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About the Lab

Mission Statement

The Health, Education, and Rural Empowerment (HEaRE, pronounced “here”) Laboratory promotes knowledge about the unique experiences of LGBTQ+ people in rural, remote and geographically diverse areas of the United States and of the world. To this end, we explore interactions and/or relationships between identity, location and health. We advocate for LGBTQ+ populations based on our findings.  


Current Research Foci

Members of our lab are currently working to improve science, research, education, and practice related to:

·      Disordered Eating

·      Health Care Access

·      Intersections with BIPOC Identities

·      Chosen Families

·      Gender Affirming Care

·      Sport Allyship and Inclusion

·      Identity Development and Cinema

·      Mindfulness

·      Community Building

·      Gender Expansive Performance and Expression


Goals and Objectives

  • To facilitate research among people who identify as LGBTQ+, especially in rural, remote or geographically unique areas of the United States and globally.
  • To inform training and education aimed at promoting a clearer understanding of LGBTQ+ populations and health concerns, especially in rural or remote areas of the US.
  • To develop theory that will guide future research and practice with LGBTQ+ populations.
  • To inform best practices and promote affirmative and evidence-based practice in work with LGBTQ+ clients.
  • Advocate with LGBTQ+ populations utilizing research and knowledge that is directly drawn from and informed by those populations.


Guiding Principles

Our lab is guided by humility, awareness and intention as researchers. Our approach is holistic, humanistic and feminist and focuses on empowering LGBTQ+ people and communities. We engage in reflexivity; we explore our own positions of privilege as we promote the understanding of intersectionality, and we recognize our power in knowledge creation. We approach our research in an interdisciplinary manner and hold ourselves accountable to the communities and larger systems in which we function. Our research is tied to the greater goals of addressing cissexism, heterosexism, classism, racism, ableism and other forms of oppression. Thus, our work includes a critical consciousness perspective of our own findings and of existing research findings and models.

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