Queer, trans, and Two Spirit communities can face additional barriers to post-secondary education, skills-building opportunities restricted to academic institutions, and resulting employment opportunities. These barriers are due, at least in part, to intersecting systems of oppression including homophobia, transphobia, racism, HIV stigma, ableism, and more. Moreover, in queer, trans, and Two Spirit health research, those with lived experience are often underrepresented or ignored within research processes, calling into question the relevance and applicability of these research pursuits.
In 2011, Investigaytors was created to help address these challenges and to provide meaningful opportunities for young GBT2Q men to contribute to community-based research that helps fill key knowledge gaps in order to improve the health and wellbeing of their communities, while also equipping them with tangible research skills that can be applied beyond the program to gain increased study and employment opportunities.
If digging into data for a cause and becoming a community-based research leader in your community excited you (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 gay, bi, trans, Two-Spirit, and queer (GBT2Q) men who are interested in health research. By participating in every step of the research process, program participants gain tangible research skills, learn about gay men’s health, and connect with other young GBT2Q guys. 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.
The primary objective of the Investigaytors program is capacity-building through hands-on research experience, grounded in the principles of community-based research. Program participants learn about quantitative and qualitative research skills, social determinants of 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. 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 programming has been accessed by a much broader cross-section of the LGBTQ2S+ community, including individuals who identify as non-binary or fem. Many delivery partners who have adapted and delivered Investigaytors to a broader audience have found that the program is just as effective as when they only delivered it to gay and bi men. CBRC recognizes that different delivery partners have different needs and serve different audiences. Therefore, we leave decisions concerning expanded audiences to the discretion of local delivery partners – as long as the program centres queer, trans, and Two Spirit people.