Trans Matters – GLRC Spring Research Seminar 22nd Feb – abstract

Over the last year, Gendered Lives has seen the development of a research cluster on trans lives and oral history. We are dedicating our spring research seminar to hearing about trans research in the UK.

22nd February, 2-4 pm, Martin Hall, MHL.1.17A. All welcome. 

Katherine Johnson (University of Brighton), ‘Trans Youth: What Matters?’

The number of children and adolescents presenting as transgender or gender non-conforming has increased significantly over recent years. This increase has raised concern about access to healthcare and the capacity of health services to provide effective physical and psychological support. At the same time, much public discourse is dominated by accounts from health professionals and parents, with the media most frequently focused on moral and ethical debates about whether interventions should be offered to young people, in what form and at what age. This project takes a different tack and asks: what matters to trans youth? The aim of the project is to promotes the importance of listening to the complexity and variation in trans youth voices as they shape their own understandings of what it means to be different and how they find ways to live inside and out of dominant gender norms. Using a range of creative-arts based methods and working in collaborating with a trans youth group the research highlights themes that are pertinent to their everyday lives. Reporting on ‘research in progress’, this seminar will focus on the ethics and methods of participatory creative arts research with trans youth, and illustrate findings from two themes: the role of community support and changing the gendered world. 

Katherine Johnson is Reader in the School of Applied Social Science, University of Brighton where she leads the Transforming Sexuality and Gender research cluster. She has worked in the field of gender and sexuality studies for 20 years, specialising in topics related to identity and embodiment, suicide and mental health, health and access to healthcare. She is author of two books Community Psychology and the Socio-economics of Mental Distress: International Perspectives (Palgrave, 2012) and Sexuality: A Psychosocial Manifesto (Polity 2015). She is currently involved in a number of research and evaluation projects including LGBT end of life care (MarieCurie); trans youth: what matters? (Allsorts youth project); Bereavement outcomes for LGB (lesbian, gay and bisexual) and heterosexual partners (MarieCurie); Help Through Crisis (MindOut LGBT advocacy service) and is writing a book for Routledge with the working title Trans Matters.