Katz-Wise, S. L., Pullen Sansfaçon, A., Bogart, L. M., Rosal, M. C., Ehrensaft, D., Goldman, R. E., et al. (2019). Lessons from a community-based participatory research study with transgender and gender nonconforming youth and their families. Action Research, 17(2), 186-207.
Community-based participatory research (CBPR) involves community members collaborating with academic investigators in each step of the research process. CBPR may be especially useful for research involving marginalized populations with unique perspectives and needs. In this paper, we discuss successes and challenges of using a CBPR approach for the Trans Teen and Family Narratives Project, a longitudinal mixed-methods study to examine how the family environment affects the health and well-being of transgender and gender nonconforming youth. We describe considerations for using a CBPR approach with this population, including defining the community of transgender and gender nonconforming youth and families, engaging the community in the research process, managing conflicting agendas for community partner meetings, addressing insider/outsider status of the researchers, resolving researcher/community tensions regarding data collection tools, integrating academic and community members into a cohesive research team, developing safety plans to address participant suicidality disclosures, and differentiating the role of academics as researchers vs. advocates. We conclude by sharing lessons learned, which can inform future research to address the needs of transgender and gender nonconforming youth and families.