Canadian researcher to speak at RU about trans issues

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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.

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