Hiring peer researchers– individuals with lived experience of the phenomenon under study – as research staff is often considered best practice in community-based research. However, little research has examined experiences with peer research from the perspectives of peer researchers themselves. In this talk, we will share findings from a participatory, qualitative research project focused on four intersecting communities often engaged in peer research, including trans and non-binary communities. We will highlight experiences that are shared across communities (e.g., exposure to intersecting systemic oppressions) as well as those particular to trans and non-binary participants (e.g., the complex inter- and intra-community power dynamics that can emerge with cisgender leadership of trans-focused research studies). Drawing from these findings, we will discuss the need for a more reflexive and critical approach to the practice of peer research, particularly for cisgender researchers engaged in research with trans and non-binary communities.
Lori Ross (she/her) is an Associate Professor in the Division of Social & Behavioural Health Sciences, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, and an interdisciplinary scholar in the field of 2SLGBTQ+ health. Link to headshot: https://lgbtqhealth.ca/team/#LoriRoss
Merrick Pilling (he/him) is an Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Windsor. He is the author of Queer & Trans Madness: Struggles for Social Justice and co-editor of Interrogating Psychiatric Narratives of Madness: Documented Lives.