A Chat To Help Our Community

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hi all, and happy Thursday evening. Hope everyone is having a good week so far.

I've been meaning to post this for over a week, but just now had the opportunity to finish it up.

Several months ago my friend Nadine, over at Unordinary Style (and you should all check out her blog if you don't already do so :-p), wrote a post about an interview she did with a graduate student, Petta-Gay Hannah, who is writing her dissertation on transgendered/non-traditional individuals.

As you can see from her post, Nadine genuinely enjoyed taking part in Petta-Gay's project, and encouraged anyone who was interested to contact Petta-Gay to chat with her. Like Nadine (and like many of us), I welcomed a chance to do something for our little community.

Accordingly, I contacted Petta-Gay,  who turned out to be just as nice as Nadine had indicated. I've included the details below, so I will cut to the chase by saying...

I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. :c)

Petta-Gay is very nice, and clearly very smart. We spoke for about two-and-a-half hours. It was quite casual, and not at all academic or stuffy. Essentially, we had a long conversation. Her questions were thoughtful and well-considered, and not at all intrusive. She stressed repeatedly that I could simply decline to answer any question I might have found uncomfortable, but that was not even remotely a concern.

Once we finished, Petta-Gay asked if she could follow up if necessary to clarify an answer (I suspect that was a polite way of saying "if I can't decipher Cass's weird semi-Boston accent" lol), and of course I agreed. We've touched base several times since I've done the interview, and each of those has been as enjoyable as our intial chats.

I would encourage anyone remotely interested to contact Petta-Gay. I think her dissertation will be a valuable tool in helping others understand our community. And you will also be helping a really, really nice person. It's a win-win, in other words! I hope as many readers as possible are able to do so.

I've included Petta-Gay's information here, below the jump. (you can also find it at Nadine's post). Thanks everyone!

Dear Site Participant,
My name is Petta-Gay Hannah and I am graduate student at University of Florida, Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law. I am conducting research for my dissertation to learn more about the Transgender community. My overall research goal is to learn more about this community to better inform Transgender people’s needs, and understand their identities.

Who can be in this Study, and what is the interview process like?
You are invited you to participate in this study because you are a member, visitor or participant of an organization and or website that provides support to transgender people. To participate you should be at least 18 years of age or older.

I will be interviewing approximately 100 people who identify as transgender and or gender nonconforming, and who participate on transgender specific websites. I use the phrase trans* and gender nonconforming to refer to transgender, transsexual, woman, man, gender queer, and other binary and non-binary gender identities and expressions for people whose gender identity or expression differs from their sex assigned at birth. This study will require one to two phone conversations taking about two hours or less of your time, depending on your pace in the interview.

If you agree to be in this study, you will be interviewed. In the Interview you will be asked questions about your demographic background, gender identity, the transgender group or website with which you identify most, and people within your social network. You may also be asked to participate in a mobile ethnographic interview. Your interview will be audiotaped.

What are the risks and or benefits of my participation in this study?
Being in this study does not involve any risks other than what you would encounter in daily life.  If you discuss experiences or relationships that are of a sensitive nature, you may have feelings that might be uncomfortable or distressing. Throughout the interview, you can choose not to answer any question I ask or to stop the interview at any time. In addition, any other potential risks to you will be minimized by keeping your identity confidential to the extent provided by law.

You may not personally benefit from being in this study; furthermore, there is no compensation to you for participating in the study. However, by discussing your experiences you have the opportunity to reflect on relationships, experiences, and feelings with a person who is non-judgmental and a good listener. Moreover, I hope that what I learn will be adding to the body of knowledge about the experiences and needs of transgender people and the community as a whole.

Can I decide not to participate?  If so, are there other options?
Yes, you can choose not to participate.  Even if you agree to be in the study now, you can change your mind later and leave the study.  There will be no negative consequences if you decide not to participate or change your mind later. Furthermore, you may interrupt to ask questions concerning the research or research procedures at any time and you may refuse to answer any questions at any time without penalty.

How will my privacy be protected?
The records of this study will be kept confidential. In any report we might publish, I will not include any information that could identify you. Research records will be stored securely and only I, as the researcher will have access to the records. After the research project is completed, all the audiotapes will be erased.

Whom can I contact for more information?
If you have questions about this study, please contact Petta-Gay Hannah at 352-213-9312 or by email at ufresearch1@gmail.com. If you have questions about your rights as a research subject please contact: IRB02 Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250; phone 352-392-0433.


Since Petta-Gay is getting her degree, that gives me an excuse to play some primo rock & roll from the master - Chuck Berry's "School Days."

Hail, hail, rock & roll indeed. :c)


Nadine Spirit on October 10, 2014 at 10:26 AM said...

Yay! I am so glad that you enjoyed your conversation with Petta-Gay as much as I did. Our conversation also lasted about the same amount of time, but it was like talking to an old friend. The time just flew by and I was amazed when I saw how long we actually had been on the phone together. I am very happy you enjoyed the experience!


Cassidy on October 10, 2014 at 10:34 PM said...

Hi Nadine!

I agree with your assessment completely. Petta-Gay was a delight, and the time flew by. I do hope other folks will share their stories with her. I have no doubt her dissertation will be a marvel. :c)

Have a great weekend, hon. Oh... and I lovelovelove your latest pics!!! I soooo want those shoes *and* that cute skirt!


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