In their words: LGTBQ+ researchers study trauma, substance misuse
In their words: SU lab prioritizes inclusivity
Warning: This story contains accounts of sexual assault.
The concept of “mesearch” refers to a scholars or scientists focusing their research on topics that relate to them personally, such as their identity or personal experiences. Mesearch has a negative connotation in the scientific community – the thinking being that scientists must be emotionally divorced from the topics they study.
But, what if this passion, this drive to discover more because of your personal experience, could be a force for good?
Syracuse University’s Minority Stress & Trauma Lab focuses on researching issues of trauma, alcohol misuse, and minority stress – stressful experiences that are unique to persons who identify as a minority group – in the LGBTQ+ community. Dr. Jillian Scheer directs the research that primarily focuses on LGBTQ+ health disparities and strives to create an inclusive environment in the lab.
Most of the researchers in the MST lab, including Scheer, identify as LGBTQ+. This is the story of the people who make the lab run, and how their individual experiences and identities pushed them to learn more about issues facing the LGBTQ+ community. It is guided by two truths: First, human beings are biased, passionate creatures, especially regarding things that personally affect them. Second, bias and passion can be translated into motivation to do exceptional things.