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Soul Soil Research Institute

The mission of Soul Soil Research Institute is to conduct insightful community-based research that meaningfully contributes to more just and affirming healthcare and policies for trans*, queer, and LGBIA populations, with an emphasis on supporting the well-being, resilience, and thriving of trans*/NB and gender-expansive individuals. Soul Soil Research Institute is a subsidiary of Soul Soil Collective Farm, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, and is aligned with the values of Soul Soil Collective Farm.

Current projects

 

Gender-affirming care needs assessment

Transgender and nonbinary (TNB) people in the United States continue to face legal discrimination, medical invalidation, and barriers to medical care that affirms their gender identity. Many TNB people experience gender dysphoria, and desire medical interventions to help their physical embodied experience more closely align with their gender identity. Gender-affirming care for medical interventions in the U.S. has become more accessible over the past decade but is still difficult to access for a variety of reasons. In addition to many geographical regions lacking enough trained providers and surgeons to serve the region’s population of TNB residents, TNB people face financial, practical, and legal barriers to accessing gender-affirming medical care.

Kris Gebhard, PhD is currently facilitating a coalition of researchers and organizations

around a mission to make financial support for gender-affirming medical interventions more widely accessible nationwide. We are inspired by the broad-reaching success within the reproductive justice movement of providing financial support to patients across the country using technology (such as Piggybank) to easefully distribute funds. We are currently conducting a needs assessment research project to better understand current financial and practical barriers to gender-affirming medical care, to map out the extent to which existing community support reduces those barriers as well as the remaining unmet need, and to identify best strategies for increasing access to financial and practical support nationwide.

 

In September 2023, Soul Soil Research Institute received a generous grant from Reprocare to launch the needs assessment, and are currently fundraising to support the budget for our initial study. Our review of recent literature revealed useful information regarding desire for gender-affirming surgery among the TNB population, the limited availability of healthcare insurance coverage for gender-affirming medical care (GAMC), and some information regarding the financial barriers faced by TNB people seeking care. Study 1 of our needs assessment will address a gap in the literature by exploring the availability and accessibility of existing financial and practical support from local and regional trans and/or LGBTQ community organizations. Click the donate button below for specific research questions and budget break-down, and contact Kris with any questions.

We are currently fundraising to support research costs for Study 1.

Click here to donate!

We are also searching for a part-time volunteer fundraiser.

Interested researchers, donors, or volunteers are invited to contact Kris for more information.

We will use data gathered from Study 1 to inform study design and research questions for following studies, which will seek to better understand the extent of unmet practical and financial need for GAMC in the TNB population nationwide, and ultimately identify best strategies for increasing access to financial and practical support nationwide. Studies will likely include qualitative studies with providers of GAMC, and mixed methods studies with TNB individuals.

We're on a mission to figure out how to get trans folks any financial and practical support they  need to access to gender-affirming care!

Community resilience among communities targeted by state-sanctioned violence

Kris has also recently engaged in scholarship on building and maintaining community resilience among communities targeted by state-sanctioned violence — here’s a toolkit on strategies for building community resilience.  Kris is available to consult with community members on strategies for building our resilience as a cornerstone of work to generate a society free from reliance on destructive forces.

Let’s Work Together

Reach out to Kris if you are interested in collaborating! You may also email kris@soulsoilresearch.org

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