Gender Diversity & Research: Understanding Impacts of the Current Sociopolitical Climate on the Conduct of Research Inclusive of Transgender and Nonbinary Identities

Dr. Kacie Kidd, MD, MS – medical director of an adolescent gender clinic and health services researcher focused on improving health outcomes for gender diverse youth – will provide an overview of current strategies for inclusive mixed methods research practices grounded in the reality of ongoing and growing challenges to LGBTQ+ equity in the United States. The session will encompass recent events in medical spaces and research relevant to gender diverse adolescents and their families as well as practical strategies for inclusive recruitment, assessments, and analysis related to gender identity. This session will be immediately followed by a panel of experts (Benito Goff, Russ Toomey, Stephen Russell) on the conduct of research with LGBTQ+ adolescents to provide broader strategies, guidance, and insights for attendees. Should we ask sex assigned at birth on surveys? How do scholars navigate the study of LGBTQ+ populations in climates that are increasingly hostile toward this line of inquiry? These any other questions will be considered at this keynote address.

Ryan J. Watson, PhD, Chair

Associate Professor
Human Development & Family Sciences
University of Connecticut
[email protected]

About: Dr. Ryan Watson is an Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut and co-chair of the 2024 SRA Meeting. His program of research is focused on reducing health disparities among sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth and young adults. Motivated by the urgent need to reduce the inequities in health for vulnerable populations, he has focused his scholarship on SGM youth and young adults, their relationships within family and school contexts, and their health experiences.

Kacie Kidd, MD, MS, Speaker/Panelist

Assistant Professor, Division of Adolescent Medicine
West Virginia University School of Medicine
Medical Director, Gender & Sexual Development Clinic
WVU Medicine Children's

About: Dr. Kacie Kidd, MD, MS is a physician board-certified in pediatrics, internal medicine, and adolescent medicine and an Assistant Professor in the West Virginia University School of Medicine as well as the Medical Director of the WVU Medicine Childre's Adolescent Gender & Sexual Development Clinic. In addition to her clinical work, she is a researcher currently funded on a K23 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health examining factors associated with parent affirmation of gender diverse youth as well as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation exploring the experiences of LGBTQIA+ people with cystic fibrosis. Her mixed methods stakeholder-engaged research has been published in more than 30 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals including Pediatrics, JAMA Pediatrics, and the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Stephen Russell, PhD, Discussant, Panelist

Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Sciences,
College of Natural Sciences (Affiliated)
University of Texas at Austin
[email protected]

About: Stephen Russell (he/him) is Regents Professor in Child Development, and Amy Johnson McLaughlin Director of the School of Human Ecology at the University of Texas at Austin. He is an expert in adolescent and young adult health, with a focus on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Russ Toomey, PhD, Panelist

Professor, Human Development and Family Science
University of Arizona
[email protected]

About: Dr. Russ Toomey (he/they) is Professor of Human Development and Family Science at the University of Arizona. Dr. Toomey conducts research on the processes by which sexual and gender minority youth thrive and are resilient despite the oppressive barriers and challenges they encounter in society. Their research identifies both the individual-level mechanisms (e.g., coping, activism) and systems-level policies (e.g., inclusive school policies) that reduce the impacts of discrimination and contribute to optimal health, well-being, and educational outcomes. At the University of Arizona, he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on professional development, human sexuality, and advanced graduate-level applied statistics. Dr. Toomey serves on the Executive Council for the Society for Research on Adolescence, the Governing Council of the Society for Research in Child Development, and the Editorial Board for the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

Benito Goff, Panelist
Rainbow Cafe LGBTQ Center
[email protected]

Myeshia N Price, PhD, Panelist

Associate Professor, Human Development
Associate Research Scientist
Kinsey Institute
Indiana University Bloomington

About: Dr. Price (she/they) is an Associate Professor in the Human Development program within the Department of Counseling & Educational Psychology and an Associate Research Scientist with the Kinsey Institute. Their research focuses on the rich experiences of LGBTQ youth in the U.S., including risk and protective factors for suicidality, and experiences at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities, such as LGBTQ youth of color and the specific experiences of transgender and nonbinary young people.

Benito Goff, Panelist
he / him / él
Youth Program Coordinator
Rainbow Cafe LGBTQ Center
[email protected]

About: Born and raised in Southern Illinois, Benito has been involved with Rainbow Cafe's queer community for the majority of his life as a young trans person. He has been the leading force behind many of RC's expansive programs such as Transitions and elevate, and now acts as Rainbow Cafe's full-time Youth Programming Coordinator, head of the Diversity Committee, and community librarian.

As YPC, Benito is Rainbow Cafe's personal educator for RC Academy, a free program at youth programs like Drop-In and elevate where he teaches accessible allyship, queer-centered sex ed, queer history, and other courses. He's also in charge of youth events like the annual Youth Halloween Bash, New Year's Eve Party, Night of Noise, and various competitions, field trips, and the Southern Illinois GSA Network. As head of Rainbow Cafe's Diversity Committee, Benito is committed to shaking up both Rainbow Cafe and Southern Illinois queer spaces to make them supportive, affirming, and welcoming to queer people of color through various events and collaborations. Additionally, in his spare time, Benito is also in charge of RC's social media platforms like Discord, the website, community library, and helps plan other large Rainbow Cafe events like Queermas, Pride Prom, and marches/rallies.