Dr. Lori Ross is a Senior Scientist in the Social and Epidemiological Research Department at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto. She is the leader of the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health Team at CAMH. Lori is also Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto.
Lori uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches in her research work, with a strong focus on integrating the principles of community-based research. Much of her research focuses on understanding the mental health and service needs of marginalized populations including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) people, in order to improve access to services for these communities.
Lori’s most important job is being a Mom to her 6-year-old daughter. Back when she used to have free time, she enjoyed gardening and reading Canadian fiction. She feels immensely privileged to get paid to do work that she loves, in the service of her own community, and together with a fabulous team who are all so passionate about social justice.
Lesley joined the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team in June 2010. From June 2010 to August 2012, she was responsible for many of the team’s administrative tasks. She also contributed significantly to the Creating Our Families study and its associated knowledge translation (KT) activities.
Since September 2012, Lesley has contributed to the team on a volunteer basis, largely working with Lori on KT activities and a project examining the relationship between geographic place of residence and risk for postpartum depression.
Lesley is currently a PhD student at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, where she also participates in the Collaborative Graduate Program in Women’s Health. She is interested in women’s health, particularly the experiences of physically disabled women and sexual minority women during the perinatal period, mental health, and eliminating barriers to health care for marginalized populations more broadly.
In addition to her doctoral studies, Lesley contributes to a research study concerning community participation among people with schizophrenia (PI: Sean Kidd).
Beyond the books and the computer screen, Lesley enjoys cooking, traveling, playing recreational soccer, and daydreaming about moving to Maui.
Margaret Robinson is a Mi’kmaq scholar from Nova Scotia. She holds a PhD in theology from the University of Toronto. Her dissertation focused on the role of polyamory and monogamy in the identity of bisexual women in Toronto. Margaret joined the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health Team in November of 2010 as Project Coordinator of the Risk & Resilience study. In November of 2012 she was awarded a CAMH Fellowship in Community-Based Research, during which she began researching bisexual women’s use of cannabis.
A long-time bisexual activist, Margaret has co-chaired the Toronto Dyke March, volunteered with Pride Toronto, and worked as a facilitator and community organizer with Bisexual Women of Toronto and the Toronto Bisexual Network. Additionally, she was programming and financial director of the 9th International Conference on Bisexuality, and is currently a director of the Bisexuality Education Project. Margaret also has a background in journalism, with her writing in the LGBTQ press spanning a decade.
Her health interests include bisexual and trans equity, the social aetiology of mental illness, the social construction of substance use, intersecting oppressions, and sexual identity development. Her approach is feminist, intersectional and interdisciplinary. She also has an abiding interest in postcolonialism, and is a board member of the Journal of Postcolonial Networks.
In addition to her academic and research work, Margaret is a published poet who enjoys writing fan fiction, living vegan, gaming, and reading murder mysteries. She suspects that she has too many cats.
Dean joined the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team February 2011 as a Research Assistant for the Access to Primary Care project. He has a degree in English from York University.
As a consumer/survivor, Dean believes it is very important to be aware of issues that affect people like him. Dean considers his mental illness a gift; it has strengthened him and opened his eyes to so many things that were previously off his radar. It has also given him a voice in his true passion: writing. Ever since elementary school, when Dean wrote his first story, “The Planet Menus,” various people have told him he should be a writer, but he has struggled to find his muse until recently. For Dean, working on the Access to Primary Care project allows him to broaden his voice and sharpen his vision on consumer/survivor issues. Dean is thrilled to be part of the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team.
In his spare time, when he’s not reading, writing or working out, Dean enjoys cooking and listening to all kinds of music, though he particularly enjoys classical and jazz, as he was trained as a pianist as a child.
Myera joined the LGBTQ Health Re:search team in December 2010 as a Research Assistant for the Access to Primary Care project. Myera’s academic background is in Gender Studies (University of Toronto) and Couples & Family Counseling (University of Winnipeg). She is currently training to be a psychotherapist at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto and at Oolagen Community Services.
Myera has a particular interest in early childhood development/early attachment patterns as it relates to later life experiences of mental health, specifically anxiety and depression. She is also very interested in considering mental health and addiction from anti-oppression and feminist frameworks, which take into the consideration the existence of power imbalances and the psycho/emotional impact of marginalization. She believes in the importance of healthy, supportive and inclusive communities for the development of good mental and emotional health. She too is interested in the ways in which emotional histories can be stored in the body.
When taking a break from thinking about equality and mental/emotional health, Myera can be found swimming lengths, walking her dogs, writing stories she never shows anyone, or being in the company of her wonderful friends and family.
Nael joined the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team in March 2011 as a Research Assistant for the Creating our Families Project. Nael did his undergraduate degree at Queen’s University, holds an MA in Women & Gender Studies from the University of Toronto, and is currently a PhD candidate in Women’s Studies at York University. Nael worked on the Trans PULSE project and is passionate about queer, psychoanalytic, transgender, post-colonial and diasporic theory.
Andre Joined the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team in January 2012 as a Program Assistant, supporting the team’s administrative needs. Andre strongly believes in volunteerism and thinks that individuals should give back to their communities. He has volunteered with several non-profit organizations such as Jamaica Forum for All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), Pride In Action (PIA) and Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (BLACK CAP). These organizations provide support to youth who are being marginalized, stigmatized and or discriminated against because they are identified as being part of a particular social class or group. Additionally, Andre has worked with the National Interschool Brigade for two years where he held the position of a Captain. The admiration and love from youth in the group and the wider community has allowed Andre to garner the respect of all. His hard work and dedication has provided him with several accolades and awards, namely, the Superintendent Award of Leadership and Bravery.
Andre has been an advocate for several LGBTQ organizations. He has published several newspaper articles that provided a voice for those who don’t have one or those who are a bit reserved to let their voices heard. His personal experiences of stigma and discrimination have empowered him to get involve with organizations that support marginalized people, including but not limited to, members of the LGBTQ community.
He is currently pursuing his undergrad degree in Accounting and his ultimate goal is to become a Forensic Accountant.
Andre is committed to working with people and organizations to develop and foster a community that protects and respects the inherent right and freedom of all.
Jason joined the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health Team in December 2012 as Project Coordinator for the Access to Primary Care study. His focus will be on Knowledge Transfer and Exchange activities for this final exciting wave of this multiyear study.
Jason is “looking forward to the opportunity of making a contribution to this community-based research project with its wealth of narratives deserving to be heard.”
Jason has previously held positions at the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT), Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance/Ontario AIDS Network, United Way/Centraide Ottawa and the United Nations Association in Canada (UNA-Canada). He has an M. Ed. in Adult Education and Community Development with the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.
Jenna MacKay joined the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team in January 2013 as a Research Analyst on the Risk and Resilience project. Jenna passionately believes that research is a social justice tools to improve people’s lives.
Jenna has worked as a researcher in various community (e.g., Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre, Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women) and institutional settings (e.g., York University, Women’s College Hospital). She has a BA in Women’s Studies/Psychology (York University) and a MA in Social Psychology (Carleton University). Her qualitative research has focused on non-medical perspectives of mental health, bi/queer/pan/fluid sexualities, and violence against women.
In addition to being a researcher, Jenna is an anti-oppressive feminist activist and organizer, blogger for Shameless Magazine and maker of things. Jenna enjoys travel, food, dogs, hunting for thrift store finds, baked goods, bicycles, preserving food and dreaming about rural landscapes.
Sarah joined the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team in September 2012 as a Research Assistant for the Pathways Project. She holds an MA in Labour Studies from McMaster University, and is an artist and educator whose interests stretch from care models in a post-capitalist world to feminist poetics. Her poetry collection Cutting Room is out with Coach House Books.
Jake Pyne joined the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team in January 2010 as part of a community-based research trainee position with the Centre for the Study of Gender, Social Inequities and Mental Health. Jake has worked in a variety of research and advocacy roles in Toronto's trans community over the past 10 years. His work has focused on access to services for trans people in the areas of housing and homelessness, health care and parenting. He is currently a Co-Investigator on the Trans PULSE study and on the Reproductive Mental Health team at the Centre for the Study of Gender, Social Inequities and Mental Health. Jake's current work also includes a number of community development projects related to trans parents and gender non-conforming children, projects which are based at Rainbow Health Ontario, Concordia University and the LGBTQ Parenting Network at the Sherbourne Health Centre. Jake has a Master of Social Work degree from Ryerson University.
As part of the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team, Jake led the Transforming Family study from 2010-2012, which explored trans parents experiences of discrimination as well as the strengths that trans people bring to parenting. He is currently leading a small study exploring trans women's experiences of motherhood entitled: Regulating the Boundaries of Motherhood: A Case Study of Trans Women's Experiences in Relationship to Motherhood.
Jessica Wishart is a student team member finishing the second year of her Masters of Social Work at the University of Toronto. Jessica completed her undergrad in International Development Studies at the University of King’s College in Halifax, and spent the last few years interspersing bursts of travel with working in the areas of youth engagement and youth mental health. Jessica is excited about community based research and exploring issues of access and equity, and in her role as a research student she is working on the Access to Primary Care project.
When she is not at school or placement, Jess can be found in the company of good friends talking with her mouth full, reading, running, and trying to start adventures.
Jasmin Taylor is a social work student at Ryerson University and has been working with Re:searching for LGBTQ Health since January 2013. She is passionate about the anti-violence movement, women’s studies and cats. She likes cats a lot.
We wish to thank all of the people who have worked with us over the past few years: Scott Anderson, datejie green, Heather McKee, Victoria Jakobson, Andrew Ross, Margaret Gibson, Sarah James-Abra, Marita Obst, Kinnon MacKinnon, Jenny Starke, Mika Atherton, Denise Sum, Emily Chen, Kira Abelson, Liz Brockest, Jennifer Henderson, Ayden Scheim, Tracy Woodford, Yun Gao, Rebecka Sheffield, and Amy Siegel. A big thanks to all of the volunteers, students/trainees, and staff who have worked with us prior to the launch of this website (and sincerest apologizes to anyone that we missed!). We wish you well on your future endeavors and please stay in touch!
We welcome student collaborators. Depending on the needs of our projects, we offer learning opportunities for students and trainees at all levels, including high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, professional students (medicine, social work), and postdoctoral fellows. If you are a student or trainee interested in LGBTQ health, please contact us to learn more about ways to get involved with our team.