Just Research: Trans Futures in Health and Scientific Knowledge

Mel Chen
Gender and Women's Studies
UC Berkeley

Grace Hong
Center for the Study of Women
UC Los Angeles

A team of trans and two-spirit community organizers, public university faculty, and students, we have devised a reimagining of TGI-relevant research that starts from the ground up: asking community-based organizers what to research, how to study it, and how to center the perspectives of TGI communities at every step. We believe that this is not only possible, but that it is the responsibility of research that spans all disciplines. We also insist on the relevance of humanistic modes of inquiry to the project of re-envisioning what TGI-relevant research should look like.

We have already conducted the first part of a multi-stage research project: open-ended qualitative interviews and oral histories with key TGI community organizers to collect their expertise on definitions of research and knowledge production, research priorities and needs, and experiences of collaboration with university-based researchers. The second stage includes a day-and-a-half-long convening that brings together community- and university-based organizers, researchers, and scholars from across all disciplines to collaboratively identify research priorities and methodological framings for knowledge production in service of TGI communities.