Investigaytors equips 2SLGBTQQIA+ people with social connections, health knowledge, and community-based research skills that can further empower them to be health leaders in their communities. Interested in participating in or delivering an Investigaytors program in your community? Learn more about the program and its impact below.
When talking about the issues that impact 2SLGBTQQIA+ communities, it must first be acknowledged that there exists a patriarchal cis-heternormative system that is rooted in colonial ideology. This system has been imposed on Indigenous peoples, on Indigenous lands, where previously gender and sexual fluidity and diversity were an accepted and important part of many Indigenous societies - and has become a part of the fabric of mainstream North American society. This imposed system has created a myriad of oppressive and violent mechanisms, obstacles, barriers and impacts on 2SLGBTQQIA+ communities, and depending on where one sits within the spectrum of power and privilege, can determine the number of barriers experienced and the severity to which they are experienced. This is why an intersectional lens is key when discussing 2SLGBTQQIA+ community and the diverse communities that exist within the umbrella term. Investigaytors exists to create opportunities for learning and empowerment that directly respond to the barriers and obstacles that the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community faces. These barriers are due to intersecting mechanisms of oppression including homophobia, transphobia, racism, HIV stigma, ableism, and more. Too often these mechanisms contribute to underrepresentation, erasure and denial within health and health research, especially when it relates to the health of 2SLGBTQQIA+ people and communities. o. Investigaytors is a program designed to make health research skills and knowledge more accessible to the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community, and create pathways to opportunities for 2SLGBTQQIA+ within health, research and policy making.
The story begins in 2011, when Investigaytors was created by CBRC to begin to address these challenges and provide meaningful opportunities for specifically young gay men to learn about, engage in and contribute to community-based research. More information on this initial program and its work is available here. The program has continued since and has evolved through delivery with other partners.
Investigaytors participants are equipped with tangible research skills that can be applied beyond the program, and potentially enhance study and employment opportunities. Through this process, participants can see directly how key knowledge gaps can be filled and how their research can contribute to improving the health and wellbeing of 2SLGBTQQIA+ communities.
If you are interested in becoming a *community-based researcher, (*again, no academic credentials required!) and learning through a hands-on process how information about 2SLGBTQQIA+ lives can be turned into data that can create information and impact change, (or you’re an organization or researcher interested in helping to develop such leaders) then Investigaytors is the program for you!
Investigaytors at a Glance
The Investigaytors program is a participatory, community-based, capacity-building program for 2SLGBTQQIA+ community members who are interested in health, and learning more about health research. By participating in every step of the research process, Investigaytors program participants gain tangible research skills, learn about 2SLGBTQQIA+health, and connect with other 2SLGBTQQIA+ community members.. Importantly, there is no academic or educational requirement for participating in the program, and participation is not limited to those currently or formerly engaged in post-secondary education. Investigaytors will work with academic curriculum created for them to engage with the hands on process of doing research.
The primary objective of the Investigaytors program is capacity-building through hands-on research experience, grounded in CBRC’s principles of community-based research. Program gain knowledge in quantitative and/or qualitative research skills, social determinants of health including mental health, HIV prevention and sexual health, and the utility of research in addressing health inequities and knowledge gaps.
Practical research experience is built through intimate involvement at all levels of a research project, including developing project proposals, defining research objectives, data collection and recruitment, data analysis, and knowledge translation. In the past, Investigaytors have contributed to the design, data collection, and analysis of the Canada’s largest GBT2Q men’s health survey – Sex Now. Now, Investigaytors are working with Our Health: Canada-wide 2SLGBTQQIA+ Community Study data analysis and knowledge mobilization. In addition to this, the Investigaytors have authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and community reports and have presented their research at national – and even international - conferences.
If you like what you’ve read, visit the Get Involved section of the site to contact CBRC to learn more about participating in or delivering the program. Otherwise, read on below to learn more about the impact of the program and to review past Investigaytors projects.
An important note on Investigaytor’s audience: Investigaytors was initially developed as an intervention for gay and bi men (cis and trans) and Two Spirit people. However, as many of our partners have shifted their focus beyond HIV and sexual health, their Over programming. Applying intersectionality and understanding that these structural issues impact all 2SLGBTQQIA+ community members, Investigaytors is evolving to be more accessible for the entire larger spectrum of 2SLGBTQQIA+ community.
Investigaytors participants have reported gaining more knowledge about 2SLGBTQQIA+ health; more confidence in conducting community-based research; and becoming better connected with their peers, community partners, and other researchers.
The Investigaytors program has become an important pathway to community-based health research leadership in Canada. Community members who have joined the Investigaytors program have shared that their experience in the program has connected them to new volunteer, study, and employment opportunities. To help illustrate the impact of the program on participants, we have included a qualitative evaluation report of the Vancouver Investigaytors program. Read it now by clicking the image below.
At the end of most Investigaytors cycles, participants produce a knowledge product which communicates their findings to community members, service providers, and researchers. The most recent examples of Investigaytors knowledge products include:
Vancouver Investigaytors: “Access PrEP Step by Step: a queer guy’s toolkit for effective self-advocacy in BC”
Since January 2018, PrEP has been available free of charge for most queer guys in BC. This toolkit was made by and for queer guys to give us the tools to effectively self-advocate for PrEP and our own sexual health. Here you will find information about PrEP and resources to help guide a conversation between you and a doctor. Navigating the healthcare system can be complicated - consider this toolkit a roadmap to getting PrEP!
In 2019, Edmonton Investigaytors participants completed a series of self-directed research projects using 2019 Sex Now Survey data to better understand the health experiences of queer, trans, and Two Spirit people living in Alberta. Projects included:
- Inequities in the Mental Health Concerns of Alberta’s SGM Community
- T4T? Recent Sex with Trans Individuals as a Metric of Trans Inclusion in Alberta’s gbMSM Community
- Does U=U Impact Sexual Behaviour?
- The Relationships Between Marginalization and Community Satisfaction Among Queer Albertans
To check out more Investigaytors research projects and knowledge products click here.