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20 February 2012 @ 07:03 am
This journal, as you can see, hasn't been active since 2010.  I've just been too swamped with work to really get into it. 
23 December 2010 @ 11:58 am
I'm currently working on an article about bisexuality & religion stemming from the research done for the pilot study of the project I'm coordinating.  They only interviewed 55 people, but the quotes are interesting, and I think it could become something useful.
Current Location: Canada, Toronto
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
06 December 2010 @ 11:23 am
I've been hired by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health to oversee a research project on bisexual people's experience of mental health within the province of Ontario.

This is a three year project, and I hope to interview about 800 bisexuals across the province. If you like, I'd be happy to share the results of the study with you when they're available. Just email me and say you're interested in the results, but be aware they won't be available for several years.

Right now I'm putting together an advisory committee to help guide the project, and am looking for bisexuals from all over Ontario to join this committee. Details are below.


Request for applications for membership on an Advisory Committee for a new Research Project:

Risk and Resilience among Bisexual People in Ontario: A Community-Based Study of Bisexual Mental Health


Very little is known about the mental health of bisexual people. What we do know is that, like lesbian and gay people, bisexuals report poorer mental health and higher rates of mental health service use, compared to heterosexual people. However, in many studies, bisexual people also report poorer mental health outcomes than gay men and lesbians. For example, bisexual people report higher rates of anxiety, depression, poor mental health, suicidal feelings, and self-harming behaviour, relative to gay and lesbian people.
In a previous study by our team, bisexual participants reported experiencing not only homophobia and heterosexism related to their same-sex relationships, but also biphobia related to their bisexual identities. It is possible that these multiple discrimination experiences put bisexual people at particular risk for mental health difficulties.

What will this project do?

We will survey 800 bisexual people from across Ontario about their mental health and their experiences with mental health services. We will use the information learned to improve mental health services for bisexual people. For this study our definition of bisexual includes people attracted to more than one sex and/or gender. This may include those who self-identify as bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, 2-spirited, fluid, queer, or who choose another non-heterosexual identity label.

Why is this project important?
• It will increase knowledge about the mental health of bisexual people.
• It will increase understanding about how discrimination impacts the mental health of bisexual people.
• It will increase understanding about bisexual people’s experiences with mental health services.
• It will document strategies bisexual people use to maintain and improve their mental health.

How can I get involved?
An important part of this project is an advisory committee made up of 6-10 bisexual people from across Ontario that will guide the project.

Participation in the Advisory Committee will involve attending 1-2 meetings per year (there is a budget to support travel costs for Advisory Committee members who live outside of Toronto). Between meetings, we will keep in touch by telephone and/or email. Members will be given an honorarium for their participation.

At the Advisory Committee meetings, we will:

• Share information about the progress of our research, and ask you to share this information with people you know who may be interested in the project.
• Ask for your suggestions about various aspects of our research process, including recruitment methods, study design, and instruments.
• Share results of the study, and ask for your feedback about our interpretation of the data.
• Ask for your suggestions about the best ways to share our findings.
• Discuss other research questions that we might want to ask of the data.
• Plan partnerships for advocacy around additional services or policy changes that our research reveals are needed.

An important role of our Advisory Committee members is to be the very first participants to complete our survey, and to invite other bisexual people you know in Ontario to participate.

We welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds and experience, and especially encourage applications from:

• people who identify as transgender, transsexual, intersex, or genderqueer;
• people of colour and people from racialized communities;
• immigrants and refugees;
• Aboriginal and 2-spirited people;
• people whose first language is not English;
• people living with (dis)abilities;
• people living outside of the GTA – particularly people from rural and northern areas of the province.

How do I apply?

Please prepare a short (1 page or less) letter to answer the following questions:
• What attracts you to this project?
• How are you connected with bisexual communities in Ontario?
• What would you hope to get out of participating in this project?
• What skills and/or experiences (personal or professional) do you feel that you would bring to the project?

We aim to form a committee that will reflect a broad range of bisexual experiences. We encourage you to disclose information that you feel is relevant to helping us achieve this goal. The details of your application will be kept confidential.

Please email or mail us your letter, together with a brief résumé if you have one, by November 30th to margaret_robinson@camh.net or by mail to:

Margaret Robinson
Social Equity and Health Research Section
Centre for Addiction & Mental Health
455 Spadina Ave. Suite 300
Toronto, ON M5S 2G8

We thank all individuals for their interest, but only short-listed candidates will be contacted for a telephone interview. Please be sure to include a telephone number that we can use to contact you.

Tags: ,
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
My school won't give me access to the course evaluations for courses I TAed because "those are for faculty only."  Grrr.
20 July 2009 @ 10:06 am
Today I'm hashing out a cover letter to go with my CV and course proposal to the sexual diversities centre.  It's unlikely they have any openings, or any money to hire me (nobody does) but at leats it will put me on their radar.
12 June 2009 @ 09:30 am
Interesting post in debunkingwhite about white feminists specifically, Jessica Hoffman's Open Letter to White Feminists.

White feminists have difficulty hearing letters which address them as a racial group, because white women don't usually see their whiteness as relevant. That's part of what makes it a privilege--that thinking of it as relevant is an option, rather than a necessity of survival.

I recently interviewed forty bisexual women in Toronto, a city that reports a visible minority population of 42.9% (with all the ensuing white panic that entails). Only 15% identified themselves as visible minorities. Of the remaining 85%, only 12.5% self-identified as white or Caucasian. The women who used these identifiers did not give additional details (e.g., British, or German) with one exception, who described herself as having a “boring WASP background.” This suggests that those women who receive white privilege may not see whiteness as a significant or even accurate identity themselves.

I wonder how white feminists can hear themselves addressed by a letter to white feminists if they have difficulty seeing their whiteness as anything other than politically neutral. 

05 June 2009 @ 10:44 am
So after many pained weeks I have finally received an email from TST suggesting that my defence may be as early as the first week of July (or as late as September, depending on people's schedules).  This is very good news.   
15 May 2009 @ 08:54 am
After much neglect of this livejournal I am glad to say that I have a lot going on, scholastically.
  • I'm awaiting a date to defend my thesis, which was finally completed in April. My committee will consist of Dr. Marilyn Legge of Emmanuel College (thesis director), Dr. Marsha Hewitt of Trinity College (internal examiner), Dr. Lee Cormie of St. Michael's College (departmental examiner), and Dr. Thomas E. Reynolds of Emmanuel, and Dr. Traci West of Drew Theological School, Madison, N.J. Dr. Michael Stoeber is the committee chair, who oversees the process.
  • I am crafting an article for a peer-reviewed journal out of one of the chapters. I submit this by June 1.
  • I am presenting a portion of a chapter at the American Academy of Religion in November. This will be my first time presenting a paper at a conference.
Other scholastic projects I have slated for this summer include:
  • Revising my website, which has been badly neglected during my dissertation writing.  I want to add pdfs of my masters and undergraduate theses, some articles from my course work, and something like mini-articles.
  • Crafting articles from the other chapters of the dissertation and submitting them to various journals.
  • Polish the documents in my teaching dossier and apply for teaching positions (if there are any in this economic climate).
  • Promote the completion of my study in the mainstream and queer press.

Current Location: home
Current Mood: energeticenergetic
29 February 2008 @ 09:58 am
Although I have given my research participants pseudonyms, most of them choose not to be anonymous to me when answering the questions through email. In many cases they are my friends who have answered the questions to be helpful. I appreciate that they have bared their lives to me as they did, knowing that it makes them more vulnerable to me within our friendship. Although I sent them my own answers to the same questions, the power is still imbalanced in that I now possess their answers for publication. Because I want my dissertation to be good, I am beginning to feel the weight of the responsibility I have taken on in relation to the women I interviewed.

It is a challenge to me to ensure that in analyzing and reporting the data I stick to what I actually have, and not read what I know about them into what was said. One thing I'm doing to help is I've removed the responses from the email addresses and associated them only with the chosen pseudonyms. Over time this helps me to forget who was who.

It's a challenge to keep the data from seeping into my friendships. If something was written to me in an interview, it's not something I can speak to you or others about at a Pride brunch, at your house or at a TBN party. I can't tell you how your girlfriend feels about the problems in your relationship based on her interview. I can't give you my personal opinion on your identity or relationship (although I certainly have one). In some ways, I realize I have to prioritize my commitments to the participants over that of my community and circle of friends, even (perhaps especially because) they overlap.

At the same time, I can't let some of the things I know from being a community member slip into the research. Some of the things I know would be interesting to juxtapose against the data I have. Particularly those things which relate to the focus of my work: transition points in bi women's identity, definitions of monogamy and polyamory, and notions of community belonging. Some of these things have to be kept out because they were received in a confidential space, such as a BiWOT meeting. Other things are privileged because they were said to me as a friend.

In many ways, it's similar to my work as a journalist, particularly when I worked with vulnerable populations like bisexuals, transmen and transwomen. Having a code of ethics that empowered the people I interviewed was difficult, especially when it meant killing a story. But it was good practice for this kind of research, because it gave me experience in responsible use of material, ownership of information, and accountability to the people who spoke with me. There is a cost (in convenience, in time, in money, in power), to doing feminist research, but it also leaves me feeling that I can still look people in the eye after my work is done.
Current Location: home
07 January 2008 @ 08:32 am
I have just posted a new article on my website.

The article looks at four elements of bisexual culture, which have been essential to the growth of the bi women’s community in Toronto: 1) anthologies, 2) zines, 3) online computer forums, and 4) discussion groups.

This piece developed from an essay I wrote for one of my comprehensive exams.