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Canadian researcher to speak at RU about trans issues

Photo of Robb Travers

Dr. Robb Travers

Radford University’s Center for Gender Studies has invited Dr. Robb Travers, a leader in Canada’s community-based research movement, to discuss some of his work on understanding the effects of social exclusion on gender and sexual minorities.

The presentation, entitled “Transphobia is Bad for Health: Social Exclusion, Mental Health, and Well-Being among Trans People in Ontario, Canada," is open to the public. It will be held on Monday, Oct. 21, at 4 p.m. in Heth 22.

Travers, an associate professor in the department of psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada, is a key figure in Trans PULSE, a research project that explores the lives of hundreds of trans people in Ontario by asking respondents to describe the scope of social exclusion in their lives and its effects on their health and well-being.

The Trans PULSE team documented high incidences of mental health challenges including depression, low self-esteem and suicidality, which were specifically linked to experiences of discrimination. Travers will discuss these key findings and the successes of the unique community-based approach of the Trans PULSE project.

“Many times, we don’t think about the impact that social exclusion or being part of a group that is marginalized or discriminated against, can have on individuals’ emotional and physical health,” said Dr. Hilary Lips, chair of the RU Department of Psychology and director of the Center for Gender Studies.

Travers tackles these issues head on and his work with transgender persons and other members of gender and sexual minorities is an important step in developing interventions against negative impacts.

“I think, on a campus like Radford, that aims to be inclusive, we can learn a lot from him,” Lips said.

The mission of the RU Center for Gender Studies is to provide the entire Radford community with the knowledge and experience that allows for intelligent and informed choice and communication regarding gender issues.

Radford University is a comprehensive public university of more than 9,900 students. RU serves the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation through a wide range of academic, cultural, human service, and research programs. Well known for its strong faculty/student bonds, innovative use of technology in the learning environment and vibrant student life on a beautiful 191-acre American classical campus, Radford University offers students many opportunities to get involved and succeed in and out of the classroom. The university offers 69 degree programs at the undergraduate level, and 21 master's programs and three doctoral programs at the graduate level. A Division I member of the NCAA and Big South Athletic Conference, Radford participates in 19 varsity sports—11 for women and eight for men. Since 2005, the university has secured approval and funding for nearly $300 million in capital projects, including both new construction and renovation.

Learn more about Radford University at www.radford.edu.

Oct 16, 2013
Dan Waidelich
(540) 831-7749