My research broadly looks at lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender, and queer wellbeing. Over time we’ve really seen for things like
the gay and lesbian rights movement – in feminist movements – we’ve really seen
a change in the way that scholarship in this area has played out. We have a wider understanding about gender
and sexuality and that has filtered through in the scholarship that we do. So we now talk
about things like queer studies, transgender studies – so those are some of the changes
we’ve seen over time and I think that it’s fantastic because we’re seeing a real understanding
and celebration and interest in diversity of experience. Our gender, our sexuality, and the sex that
we have are more than just being private or personal aspects of our lives, these are public
issues that have real impacts on where we fit in the world and they shape the way we
interact with social institutions. So, things like education and healthcare. I like to work with members of the LGBTQ community
to hear about their lived experiences, particularly in healthcare settings. But I also then, on
the other side of the coin, do work with professionals, so particularly with healthcare practitioners
– understanding how they approach LGBTQ inclusive practice, working with them to try
and improve the way that they work so that we can have better health outcomes for people
in the LGBTQ community. I’m really passionate about having research
that actually has connections with community. As a member of the community myself, I’m
involved in quite a lot of social groups through social media – things like Facebook – and
that’s been a really great tool for getting my research out there and connecting with
people. Tasmania was the last state in Australia to
decriminalise homosexuality as late as 1997, but we’ve actually seen amazing steps forward
since then. Seeing Tasmania really leading the nation in terms of gay law reform, anti-discrimination
law and policy around that, so we’ve got a really special moment in Tasmania to be
studying this. I think it’s pretty important and I really
hope that it’s doing good work To see good outcomes in the community.