I Am Not the Target Demographic for This Room: Sexual and Reproductive Acre for Trans-masculine People and How to Overcome the Gender Conundrum
May 4, 2023
On Thursday May 4th, 2023, Harvard SOGIE hosted Daphna Stroumsa, MD, MPH, MSc (they/them), an assistant professor at the University of Michigan’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Their seminar titled “I am not the target demographic for this room: sexual and reproductive care for trans-masculine people and how to overcome the gender conundrum,” began with a recounting of their personal and professional journey of providing gender-affirming services and reproductive health care for marginalized sexual and gender minorities. Dr. Stroumsa then commenced the seminar by sharing a patient case to highlight the challenges faced by trans and gender-diverse individuals in accessing reproductive health care. They then moved on to discuss two of their ongoing research projects, one focused on the provision of gender-affirming care and the other on obstetric outcomes among transmasculine individuals. Dr. Stroumsa’s seminar closed with an emphasis on the significance of collaboration, particularly across institutions, and importance of the inclusion of trans and gender diverse individuals in this work.
Queer Women’s Reproductive Health: Moving from Observation to Change
April 6, 2023
On Thursday April 6th, 2023, Harvard SOGIE hosted Madelyne Greene, PhD RN (she/her), a nurse scientist and Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her seminar “Queer Women’s Reproductive Health: Moving from Observation to Change,” Dr. Greene shared findings from her work on healthcare navigation and contraceptive care among sexual minority women over the life course. She highlighted the need for humility and equity-grounded practice in these clinical contexts. Finally, Dr. Greene described her recent work in implementation science and the urgent need for community-based research in reproductive health. Dr. Greene’s seminar closed with a powerful call to action for our field to effectively intervene in the injustices we study.
Inclusive and affirming sexual health education for sexual and gender minority adolescents: State of the field and future directions
March 9, 2023
On Thursday, March 9, 2023, Harvard SOGIE hosted Michelle Johns, PhD MPH (she/her), a Senior Research Scientist at NORC to discuss “Inclusive and affirming sexual health education for sexual and gender minority adolescents: State of the field and future directions.” Dr. Johns discussed her recent work on unmet needs in sexual health education for queer and trans adolescents and young adults. She spoke about the lack of representation of queer and trans experiences in contemporary sexual health education, and its potential consequences on sexual health decision making and risk perceptions. Finally, Dr. Johns discussed new avenues for the dissemination of tailored sexual health messaging including via social media influencers and through the training of LGBTQ community partners.
Addressing intersections of trauma & reproductive justice for LGBTQIA2S+ health equity
January 26, 2023
On Thursday, January 26, Harvard SOGIE hosted Heather McCauley (she/her/hers), Associate Professor, and co-director of SPARK Research for Social Change in the Michigan State University School of Social Work. In her seminar, “Addressing intersections of trauma & reproductive justice for LGBTQIA2S+ health equity,” Dr. McCauley introduced the topic of reproductive coercion, a form of intimate partner violence that is characterized by pregnancy coercion and/or birth control manipulation. She discussed the history of the research and its relevance to SGM reproductive health, particularly given the disproportionately high rates of intimate partner violence among SGM people, and she provided recommendations for providers (e.g., resources from https://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/). Drawing from the reproductive justice framework, she discussed the need for both lifecourse and structural perspectives on reproductive coercion, given that both are critically linked to experiences of sexual and reproductive violence. She ended with a call to action and open request for collaborations to better characterize and prevent reproductive coercion among queer communities.
Reframing the Language around Gender Diverse People and Sexual Health: promoting pleasure and care instead of stigma
January 5, 2023
On Thursday, January 5th, 2023, Harvard SOGIE hosted Keosha Bond (she/her/hers), EdD, MPH, CHES, Assistant Medical Professor at the CUNY School of Medicine. In her seminar, “Reframing the Language around Gender Diverse People and Sexual Health: promoting pleasure and care instead of stigma”, Dr. Bond discussed how marginalization and abuse had led to increased health risk for transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people. She shared powerful voices from young TGD adults of color sharing their health care experiences, and advocates for sexual and reproductive health justice for TGD people. During this seminar, Dr. Bond also touches on sex positive approaches and the role of pleasure in sexual and reproductive health care for TGD people. She ends the seminar by stressing the need to disrupt the cis-heteronormative, white middle class biomedical approaches to human sexuality, and called to have optimal sexual and reproductive health, pleasure, wellbeing, and justice achievable for all people, especially those who face structural discrimination due to their race, gender, or sexual identity.
The ethical and scientific stakes around words: language, gender, and pregnancy
December 1, 2022
On Thursday, December 1st, 2022, Harvard SOGIE hosted Charlie Rioux, PhD (she/her), an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Oklahoma to discuss “The ethical and scientific stakes around words: language, gender, and pregnancy.” Dr. Rioux discussed her recent work documenting the lack of gender-inclusive language in empirical research on pregnant populations. She then outlined how the use of gendered language can erase trans and nonbinary pregnant people and reduces accuracy and precision in scientific communication. Finally, Dr. Rioux discussed how the language used in scholarly research impacts scientific and social norms and recommended best practices for writing about gender and sex in empirical research on reproductive health.
Gender-based violence prevention with and for trans communities
November 3, 2022
On November 3rd, 2022, Harvard SOGIE hosted Sarah Peitzmeier, PhD, an Assistant Professor at University of Michigan to discuss “Gender-based violence prevention with and for trans communities.” Dr. Peitzmeier discussed her and her colleagues’ work around quantifying and measuring intimate partner violence (IPV) in the transgender community and the development of IPV screening tools that are tailored to the experiences of trans people and their relationships. Dr. Peitzmeier also discussed mixed methods work she conducted to understand sexual violence against trans individuals on college campuses, and adapted an intervention model from the Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act program that is designed to help transgender college students resist sexual assault and IPV.
Misconceptions: Why our ideas about queer and trans birthing people are wrong
October 6, 2022
On Thursday, October 6th, 2022, Harvard SOGIE hosted Jae Downing, PhD, an Assistant Professor of Health Policy at Oregon Health & Science University to discuss “Misconceptions: Why our ideas about queer and trans birthing people are wrong.” Dr. Downing discussed why studies of pregnancy and birth outcomes in queer and trans people are needed, the harms caused by flawed methodologies, and the methodological challenges in quantifying disparities in pregnancy and birth outcomes among LGBTQ populations. Dr. Downing also discussed their and their colleagues’ work using administrative datasets, specifically birth certificate data, from Massachusetts, California, and Ohio, including the differences in how parenting partnerships were measured, and what these differences in measurement mean for the observed disparities in pregnancy outcomes in these studies.
Social Connectedness Among Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) Childbearing Parents: A Longitudinal Community-placed Qualitative Study of Perinatal Support
November 18, 2021
On Thursday, November 18th, Harvard SOGIE hosted Kodiak Soled, MPhil, MSN, RN from Columbia University to discuss “Social connectedness among sexual and gender minority (SGM) childbearing parents: A longitudinal community-placed qualitative study of perinatal support.” Kodiak presented emerging findings from The Study of Queer and Trans Perinatal Resilience and Experiences of Gestation (PREG), including how the collection of multiple types of data (i.e., photovoice, one-on-one interviews, and quantitative surveys) produced nuanced, rich, and novel insights about social and structural support (or lack thereof) among SGM childbearing people. Harvard SOGIE discussed the future direction of SGM childbearing research and whether interventions should focus on bolstering individual resilience versus creating systemic change. Kodiak is currently an NIH/NINR Ruth Kirschstein Predoctoral Fellow and Ph.D. candidate in the Program of the Study of LGBT Health, a Jonas-Blaustein Scholar, and a Diversity Fellow at Columbia University School of Nursing. She also currently serves as the VP for the Lesbian Health Fund for GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ+ Equity.
Eliminating Disparities for Transgender and Gender Diverse People with Cancer
December 10, 2020
On Thursday, December 10th, Harvard SOGIE hosted a talk entitled, “Eliminating Disparities for Transgender and Gender Diverse People with Cancer” with Dr. Ash Alpert (they/them). Dr. Alpert, author of “Coming out in the Exam Room”, is currently a hematology and oncology fellow at the University of Rochester. On December 10th, Dr. Alpert shared their current research on identifying trans patients in electronic medical records and touched on a number of other research projects highlighting the experiences of transgender medical patients.
The Stench of Bathroom Bills: The Mental Health Impact on Transgender, Non-Binary and Cisgender LGBTQ+ People during a State Referendum to Remove Transgender Rights
October 22, 2020
On October 22, 2020, Harvard SOGIE hosted a talk entitled “The Stench of Bathroom Bills: The Mental Health Impact on Transgender, Non-Binary and Cisgender LGBTQ+ People during a State Referendum to Remove Transgender Rights”. Sharon Horne, Professor and Graduate Program Director of Counseling Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, spoke about her team’s research engaging with the health implications of local political discourse on trans and LGBTQ+ populations. Harvard SOGIE discussed with Dr. Horne the team’s methodologies, and future directions.
Trans Health Research through TransCapsule
September 24, 2020
On September 24, 2020, Harvard SOGIE hosted an online talk titled “Trans Health Research through TransCapsule”. Tobey Tozier, designer and founder of TransCapsule, spoke about the potential for the transition tracking application for transgender health research. Tozier shared with Harvard SOGIE the depth and breadth of TransCapsule’s functionality, including mood tracking, audio-, video-, and text-recording, and temporal comparisons. Harvard SOGIE was able to discuss how the various aspects of TransCapsule were exceptionally suited to trans health research.
History’s Apology: Social Movements and Sexual Rights in the Postcolonial World
June 23, 2020
On June 23, 2020, Harvard SOGIE co-sponsored an online talk hosted by Harvard Medical School titled “History’s Apology: Social Movements and Sexual Rights in the Postcolonial World”. Durba Mitra, Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University, spoke about the history of social movements for sexual rights and current issues related to women and LGBTQIA communities from a global perspective. She traced the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic on organizing for LGBTQ rights in South Asia in particular, and reflected on the complex role of the history of the AIDS pandemic in global claims for sexual rights.
COVID-19 and the LGBTQ Community
June 16, 2020
On June 16, 2020, Harvard SOGIE co-sponsored an online panel hosted by Harvard Medical School titled “COVID-19 and the LGBTQ+ Community: Rising to Unique Challenges”. The panel was inspired by a recently published blog post of the same name, written by Dr. Sabra L. Katz-Wise (Co-Director of Harvard SOGIE). Panelists included Dr. Robbie Goldstein (Infectious Disease Specialist and Medical Director for the Massachusetts General Hospital Transgender Health Program), Kanika and Jason (Harvard Medical School Students), and Dr. Katz-Wise. Panelists and attendees discussed challenges and strengths in the LGBTQ+ community in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We had approximately 65 attendees from both within and outside of the Harvard Medical School community. Harvard SOGIE was pleased to be part of Harvard Medical School’s LGBTQ+ Pride lineup through co-sponsoring this great event!
LGBTQ-related Policy and Advocacy: Live Tweet with Boston Children’s Hospital Government Relations Office
February 20, 2020
On February 20, 2020, Harvard SOGIE hosted an event on LGBTQ-related policy and advocacy. The Boston Children’s Hospital Government Relations Office joined us to outline the latest changes in LGBTQ-related policies at the federal and state-level. Dr. Brittany Charlton (Co-Director of Harvard SOGIE) live tweeted the event and highlighted various places in need of advocacy. On the federal level, opportunities include: 1) Prohibiting bullying and discrimination in schools (H.R. 2653 Safe Schools Improvement Act; 2) Discrimination protections (H.R. 5 & S.788 Equality Act); 3) Restricting conversation therapy (H.R. 1981 Prohibition of Medicaid Funding for Conversation Therapy Act). We also discussed the importance of the Census given that LGBTQ folks live in many undercounted communities; being counted will increase funding for community services, ensure fair congressional districts, and improve civil rights enforcement.