Taking part

 

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Who can get involved?

Please get in touch if you are trans, have a difficult relationship with food, eating, or exercise, are aged 18+ and based in the UK. You do not need any kind of medical diagnosis.

It’s up to you to define yourself as trans. Anyone who is not exclusively cis is welcome – including binary and non-binary trans people, people who are genderfluid, agender, and/or questioning.

It’s up to you to describe your relationship with food, eating, and/or exercise as difficult or disordered. It might not be disordered all the time, and it might feel less difficult now than it has felt in the past. Difficult relationships with food, eating, and 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.

 

What will happen in the study?

We will meet in person for a one-off interview lasting 1-2 hours. At the interview we will have a conversation, where I will invite you to talk about your experiences, insights, and memories. If you are comfortable, I will audio record our conversation (you are welcome to keep a copy of the audio).

I will bring clay to the interview, and invite you to use it to express feelings and sensations that might be hard to put into words. It’s up to you if you want to use clay, and you can decide during the interview.

 

Where and when will we meet?

We will think together about a suitable place to meet up that is local to you. This could be your home, a favourite coffee shop, or a private room at a University or charity. If travel is not possible, we might arrange a Skype interview instead.

We will mutually agree a date and time to meet in November or December 2018 – I am flexible across weekends and outside of regular working hours.

I will reimburse any travel expenses, childcare costs, and other caring costs that let you attend an interview.

 

What will we talk about?

The interview will be about your experience of living with disordered eating. I will ask about your relationship to food, eating, exercise, and your body. It is up to you what you want to share. I start from the understanding that disordered eating is not an isolated mental health issue, so I am also interested to hear about your life history, your relationships with other people, and your everyday life.

You are welcome to bring up topics that are important to you or ask me questions at any time – before, during, and after the interview. If you have made relevant art and creative pieces in the past, you can share these too.

You will not be asked to justify your gender and you will not be asked invasive questions about your gender. Before we meet, I will check in if there are topics that are off-limits or that we should take extra care around, and you won’t need to explain why.

 

Consent and anonymity

I see informed consent as a process that runs through all of our interactions. When arranging an interview, I will ask if there are steps we can take to make it more comfortable (e.g. you may want to meet me on Skype first).

If you share something that you don’t want to be included in the research, or you decide that you no longer want to participate, you can withdraw yourself and all (or some) of your data from the study. You can withdraw at any time until January 2019, without any 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.

 

Outputs

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 zines, 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 live with disordered eating
  • Include non-binary people, who have rarely featured in research on this subject
  • Interrupt cissexist ideas, which pathologize trans 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.

 

Please note: the following information is only relevant for participants who started working with me prior to September 2018, not for people participating in one-off interviews.

 

Pre-September 2018: Process

There are several activities that 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. Just a note: if you participate in one activity, you do not have to participate in any other.

I will reimburse any travel expenses, childcare costs, and other caring costs that let you participate in the research.

         

            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 will 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.

 

Pre-September 2018: 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 until Jan 2019, 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.

 

Please get in touch with any questions.