Researching for LGBTQ Health

Team

August 2019

Team August 2019

Lori Ross

Lori Ross

Dr. Lori Ross is an Associate Professor in the Social and Behavioural Health Sciences Division of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, and Affiliate Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto. She is the leader of the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health Team.

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, queer and two-spirit (LGBTQ2S+) people, in order to improve access to services for these communities.

Lori's most important job is being a Mom to her two kids, ages 13 and 5. 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.

Phone:
416-978-7514

Zafiro Andrade

Zafiro Andrade

Zafiro Andrade is a doctoral student at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. She joined Re:searching for LGBTQ2S+ Health team in September 2019. She completed her MSc in Mexico and is also a MD.

For the past six years, Zafiro has focused her research work on understanding how to use mixed-methods to design, implement and evaluate health interventions in minority populations, including men who have sex with men, pregnant women, and adolescents. She worked at the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico and has collaborated on research projects across Mexico, Brazil, and Nigeria, ranging from those focused on HIV/AIDS, to research focused on sexual and reproductive health in women. Most recently, she led the design, implementation, and evaluation of an intervention to improve antiretroviral therapy adherence among MSM living with HIV in Mexico. She collaborated with an NGO in Mexico City focused on defending the human rights of women facing discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity and contributed to the publishing of the first book on lesbian and bisexual women's health in Mexico.

Her current research interests are centered on understanding the influence of machismo or toxic masculinity in the mental and reproductive health of lesbian and bisexual women in Latin America.

Zafiro loves eating and cooking Mexican and Japanese food with her wife Laura, hiking, biking, gardening, and playing hide and seek with her cat Tabachin.

Email:
zafiro.andrade@mail.utoronto.ca

Charles Fehr

Charles Fehr

Charles Fehr joined the Re:searching LGBTQ2S health team in January of 2017 with a continued interest in LGBTQ2S health and wellbeing. He has an MA in Applied Social Psychology where he focused on the effects of prejudicial attitudes and behaviors on members of the LGBTQ community within the context of the workplace. He has previous experience conducting needs assessments and evaluations of student and health services.

Charles is currently a Research Assistant at the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health working as a peer researcher for the "Older and Tougher: gbMSM Resilience Against HIV/AIDS" project. He is a member of the poverty reduction strategy group and participated as a co-author on the bisexual health systematic reviews. He has also worked as a coordinator facilitating research on GBMSM health with the CRUISElab team at Factor Inwentash, Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. Charles is interested in continuing to pursue research on LGBTQ2S health outcomes and to work in research administration.

Nicola Gailits

Nicola Gailits

Nicola Gailits is a PhD Candidate at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (University of Toronto), supervised by Dr. Lori Ross. Collaborating with the Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples (CSSP), her doctoral work explores migratory distress experienced by immigrant women from Latin America living in Toronto. Using postcolonial narrative methodology, this project employs a series of community-based story circles in order to critically explore how immigrant women’s stories of migration may challenge mental health approaches that are dominated by a colonialist biomedical ideology.

Since 2017, Nicola has been working with programs for trans women at CSSP. She was part of a research team that conducted a qualitative evaluation of a 6 month program entitled, LGBTQ Migrant Health: Trans Latinas Rompiendo Barreras, aimed at increasing social and economic inclusion of transgender women who have emigrated from Latin America. This evaluation utilized a new visual methodology, Hand Mapping, which allowed trans women to chart their gender and migratory journeys visually across a tracing of their hand. Nicola is currently working with CSSP to evaluate its follow-up project, Trans S.P.A. (self-care, peer, advocacy), that features monthly peer-led workshops for trans folks in Toronto.

Monica Ghabrial

Monica Ghabrial

Monica Ghabrial is a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto and joined the Re:searching for LGBTQ+ Health team in 2017. Her research interests include investigating stress and resilience in marginalized populations and exploring the relationship between physical and mental health. Monica has worked on projects dedicated to reducing instances of sexual violence on university campuses, exploring housing discrimination against survivors of domestic violence, and developing resources for women living with HIV. Her doctoral research is focused on examining the unique experiences of racialized sexual orientation and gender minority people. This research, informed by intersectionality theory, uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate identity conflict, stress, and resilience among LGBTQ+ people of colour.

Monica spends most of her time at the library, but when she's not there, she enjoys meeting dogs on the street, eating burritos in the park, and picking up kettlebells at the gym.

James Gibb

James Gibb

James K Gibb is a Master of Science candidate in Evolutionary and Medical Anthropology at the University of Toronto. Prior to his graduate studies, he received his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Waterloo. His MSc research examines the factors contributing to sexual orientation disparities in adult male height and health using a longitudinal dataset on child growth. His broader research program aims to understand the ways social stigma and discrimination influence non-communicable disease risk among persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities. Specifically, his work seeks to identify critical periods during growth and development where anti-LGBTQ stigma and discrimination "gets under the skin" to impact adult health among sexual and gender minorities.

Jen Goldberg

Jen Goldberg

Jen is a registered midwife and doctoral student at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, supervised by Dr Lori Ross, and has a Master of Public Health in Family and Community Medicine with a Collaborative Specialization in Indigenous Health from the same school.

Jen's interests include sexual and reproductive health equity for queer, trans and nonbinary people, and arts-based innovative approaches to health professional education that build capacity to provide safe and celebratory midwifery and primary care to queer, trans and nonbinary people.

Jen's current research project, conceived as an MPH practicum project and to be delivered this year, explores the attitudes of Ontario midwives towards sexual and gender minority people.

Jen is an Adjunct Clinical Professor at Ryerson University and has been a clinical preceptor in the Midwifery Education Programs at Ryerson, McMaster and Laurentian Universities. Jen holds privileges at St. Michael's Hospital.

Jen parents two kids ages 10 and 13, and makes as much room as possible to connect up close and real with her people, her gardens, and the forests. She/they loves to seek silver linings and belabour metaphors.

Emmy Nordstrom Higdon

Melissa Marie

Emmy is a non-binary PhD student (abd) in the School of Social Work at McMaster University, and a bookseller at a social justice oriented independent book shop. They grew up in Newfoundland, but they are now based in Toronto. They currently hold a SSHRC Doctoral Award for their research on social work with other-than-human animals. Emmy lives with psychiatric disabilities and chronic illness, and loves spending time with their partners and adopted dogs and cats, and enjoys film photography, snail mail, roller skating, embroidery, and is an unabashed bookworm.

David Kinitz

David Kinitz

David is a PhD student in the Social and Behavioural Health Sciences program at Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. His focus on queer mental health is what led him to join the Re:Searching for LGBTQ2S+ Health team in 2018.

Prior to commencing his doctoral studies, David worked in a variety of social service settings, most notably as a clinical social worker in the area of child and adolescent mental health. He has also worked as a college Professor in the areas of mental health, addictions, and social services for several years. David holds a diploma in social services and an undergraduate (Lakehead University) and graduate degree (York University) in social work.

David's research takes up topics of health inequities, precarious employment, and poverty and is centred on critically deconstructing socio-political and economic structures while advocating for equitable resources and social relations. His aim is to activate his research outputs to promote social justice informed policies, research practices, and clinical care to support queer populations in their journeys to health and wellness.

David is engaged in a variety of projects in addition to his dissertation work that include PrEP use among MSM populations, sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts (SOGICE; conversion therapy), queer representation in the media, and international health equity.

Jenna MacKay

Jenna MacKay

Jenna joined the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team in January of 2013 as a qualitative analyst on the bisexual mental health project and is supporting the knowledge translation activities of this project.

Jenna completed an MA in Psychology (Carleton University) and an Hons. BA (cum laude) in Psychology and Women’s Studies (York University). Jenna has ten years of rich, diverse work experience in academic, non-profit, hospital and government contexts. Her work has focused on violence against women, women’s mental health, bisexuality, service access and stakeholder engagement. She is an award winning qualitative researcher and educator, and has presented her work internationally.

In addition to being a researcher, Jenna is a community organizer, educator and artist. She is passionate about documenting marginalized histories and manages the project Psychology’s Feminist Voices. Currently Jenna is working towards a Masters of Social Work at University of Toronto to further marry her passion for research with applied skills and deepen her understanding of health from a systems perspective.

Kinnon MacKinnon

Kinnon MacKinnon

Kinnon is a postdoctoral researcher at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto and a long-time affiliate of the Re:Searching for LGBTQ Health team. His broad program of research investigates LGBTQ health and healthcare access issues using critical social science and qualitative methods.

Kinnon completed his PhD in social and behavioural health sciences at the University of Toronto, under the supervision of Dr. Lori Ross. His doctoral project investigated the problems and paradoxes associated with using standardized medical protocols to assess trans Canadians' eligibility for hormones and surgeries, explicating how access inequities are created in turn. This project has received numerous grants and awards, including a SSHRC doctoral fellowship, a SSHRC storytellers award, and a CIHR knowledge translation grant. Building upon the findings from his thesis, Kinnon produced The Path to Patient Centred Care - an online educational resource aimed to improve access to gender-affirming medicine.

Merrick Pilling

Merrick Pilling

Merrick Pilling is a Postdoctoral Fellow working with Dr. Lori Ross on The Peers Examining Experiences in Research Study (PEERS) and the Building Competence, Building Capacity: 2SLGBTQ Focused Trauma-Informed Care study at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

Previously, Merrick worked on various social justice-based projects focused on mental distress using an intersectional, Mad Studies/Disability Studies approach including the Cultural Narratives of Gender in Psychiatric Narratives project and the Defining Community for LGBTQ people with a Diagnosis of Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder project. He holds a PhD in Gender, Feminist and Women's Studies from York University, an MA in Social Justice and Equity Studies from Brock University, and a BA (Hons) in Conflict Resolution Studies and Women's Studies from the University of Winnipeg. His doctoral research used qualitative approaches to examine the experiences of transgender and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer people who experience mental distress.

Recent publications include chapters in the peer-reviewed anthologies Containing Madness: Gender and 'Psy' in Institutional Contexts (Palgrave MacMillan) and Madness, Violence and Power: A Radical Anthology (University of Toronto Press). He is currently working on a co-edited book project with Dr. Andrea Daley based on the results of the Cultural Representations of Gender in Psychiatric Narratives study.

Dixon Pinto

Dixon Pinto

Dixon Pinto (He/Him) is an undergraduate student in the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) program at McMaster University. Dixon joined the the Re:searching for LGBTQ+ Health team in April 2020 to lead his research thesis work investigating the mental health experiences of BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) 2STLGBQIA+ young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. His research interests include understanding the intersections between race, sexuality, and gender, as well as, developing strong qualitative research methodological skills. His aim is to use his research outputs to inform equity-oriented healthcare for sexual and gender minorities and highlight the unique and important experiences of BIPoC folks within the 2STLGBQIA+ community. In addition to his research endeavours, Dixon is involved with the McMaster Pride Community Centre, where he has experience in peer support, community facilitation, and volunteer leadership.

Mostafa Shokoohi

Mostafa Shokoohi, Ph.D. in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, is a social and behavioral scholar working on reducing disparities in health and behavioral outcomes among a) individuals living with HIV, b) under-studied, underserved, socially marginalized populations at risk for HIV infection including people who inject drugs, female sex workers, and c) sexual and gender minority populations, in Canada and internationally. Central to this focus is his consideration of how risk factors at multilevel (individual, interpersonal, community, and structural and/or environmental) influence behaviors (e.g., substance use), health outcomes, and quality of life, as well as preventive health behaviors (e.g., harm reduction programs).

His ongoing CIHR-Funded Postdoctoral Fellowship concentrates on multimorbidities, both physical and mental health outcomes, and mortality among Canadian sexual minorities. He completed his Ph.D. in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Western University, Ontario, focusing on social and behavioral determinants of health among women living with HIV using the largest cohort of HIV among women in Canada. In his doctoral program, he received the Ontario Trillium Scholarship to support his research and education in HIV and substance use epidemiology. He is interested in focusing on novel theoretical, methodological, epidemiological and statistical approaches to health behavior and health outcomes across the HIV care cascade and HIV prevention.

Michelle Tam

Michelle Tam

Michelle Tam is a PhD student at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. She joined the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team in May 2019 and is currently working on the Building Competence, Building Capacity: 2SLGBTQ+ Competent Trauma-Informed Care project. Michelle holds a MA in Gender Studies from Queen's University and a BSc (Hons) in Life Science from Queen's University. In recent years, Michelle has worked on community-based research projects around the intersections of gender, race, sexuality and citizenship. Her SSHRC-funded master's thesis research focused on understandings of sexuality that reflect on citizenship, racism, diaspora, and transnational politics of sexuality, specifically among Chinese Canadian LGBTQ+ women and non-binary people. Currently, her doctoral research is focused on reproductive justice and access for racialized LGBTQ2S+ folks. In addition to being a researcher, Michelle is a community organizer and works with non-profit organizations around race, sexuality, and sexual health.

Wook Yang

Wook Yang

Wook Yang is a doctoral student at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. He joined Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team in October 2015. His primary research interests are centered on developing policy and behavioral interventions that can reduce the adverse mental health outcomes in older LGBTQ2S+ adults.

Aside from his academic involvements, Wook has been working with non-profit organizations in order to educate community members on LGBTQ2S+ issues. As a Facilitator at The 519, he continues to encourage various community groups to foster LGBTQ2S+ inclusive environments.


Thank You

We wish to thank all of the people who have worked with us over the past few years: Tatiana Graf, Shilini Hemalal, Karen Roberts, Jasmin Taylor, Scott Anderson, datejie green, Heather McKee, Victoria Jakobson, Andrew Ross, Margaret Gibson, Sarah James-Abra, Marita Obst, Jenny Starke, Mika Atherton, Denise Sum, Emily Chen, Kira Abelson, Liz Brockest, Jennifer Henderson, Ayden Scheim, Tracy Woodford, Yun Gao, Rebecka Sheffield, Amy Siegel, Dean Spence, Jason Oliver, Jessica Wishart, Giselle Gos, Andre Smith, Myera Waese, Sarah Pinder, Nael Bhanji, Iradele Plante, Keisha Williams, and Alia Januwalla.

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!

Student Opportunities

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 LGBTQ2S+ health, please contact us to learn more about ways to get involved with our team.