The Hub AU researcher looks at pandemic’s effects on mental health in trans community

AU researcher looks at pandemic’s effects on mental health in trans community

Marginalized communities like transgender and gender non-conforming people have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and its isolating effects, says Dr. Tobias Wiggins, a researcher at Athabasca University (AU) in women’s and gender studies.

“We have to act as researchers right now to respond to a crisis that is overwhelming for everyone, in particular for marginalized communities,” adds Wiggins, whose current research focuses on transgender mental health through the pandemic.

His work also looks at the unique skills trans communities have developed to help deal with this isolation and how they are using social media to build digital worlds.

Wiggins and his colleagues are conducting in-depth interviews with trans people from across Alberta in both urban and rural locations. Their research is intersectional, meaning it focuses on trans people from many identities, with varied experiences. It is also Indigenous-centred—using decolonial methodology—in collaboration with Indigenous scholars and two-spirit organizations.

Wiggins hopes the results of the research will help improve community care and health care practices for trans, gender non-conforming, non- binary, and two-spirit communities. The interviews, which are being conducted online, will also help facilitate digital world-building, he adds.

Published:
  • April 27, 2021