations at risk for HIV infection including people who inject drugs, female sex workers, and c) sexual and gender minority populations, in Canada and internationally. Central to this focus is his consideration of how risk factors at multilevel (individual, interpersonal, community, and structural and/or environmental) influence behaviors (e.g., substance use), health outcomes, and quality of life, as well as preventive health behaviors (e.g., harm reduction programs).

His ongoing CIHR-Funded Postdoctoral Fellowship concentrates on multimorbidities, both physical and mental health outcomes, and mortality among Canadian sexual minorities. He completed his Ph.D. in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Western University, Ontario, focusing on social and behavioral determinants of health among women living with HIV using the largest cohort of HIV among women in Canada. In his doctoral program, he received the Ontario Trillium Scholarship to support his research and education in HIV and substance use epidemiology. He is interested in focusing on novel theoretical, methodological, epidemiological and statistical approaches to health behavior and health outcomes across the HIV care cascade and HIV prevention.

Michelle Tam

Michelle Tam

Michelle Tam (she/her) is a PhD student at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. She joined the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team in May 2019 and is currently working on the Building Competence, Building Capacity: 2SLGBTQ+ Competent Trauma-Informed Care project. Michelle holds a MA in Gender Studies from Queen's University and a BSc (Hons) in Life Science from Queen's University. In recent years, Michelle has worked on community-based research projects around the intersections of gender, race, sexuality and citizenship. Her SSHRC-funded master's thesis research focused on understandings of sexuality that reflect on citizenship, racism, diaspora, and transnational politics of sexuality, specifically among Chinese Canadian LGBQ+ women and non-binary people. Currently, her doctoral research is focused on examining reproductive technologies and access for racialized LGBTQ2S+ folks with a reproductive justice approach. In addition to being a researcher, Michelle is a community advocate and sits on the board of a local AIDS service organization.


Thank You

We wish to thank all of the people who have worked with us over the past few years: Kira Abelson, Scott Anderson, Mika Atherton, Nael Bhanji, Liz Brockest, Emily Chen, Yun Gao, Margaret Gibson, Giselle Gos, Tatiana Graf, datejie green, Shilini Hemalal, Jennifer Henderson, Victoria Jakobson, Sarah James-Abra, Alia Januwalla, Heather McKee, Marita Obst, Jason Oliver, Sarah Pinder, Iradele Plante, Karen Roberts, Andrew Ross, Ayden Scheim, Rebecka Sheffield, Amy Siegel, Andre Smith, Dean Spence, Jenny Starke, Denise Sum, Jasmin Taylor, Myera Waese, Keisha Williams, Jessica Wishart, Tracy Woodford and Wook Yang

A big thanks to all of the volunteers, students/trainees, and staff who have worked with us prior to the launch of this website (and sincerest apologizes to anyone that we missed!). We wish you well on your future endeavors and please stay in touch!

Student Opportunities

We welcome student collaborators. Depending on the needs of our projects, we offer learning opportunities for students and trainees at all levels, including high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, professional students (medicine, social work), and postdoctoral fellows. If you are a student or trainee interested in LGBTQ2S+ health, please contact us to learn more about ways to get involved with our team.