Project Description

The Trans Priorities Project: Cross Country Trans Women and HIV Research Priority Setting, seeks to bring together trans women* to identify our priorities for research around HIV. This is the first step in developing a national Trans Research Program as part of a collaboration with REACH 2.0. We will be holding community-led consultations in five cities, bringing together local trans women most affected by HIV to discuss their experiences and research priorities. The Trans Priorities Project team is made up entirely of trans people who are researchers and community leaders with experience in the field of HIV. Most of us are trans women, with experience as sex workers, front-line community workers, and HIV researchers. We are a mix of HIV positive and negative folks. We are excited to connect with trans women who are most affected by HIV so that future research can better reflect our/their priorities.

* We recognize that trans women is a broad term. This project is open to Two Spirit people, transsexual women, transgender women, genderqueer people who may have been male assigned at birth, intersex people who may identify as trans women, and people who may be identified as trans women.

Team Bios

Evana Ortigoza is a trans womaREACH Trans group photon of colour and activist living in Toronto. She is former sex worker who has struggled in life as a trans woman. She has changed her life and works for trans community as an educator and facilitator. She works hard to help to improve the lives of trans people and to teach the world about the lives of trans community.

Yasmeen Persad is a trans woman of colour living in Toronto, she works at The 519 as an Education and Training Facilitator with Service Providers to create access for trans people, her work also includes De-Stigmatization of Trans people of Colour around HIV and Sex Work.

Gabrielle Leblanc is a trans woman who has lived in many different cities from coast to coast. After working for many years as a barmaid in a bar mostly frequented by trans women sex workers, she left to start working as an outreach worker at Action Santé Travesti(e)s & Transsexuel(le)s du Québec (ASTTeQ), a community based organization that directly helps trans people in need. Through her work she is able to reach a particularly vulnerable population that is not often served by community organizations of more formal social and health services.

Nora Bulter Burke is a trans woman living in Montréal, where she has been involved in community organizing, harm reduction service provision and community based research. She is currently a graduate student at Concordia University, documenting the impacts of criminalization and immigration penality in the lives of migrant trans women. She was previously the coordinator of Action Santé Travesti(e)s & Transsexuel(le)s du Québec (ASTTeQ), a project of CACTUS Montréal working with low-income and sex working trans women.

Jia Qing Wilson-Yang is a mixed race trans woman living in Toronto who is grateful for the amazing trans women of colour in her life. Her work includes, youth outreach, facilitating with an Ontario wide project focussed on trans women and sexual violence, and peer work with trans youth. She is working on finish a degree in Social Work at York University and really likes to write and make music.

Ayden Scheim is a researcher, advocate, and gay trans man who has been working as part of community-based efforts to improve the health and well-being of trans people for the last twelve years. He is currently a PhD Candidate in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Western University in London, Ontario where he conducts research on HIV and sexual health in trans communities.

Zack Marshall is a community-based researcher, an Irish immigrant, and a trans guy. Currently living in Halifax, he is completing a PhD in Community Health from Memorial University. His doctoral research focuses on the ethics of research with trans, gender diverse, and two-spirit individuals and communities, and he is interested in figuring out how we can better use research to bring about social change.

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