Taking part

Who can get involved?

I’d be keen to hear from you if you are trans, have a difficult relationship with food, eating, or exercise, aged over 18, and based in the UK.

Difficult relationships with food, eating, or exercise take many different forms. You might fixate on your body shape or size, obsessively pursue weight gain or weight loss, have rigid exercise routines, repeatedly diet or eliminate food groups, eat compulsively, purge, ignore feelings of hunger and fullness, skip meals, take laxatives, diet pills, or steroids, or experience anxiety about what, when, and where you eat.

You do not need any kind of medical diagnosis.


What will happen in the study?

If you get in touch, I’ll invite you to meet up informally over a cup of tea to make sure we’re on the same page. If we’re happy to move forward, there are several activities you’ll be invited to take part in (listed below). Or, we might decide to work together in a totally different way, if there are other creative projects that you’d like to pursue. This process isn’t set in stone – it’s something we will work out together.

I will reimburse any travel expenses, childcare costs, and other caring costs that let you participate in the research. Just a note: if you participate in one activity, you do not have to participate in any other.

             1. Walking tour of your area

You plan a route for us to walk together, to visit places that are important or special to you. Along the way I’ll ask you to talk about your experiences, and we might make audio recordings and take pictures together. If moving around the city doesn’t suit you for any reason, I’ll ask you to take me on a virtual tour using Google street view.

               2. Collaborative photography

You take photos based on 3-4 themes that come up in the research. You keep full control over which pictures you decide to share with me, and we’ll talk about them in an interview.

               3. Diary-making

Using any combination of text, drawing, collage, and video, you record your experience over 2 weeks. You decide what you would like to share with me, and we will talk about your diary together in an interview.


Anonymity and consent

I see informed consent as a process that runs through all of our interactions, instead of a one-off event. A research relationship is based on trust, so you will always keep control over which creative materials you decide to share. If there are subjects you don’t want to talk about, or if you tell me something that you don’t want to be included in the research, you can say so without explaining it.

Joining one part of the research doesn’t mean you have to carry on – you can withdraw yourself, and all (or some) of your data from the study at any time, without penalty and without giving me a reason.

Before any data about you is published it will be anonymised with a pseudonym, unless you decide that you want to feature with your own name.



The first way this research will be written up is in a doctoral thesis. After the thesis has been successfully submitted, a summary of key findings will be made publicly available online. The findings will use non-academic language and be accessible to interested activists, policymakers, and practitioners. The research will be used in a range of future publications, which might include print and online journals, blogs, exhibitions, and talks at activist events and academic conferences.


Project aims

This research aims to:

  • Expand popular and clinical ideas that only young, white, middle-class, cis women struggle with food, eating and exercise
  • Include non-binary people, who have rarely featured in research on this subject
  • Interrupt cissexist approaches, which pathologize trans and/or non-binary lives
  • Reflect what matters to you in your everyday life as you negotiate difficult relationships with exercise, eating, and food


Ethics approval

This study has been reviewed by, and received ethics clearance through, the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography Departmental Research Ethics Committee (reference number: SAME_C1A_17_075).

If you have a concern or wish to complain, you can contact; Chair, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography Departmental Research Ethics Committee; Email: hod@anthro.ox.ac.uk; Address: SAME DREC, University of Oxford, 51-53 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6PE.


Please get in touch with any questions.