We have been receiving feedback from people concerned that the research project addressing trans inclusiveness in herbal and holistic practice is being undertaken by three cis-people. We share these concerns, and appreciate people taking a critical and concerned stance on the matter.
We recognize that this kind of project should directly involve trans* identified people. Currently this project does not. Our intention with the survey is to have our research guided by trans voices, yet we recognize that there are many issues around cis-people researching trans-related concerns, and asking trans* identified people to give information and experiences to be analyzed and synthesized by cis-folk. This is a constant discussion and concern for us as well, so we really do appreciate people reflecting these concerns back to us. This helps to keep us critical and accountable. We are reassessing our process based on concerns we’ve received, and are now assessing ways to have a panel of trans identified folk consult on the proposed resource materials before making them available publicly.
We originally started this project in a Research Project class at Pacific Rim College in Lekwungen and WSANEC territories because we recognized a lack of inclusion and creation of safer space in our herbal clinics for trans*-people. Although we were (and are!) hesitant about being cis and moving forward with this research, we also didn’t want the burden of this work to fall solely on trans* people. Despite the fact that we are doing this project for a course, and it is to be graded, in no way do we want this kind of research and creation of resources to stop here. We do not feel ownership over this project; our hope is that it can begin a wider conversation, and that the resources created continue to grow and shift and be expanded on by trans people. We hope to work transparently and with a process of community accountability, to create further resources for herbal self-care guided by trans* voices, and share in the work of creating more accessible health care spaces.
We are actively committed to working on being better allies, and recognize that this a continual process. Thank you again for sharing your concerns with us. They are being heard, and are welcomed.
Amber Fox, Jane Atkinson and Rebecca Singer