Trans, non-binary and gender diverse youth between the ages of 13-30
Transphobia, and addressing gender justice in the school system have been identified as significant human rights issues. The primary objective of this proposed research is to investigate trans specific education policy contexts and practices with the view to generating knowledge about how the experiences of transgender youth, gender non-conformity and gender creative expression are being addressed in the school system and pedagogically in classrooms (Ehrensaft, 2014;Meyer & Pullen-Sansfacon, 2014; Martino & Cumming-Potvin, 2016; 2018; Ryan et al., 2013; DePalma, 2013). How can the accounts of trans, non-binary and gender diverse youth be employed to better inform current practice in schools with respect to supporting gender expansive education? While there is evidence of trans specific school board policies in jurisdictions such as Ontario and California where we are conducting research, there is no detailed analysis of such polices, no school-based research that has investigated the effects of these policies, and scant research that has been generated about trans-affirmative pedagogical practices in the classroom and which centre the accounts of trans and gender diverse youth as a vital and necessary source of knowledge. The aim of this research, therefore, is to generate knowledge about trans-affirmative policies and practices in school boards/districts and to centre the accounts of trans and non-binary youth both inside and outside of school.
Research is needed that seeks to include the interpretive insights of transgender, gender diverse and non-binary students and educators, as well as those from the broader trans community, with the expressed purpose of learning about policy and pedagogical effects of trans-affirmative interventions in schools from their standpoints. Central to this study, therefore, is a commitment to interpretive collaborative research that is grounded in a recognition of the need to learn from transgender, non-binary and gender diverse youth, trans educators, community members and to involve them in an examination of current trans policies and resources that are being employed in schools (Dodson et al., 2007). Moreover, in order to ensure “the spectrum of identities found within the community” (Green, 2010, p. 3), a diverse representation of subgroups from within the trans community will be included in the sample (Namaste, 2000). Interpretive input from and collaboration with trans, non-binary and gender diverse students, educators and community members will lead to building more informed and grounded knowledge and understanding of current policies and pedagogical practices in the education system that are committed to ensuring transformative gender justice (Travers, 2014; Stryker, 2006; Noble, 2004).
How will this research help LGBT people and communities?
This study aims specifically to highlight how policy shapes practice for positive impact. While there is evidence of trans-affirming school policy, there is no detailed analysis of such policies, no school-based research that has investigated the effects of these policies, and scant research that has been generated about trans-affirmative pedagogical practices in the classroom and which centre the accounts of trans and non-binary youth. The aim of this research, therefore, is to generate knowledge about trans-affirmative policies and practices where there is an explicit commitment to supporting transgender and gender diverse youth. In addition, this research seeks to include the interpretive insights of transgender and gender diverse students and educators, as well as those from the broader trans community, with the expressed purpose of learning about policy and pedagogical effects of trans-affirmative interventions in schools from their standpoints. In short, how can insights generated by trans and non-binary youth themselves inform our understanding of what is needed in schools to address gender justice and gender democratization? Hence, this collaborative research, with its commitment to knowledge mobilization beyond the academic community, will lead to enhanced trans-inclusive curriculum development and professional learning opportunities for educators in schools in terms of achieving educational outcomes that are committed to gender equality and supporting trans and non-binary youth in schools.
Youth will receive a $20 gift certificate to a grocery store or coffee shop in recognition of their contribution to this study.
What mitigation measures are in place to reduce potential distress caused to participants as a result of being part of the research study?
There are no known risks to participating in this study. The individual conducting interviews has experience facilitating LGBT2QIA+ support groups and workshops and is also ASIST certified. The interviewer will be prepared at each interview with a list of local in-person and online support resources should a participant need them.
When do you anticipate that this study's findings will be available?
Name: Jenny Kassen
Dr. Wayne Martino
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council