Matchmaking Methodology for Humanizing Transgender and Gender Diverse Health Research

Online Publication Date:
March 21, 2022
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**Published in Progress in Community Health Partnerships (PCHP). All rights reserved.** ABSTRACT Background: Current research on transgender and gender diverse (TGD) health focuses on a damage-centered approach to health outcomes, often further marginalizing and othering TGD individuals and their experiences. The Matchmaking Methodology is an approach that can be used to depathologizes and demedicalizes the TGD experience within research by decentering the cisgender gaze of TGD health research. Objectives: This article aims to provide researchers a humanizing approach to TGD health and wellness research by outlining the process of the matchmaking methodology that connects individuals to co-create research and knowledge from multiple standpoints – those of scholar, practitioner, and community member. Methods: Shaped by an approach to co-editing a book on transgender and gender diverse health and social service best practices, the Matchmaking Methodology can be applied to research projects as an intentionally engage method that allows for the centering of TGD voices, the integration of practitioner expertise as well as that of academic scholars with community members through collaborative partnership to conduct and disseminate research. Conclusions: The matchmaking methodology for TGD health research can address some of the harmful and dehumanizing aspects that have historically dominated TGD-focused research. This approach focuses on the empowerment and critical consciousness of those participating in the collaborative partnership and centers their accountability to TGD individuals. Further, the involvement of practitioners and community members in the research process can translate to research that has a focus on real-life application and impact on best practices, interventions, and policy change.