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Transgender and Non-Binary Healthcare Perspectives: Identity, Community, and Resilience

Researcher bios and how their research backgrounds relate to this study

Kyle Sutherland (Co-PI) is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of British Columbia. Sutherland has over 9 years of experience conducting qualitative interviews with vulnerable populations including transgender, non-binary, and LGB youth, sex workers, and men who have sex with men. Sutherland specializes in medical sociology and trans/non-binary-related healthcare issues (e.g., barriers to care). Sutherland’s doctoral dissertation focuses on healthcare experiences and perceptions among trans and non-binary people. Findings seek to inform culturally sensitive healthcare practices for gender-diverse populations.

Dr. Amin Ghaziani (PI/Supervisor) is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Canada Research Chair in Urban Sexualities at the University of British Columbia. Ghaziani is the dissertation supervisor for this study and has extensive experience working with the LGBTQ community. Ghaziani will draw on his previous research experiences to aid Sutherland (Co-PI) throughout this research endeavour.

Purpose of this research project

Understanding how the Canadian Medical System can best support the healthy development of transgender and non-binary people is critical to the provision of culturally sensitive healthcare, education, and other social services. Yet, the diversity of healthcare-related experiences amongst these communities has largely been ignored within medical sociological research and the healthcare sector more broadly. Thus, the purpose of this study is to examine the unique healthcare experiences and perceptions of transgender and non-binary individuals living in Canada. More specifically, we seek to gain a more substantive and comprehensive understanding of intra-community similarities and differences with regard to how life stressors, coping and resiliency are informing healthcare considerations (e.g., accessing healthcare) within and between trans and non-binary communities. Through this research, our findings will allow policy frameworks to have a more direct impact in supporting the unique needs of gender diverse populations.

How this research will help LGBT2SQ people and communities

This study seeks to highlight the unique perceptions and experiences of the diverse and broad transgender community. Findings from this study will allow policy frameworks to have a more direct impact in supporting the unique needs of gender-diverse populations. Findings will also seek to inform culturally sensitive healthcare practices when dealing with sexual/gender-diverse patients.


Inclusion Criteria:
1. Self-identified transgender and non-binary person, including two-spirit, genderqueer, genderfluid, and gender-questioning (19 years of age or older)
2. Living or currently residing in Canada
3. Fluent in English
4. Participant must have either accessed a Canadian healthcare service or have considered doing so


All participants who take part in an interview will receive a CDN$25 honorarium. Participants may also experience personal satisfaction from their participation in a research study that aims to improve healthcare services and access in ways that are tailored to better meet the needs of trans and non-binary communities.

Mitigation measures

The project will provide a chance for participants to reflect on their experiences and perceptions about accessing and utilizing healthcare services. While participant risk is deemed minimal, some participants, reflecting on past health experiences, may experience discomfort or embarrassment. Participants will not be asked to reveal the reason for, or the results of, their healthcare visit, and we will not expect them to do so. Study participants will also be reminded of their right to refuse to respond to any questions or to withdraw from the study at any time. We will be able to refer study participants to health services and/or counseling available through existing agencies and organizations through our Crisis and Support Contact form. Sutherland (Co-PI) is an experienced interviewer and has conducted many interviews with vulnerable communities (e.g., trans and non-binary youth).

Promoting the Study

We are using a snowball mechanism to collect our sample. Therefore, respondents will initiate contact with us, rather than the other way around. As such, we are reaching out to LGBTQ+ organizations and community stakeholders within Canada to help promote participant recruitment for this important research study. We are also promoting and recruiting participants for this research study via online websites, such as Reddit and Facebook.

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