School of Education News

UW-Madison’s Trans Research Lab featured in Our Lives magazine

December 03, 2018

The UW-Madison Trans Research Lab (TRL) was the topic of an article recently published by Our Lives magazine.

Lab founder Stephanie Budge, who is an associate professor with the School of Education’s Department of Counseling Psychology, was interviewed by Our Lives, along with some members of the lab.

The TRL, which was founded in August 2014, remedies the lack of research on trans issues by exploring mental and physical health needs and care for the transgender, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming (TNG) community. One of their biggest projects examined different types of psychotherapy to determine whether it was effective, and if it was, how it worked to bring about change. The TRL has also been involved in the Wisconsin Trans Youth Community Needs Assessment, analyzing data focusing on school safety, rural youth, and focus groups with young TNG individuals across Wisconsin.

Our Lives explains how this lab is not only unique for its topic of study, but its dual focus on scientific research and social advocacy. Budge describes for Our Lives the lab’s mission as using research and evidence to guide their advocacy for better access to health care for TNG individuals. Lab member Ash recognizes potential concerns of research bias, but reaffirms that the lab is “not trying to skew results to fit a political agenda. … We’re trying to academically uncover results that are as representative as possible using the knowledge and personal experiences of people that are being studied.”

Because of its special focus of advocacy, the TRL has stirred huge interest in the community. Undergraduate students, graduate students, and members of the public have found the lab to be an important and affirming place.

One lab member, Darren, highlights the significance of the his experience with the TRL, telling Our Lives: “Being a part of this lab makes it feel like you’re doing ground-breaking work and in a high-quality way.”

Read the full Our Lives magazine report here.

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