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 has been involved in local and North American bisexual communities for over 15 years. During this time she has delivered numerous trainings on bisexuality, offered community-based courses and workshops, and founded the bi groups Fluid and The B Side. Cheryl has worked extensively in bisexual health research as well as research on sexual orientation and health disparities more broadly, and has co-authored numerous academic articles on these topics. She is also currently the Director of Community Programming and Research at Planned Parenthood Toronto, where she leads community-based research initiatives on youth sexual health topics.


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.

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!

LGBTQ Parenting Network

The 2SLGBTQ+ Family Resources at the Sherbourne Health Centre is a network of organizations supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer parents, their children and their communities.

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

Alex Abramovich

Alex AbramovichDr. Alex Abramovich is a Scientist at the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and an Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Dr. Abramovich has been addressing the issue of LGBTQ2S youth homelessness for nearly 15 years. Over the years, he has advocated continuously for policy and practice changes to improve the lives of LGBTQ2S youth. Dr. Abramovich is an award winning, internationally recognized leader in the area and one of only a few Canadian researchers studying this issue. His program of research focuses on preventing, reducing, and ending LGBTQ2S youth homelessness in Canada, and addresses issues regarding transgender health.

Dr. Abramovich's research has led to groundbreaking practice and policy reform, including the launch of Canada's first dedicated transitional housing program for LGBTQ2S youth. He has worked closely with all levels of government to develop policies and strategies that address the needs of LGBTQ2S youth and young adults experiencing homelessness and is committed to research that successfully and ethically engages marginalized populations.

Dr. Abramovich is the recipient of the 2019 recipient of the CIHR-Institute of Population and Public Health Trailblazer Award in the early career category.

Greta Bauer

Dr. Greta Bauer is a 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. She is interested in community-based epidemiology, methodologic and ethical issues in studying hidden populations, and how intersectionality and multidimensionality can be best incorporated into quantitative research methodology. Greta was a Principal Investigator on the Trans PULSE Project—an decade-long 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. She currently leads a cohort study of medical, social and family outcomes among trans youth prescribed blockers or hormones, as well as a methodology study on intersectionality methods in health research.


The Trans PULSE Project

The Trans PULSE Project was a mixed-methods project that explored 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 have been analyzed and disseminated through a variety of mediums. Trans PULSE has recently received funding for a Canada-wide version of the project, with Dr. Greta Bauer as Principal Investigator.

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.


Andrea Daley

Dr. Andrea Daley is an Associate Professor & Director at Renison University College (affiliated with University of Waterloo). She has published on social justice issues including those impacting sexual and gender minority communities with a particular focus on access to equitable and good quality health care; lesbian/queer women’s experiences of psychiatric services; and gender, sexuality, race, and class and the interpretative nature of psychiatric chart documentation as it relates to psychiatric narratives of distress. She practices critical research methods to engage politics of knowledge building with communities towards the goal of social transformation.


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 LGBTQ2S+ 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.


Dionne Gesink

Dionne Gesink is an Associate Professor with the University of Toronto, Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Her research focuses on the social epidemiology of sexual and reproductive health. Dionne is particularly interested in the patterns, connections and relationships between behavioural, social, cultural, environmental and spatial factors, and sexual health. Dionne’s research approach is grounded in relational and community based participatory research principles.

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.

Hannah Kia

Hannah Kia joined the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team in September 2014 as a Ph.D. student at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Prior to starting her doctoral studies, Hannah was a clinical social worker in British Columbia, where she gained practice experience in palliative care and other health care specialty areas. During her time as a social worker, she undertook original research on the experiences of care-giving partners of gay men, and assisted with a Metropolis BC-funded study that examined the experiences and service needs of sexual minority newcomers. Hannah holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work from the University of British Columbia.

At this time, Hannah's research interests centre on examining health care access among older LGBTQ2S+ adults. In pursuing her doctoral studies, she hopes to gain a better understanding of how older LGBTQ2S+ adults, particularly those living with HIV and other chronic illnesses, might experience stigma and discrimination as barriers to accessing care. In April 2015, Hannah was awarded a Doctoral Research Award by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to support her work in this area.

When Hannah is not busy with school or work, she can be found playing three-chord ballads on her guitar, writing poetry at odd hours, or making unsuccessful attempts at Persian cooking.

Renato (Rainier) M. Liboro

Renato (Rainier) Liboro, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of the Department of Psychology of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). He represents the department in the university's Population Health and Health Equity Initiative, and is a Faculty Affiliate of UNLV's Department of Interdisciplinary, Gender, and Ethnic Studies. Rainier is a community-based participatory researcher whose research agenda involves active collaboration with community partners and the meaningful involvement of people with relevant lived and work experiences. The focus of his research largely examines and addresses health disparities that impact the mental health and wellbeing of sexual/gender and racial minorities, migrants with or without status, older adults, and people living with or at risk of HIV/AIDS and other hidden/episodic disabilities. He is eager to engage and collaborate with academic colleagues, students and other research trainees, and community partners, particularly through his work as Research Lead of UNLV's Community Health Advocacy for Minority Populations, Immigrants and Other Newcomers, and their Mental Health (CHAMPION Mental Health) Research Lab.

Kinnon MacKinnon

Kinnon MacKinnon

Kinnon R. MacKinnon first joined the Re:Searching for 2SLGBTQ Health team in 2011 as a Master of Social Work practicum student. He later reunited with the team in 2014 to complete his PhD in Public Health Sciences under the supervision of Dr. Lori Ross. Today Kinnon is an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work, York University. Drawing from critical, interdisciplinary training in gender studies, social work, and public health, Kinnon's program of research investigates the social and structural dimensions of health and social care access (specialization: 2SLGBTQ care). Kinnon's social work practice background includes support group facilitation in the areas of gender-affirming care, and men's body image. Reflecting a transformative vision, he also designs and studies gender-affirming care education aimed to impact change at the practice and policy levels.

Merrick Pilling

Merrick Pilling

Merrick Pilling is an Assistant Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Windsor, and previously a postdoctoral fellow with the Re:searching for 2SLGBTQ+ Health team.

Previously, Merrick worked on various social justice-based projects focused on mental distress using an intersectional, Mad Studies/Disability Studies approach including the Cultural Narratives of Gender in Psychiatric Narratives project and the Defining Community for LGBTQ people with a Diagnosis of Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder project. He holds a PhD in Gender, Feminist and Women's Studies from York University, an MA in Social Justice and Equity Studies from Brock University, and a BA (Hons) in Conflict Resolution Studies and Women's Studies from the University of Winnipeg. His doctoral research used qualitative approaches to examine the experiences of transgender and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer people who experience mental distress.

Recent publications include chapters in the peer-reviewed anthologies Containing Madness: Gender and 'Psy' in Institutional Contexts (Palgrave MacMillan) and Madness, Violence and Power: A Radical Anthology (University of Toronto Press). He is currently working on a co-edited book project with Dr. Andrea Daley based on the results of the Cultural Representations of Gender in Psychiatric Narratives study.

Kendra-Ann Pitt

Pitt is currently an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work at York University. She is a co-investigator on the Peers Examining Experiences in Research Study (PEERS)—a project exploring peer researcher involvement in participatory and community based research. She holds a Ph.D. in Social Justice Education and Women & Gender Studies, as well as graduate and undergraduate degrees in Social Work. Her SSHRC funded doctoral research addressed issues of gender, race and sexuality in relation domestic violence interventions in the Anglophone Caribbean. Kendra has worked as a counsellor and domestic violence advocate and has been involved in anti-violence efforts in the Caribbean, Canada and the UK. Her work as a researcher and educator has been guided by her enduring commitment to producing social equity.

Jake Pyne

Jake Pyne joined the Re:searching for LGBTQ2S+ 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 LGBTQ2S+ 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.


Margaret Robinson

Margaret Robinson

Margaret Robinson, PhD, is a two-spirit, bisexual, and queer scholar from the Eskikewa’kik district in the unceded territory of Mi’kma’ki, and a member of Lennox Island First Nation. She completed her graduate work at the University of Toronto and conducted two postdocs at the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health under the supervision of Dr. Lori Ross. Margaret is now an Assistant Professor at Dalhousie University where she holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Reconciliation, Gender, and Identity. Her community-driven program of research examines the benefits of cultural identity, language, and the arts to promote wellbeing for oppressed people. Her participatory approach to research is informed by her experience as a bisexual activist and a queer journalist. She regularly collaborates with the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health Team.

Travis Salway

Dr. Travis Salway is a social epidemiologist whose research investigates population health inequities in the context of stigma. He joined SFU Faculty of Health Sciences in 2019, coming with 18 years of experience working with sexual minority (lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer) communities to inform and improve public health interventions. He has collaborated with the Re:searching for LGBTQ2S+ Health team on several projects, including our systematic review of mental health among bisexual people and our work addressing poverty among 2SLGBTQ+ communities. Currently, Travis is leading important work to ban conversion therapies in Canada.

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).


Lesley Tarasoff

Lesley Tarasoff

Lesley A. Tarasoff is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Health and Society at the University of Toronto Scarborough and the Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. She is currently leading the qualitative component of a NIH-funded project on the perinatal health of women with disabilities in Ontario and her own CIHR-funded research on the preconception health and reproductive life plans of women with disabilities.

She holds a PhD in Public Health Sciences (Social and Behavioural Health Sciences) from the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health (2018). Her PhD research explored how women with physical disabilities experience the perinatal period and early motherhood, with an emphasis on embodiment and care experiences.

She began working with the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team in summer 2010, first as a Research Assistant before starting her PhD. Lesley has worked on many projects with the team, including the Creating Our Families study and the Postpartum Well-Being study. She continues to work with current and former members of the team on projects, specifically in the areas of bisexual mental health and sexual and reproductive health, including sexual violence.

Outside of academia, she enjoys cooking, eating, traveling, playing recreational soccer and softball, cycling, spending time with her dog Mango, and daydreaming about moving somewhere warm.


Jijian Voronka

Dr. Jijian Voronka is an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work at the University of Windsor, where she teaches primarily for their Disability Studies Program. She holds a Ph.D. in Social Justice Education from the University of Toronto and held a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship at Rutgers University. Her current research focuses on inclusion strategies in social and mental health interventions, and she is a co-investigator on the Peers Examining Experiences in Research Study (PEERS). She's invested in Mad Studies and Disability Justice approaches to studying power in sites of activism, research, education, and knowledge production.

Charmaine C. Williams

Dr. Charmaine C. Williams is an associate professor, the Acting Vice-Dean of Students, School of Graduate Studies and the Factor-Inwentash Chair in Social Work in Health and Mental Health at the University of Toronto. 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.