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  • May 11, 2023 from 1:00pm to 2:30pm


The rich variability of transgender (trans) and gender diverse (TGD) people’s social contexts, identities, and embodiments is increasingly recognized in the scholarship and policy that govern the provision of gender-affirming care. Yet, amid evolving expressions of cisnormativity and trans-antagonism across healthcare and social services in Canada and beyond, appreciation for TGD people’s lived experiences as potential sources of professionally relevant and actionable knowledge remains limited. In this talk, I draw on data from two qualitative studies to consider how researchers, policymakers, and practitioners can harness intersectionally varied lived experiences of TGD people as practice insight to support the growth of community-driven approaches to gender-affirming care. Specifically, I explore how systematizing the uptake of lived experience as practice knowledge may function to build and promote care that (1) validates a growing diversity of embodiments and experiences, (2) nurtures and diversifies networks of advocacy and community support, (3) and strengthens possibilities for ongoing resistance and transformation. I conclude with a consideration of the potential strengths and unintended consequences of streamlining lived experience as professionally intelligible knowledge, particularly in the context of neoliberal care.

Hannah Kia is an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia’s School of Social Work. She is also affiliated with the Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity. Her current program of research addresses a variety of issues pertaining to sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations. Hannah’s work centres, in particular, questions related to SGM health, aging in SGM communities, as well as social work and other professional practice with SGM groups. Recently, Hannah has led a study funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant to learn about experiences of peer support among transgender and gender diverse people.