VIEW to the U transcribed - Doug VanderLaan (Psychology)

VIEW to the U transcribed
Season 8: We Are UTM; Episode #4

Professor Doug VanderLaan

Department of Psychology

U of T Mississauga


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Doug VanderLaan (DV): There's not going to be enough clinics or enough access to mental health professionals. So, I think we need 2 things. One would be, we need educators, parents, anyone who basically has some involvement in the lives of children on a regular basis to help children navigate situations of all things like they're being bullied, or even just their parents have more traditional attitudes towards gender, and they don't necessarily accept their child's gender diverse expression.

I'm Doug Vanderlaan. I'm an associate professor of psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

The other piece is starting to think about the mental health challenges for these youth not being accepted or being discriminated against. But you know, probably the way to ameliorate this increase in mental health risk would be to actually just encourage more societal acceptance. And so, we've been exploring ways in my lab that you can actually lead children to be more accepting of gender-diverse children.

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Carla DeMarco (CD): More acceptance and less mental health risks – sounds great to me!

Friday, March 31st is International Transgender Day of Visibility, and to mark the occasion, and hopefully add to the dialogue of social acceptance of people who are transgender, this interview highlights the work of a faculty member from UofT Mississauga’s Department of Psychology whose research expertise is in gender diversity and gender expression.

Hello, and welcome to VIEW to the U: an eye on the UTM academic community. I'm Carla DeMarco at UofT Mississauga.

VIEW to the U is a monthly podcast that will feature UTM faculty members and students from a range of disciplines, who will illuminate some of the inner workings of UTM science labs, enlighten the social sciences and humanities hubs on campus, and put a spotlight on our academic community at large.

On the new season called “We are UTM,” I will introduce you to some of the people from our vibrant and ever-growing scholarly community from some of our newest members of UTM's leadership team to students who are doing innovative things on the UTM campus.

On this episode of VIEW to the U Professor Doug Vanderlaan talks about his work in the Bio psychosocial investigations of gender laboratory  - or the BIG Lab for short.

In the BIG lab, Doug has several lines of research running, including a Neuroimaging Study of Transgender Adolescents and Adults, which investigates brain development and unique brain characteristics among Canadian adolescents, who experience gender dysphoria which is “distress due to an incongruence between birth assigned and experienced gender.”

However, on today's episode we cover some of the other programs of research in the BIG lab, notably Doug's work, investigating the variations of gender expression in ongoing cross-cultural studies with collaborators in Thailand and China, and some of the ways in which Thai society is unique in their gender expression as well as his lab's exploration of potential interventions to decrease mental health risk in youth, and broaden children's acceptance of gender diversity, which has the potential for longer last in acceptance.

We also talk about International Transgender Day of Visibility and his outreach to make these particular issues a year-round and continuous focus.

Doug's work is supported by many different funding agencies, including the Tri-council of Canada, which includes Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, otherwise known as the CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC, as well as funding from Brain Canada, The American Institute of Bisexuality, the Center for Addiction and Mental Health and the UofT Mississsauga. You can find out more about all his ongoing projects from the BIG lab website, which is linked in the show notes (

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Doug Vanderlaan is a globally recognized expert. His scholarly credentials place him in an elite league of academics on ExpertScapes pub-med based algorithms, and among the top researchers in his field.

He completed an Honors BA in psychology at McMaster University before going on to do a Master of Science and a PhD in psychology at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta

Doug also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health prior to joining the faculty at UTM in 2015, where he is currently an associate professor in the Department of Psychology and a Collaborator Scientist in Child and Youth Psychiatry at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.

DV: I would say that broadly my work takes a interdisciplinary and multi-method approach to understanding sexual and gender diversity. And, in particular, I like to use multiple sort of theoretical perspectives and approach the topic in a holistic way. So, a lot of people in sexuality and gender studies or areas they often attend like conferences, where a lot of the researchers come from different kinds of backgrounds. I think that's sort of reflective of the nature of gender and sexuality that it's influenced by so many things.

It’s influenced by biology. It’s influenced by culture. It's influenced by psychological factors. People's experiences are often really influenced by their sexuality and their gender identities, gender expressions.

And so, a lot of my work also touches not just on sort of the origins of human diversity in this area, but also the range of experiences that people have particularly with respect to well-being. And as a psychologist, usually, I'm focused on psychological wellbeing.

CD: So, then, when you say it is aholistic approach,” you're talking about all of those areas that you mentioned like biology, and…?

DV: That's right. So, I've done a lot of work that sort of focuses on what might be the biological underpinnings of variation among people in their sexual orientations, and also things like sexual desire. And then also gender identity and gender role expression more broadly.

CD: And I understand you do a lot of work in South East Asia, where some of your collaborators are based, and in Thailand in particular, where you have a field site. I know you mentioned before we started recording that some of your travelling was a bit sidelined because of the pandemic.

DV: Right. So, that's the other piece. So, a lot of my work has studied the biological underpinnings. But I have a large amount of research in my research program that focuses on social and cultural influences on sexual orientation and gender development, and I take a cross-cultural approach in my work for that reason to support that side of the developmental picture. And yes, I've been going to Thailand since 2015, since starting as a professor here at UTM, where I've been doing research with gender diverse and sexually diverse people.

A lot of the work has focused on looking at developmental similarities or commonalities that exist across cultures

So, trying to replicate patterns that have been observed in populations like in the United States and Europe, and seeing whether we observe similar patterns in that population, because it would suggest that maybe there's some processes, that sort of transcend culture, that influence sexual orientation or gender.

And then, at the same time, I'm interested, whenever like a developmental difference pops up, and then that sort of maybe provides some insight into the ways that, like culture, might have some influence over the way that sexuality or gender develops on top of sort of these biological underpinnings that perhaps are common across populations.

CD: And because you do mention about the work that you do in Thailand, and I have a kind of twofold question: how is gender treated there? If it's different than the way that it is treated in North America. And I guess also because you do a lot of research related to youth, I'm also wondering how youth conceive gender differently.

DV: Sure, I'm happy to answer all those things, but like many facets to the question the first part. So, I guess maybe the big distinction between the way that gender has been historically conceptualized say in Western societies versus Thai society. So, in Western societies, historically, people have conceived of gender as a binary. So male-female, man-woman, boy-girl, in Thailand, they recognize those categories. But then they also recognize what we would consider to be like gender non-binary categories

So, historically, there's been a group that had been referred to as Kathoey, although that term, more recently, people have been talking about how it might be considered pejorative, because often people would maybe use that term in a derogatory way. More

Recently, we've been publishing using an identity term that's more commonly endorsed, which is a sao praphet song, or phu-ying praphet song, which translates to mean a second kind of woman. So, those are individuals who at birth are anatomically male, but they take on a feminine social role.

And so, when an individual is male-bodied, but displays a feminine social role in Thai society, they are identified by others, and they identify themselves as being a non-binary gender. Often and then they also have other categories for people who are female bodied, but who behave in a masculine manner. The term they use is Tom, which is sort of similar to the termtomboy.”

So, they sort of recognize these distinct gender categories that go beyond the binary that we have historically had in Western populations. But I mean, it seems to be the case that in Western societies, especially over the past couple of decades, there's been a lot more societal recognition of gender diversity, and so, maybe our concept of how many genders there are.

That's something that's evolving as part of our culture. But it's not necessarily to say that what's happening here is the exact same as what's already existed in Thailand. I think they're unique cultures with unique histories, and this is all sort of unfolded in unique ways for both sets of societies. But there's certainly some parallels and some analogues.

CD But in Thailand it's there's no sort of negative, like, associations with that. It's just it's accepted?

DV: Well, I wouldn't say that there's no negative reactions from other people, but the way it's sort of been described by anthropologists and my own, you know personal observations from having spent time there, it's widely accepted, but not sort of universally accepted.

So, there's some people who would still hold prejudices, or, like I mentioned, some people would use the term kathoey, for example, as a derogatory term, so people can be like the targets of bullying or teasing. But I will say that in day to day life in Thailand gender-diverse people are quite visible.

I remember one of my first field seasons like getting off the plane and going to a restaurant. And you know, my server was a transgender person. And so, it's like daily life. It's common to encounter people who are sexually or gender diverse, and it's very visible, and you know, for the most part, nobody bats an eye over it, because it's sort of commonplace, and everyone's familiar with it. So, it's definitely sort of woven into the everyday fabric of Thai society.

CD: This is just a brief section on some inclusive terminology talk that includes the concept of Two Spirit in indigenous culture and the fa’afafine in the Samoan culture.

DV: So, the term two-spirit I think was a term that was coined just in like 1990. So, it's more historically recent, my understanding, and I'm not an expert on that particular term. But my understanding is that it was a way for indigenous people to sort of like distance themselves from sort of the colonial influences of like Western LGBT identities.

And so, I would say that in Thailand the gender diversity that's expressed there is perhaps, historically, it has deeper roots than maybe that term Two-Spirit.

But yeah, I think the Thai Society is also sort of unique in the sense that it's one of the managed to stave off Imperial rule from the British and the French, who are very influential in Southeast Asia. But Thailand was always like its own kingdom, and so any Western influence that has happened. There has been more a result of cultural diffusion, like adopting some aspects of Western concepts of gender and sexuality that's sort of taken place over the last 50 years or so, but it's been sort of like less hegemonic than maybe it was the case in other parts of the globe, including North America.

CD: and I think the last time we chatted you mentioned I'm going to probably say it wrong the fa’afafine…?”

DV: Fa’afafine is a group similar to the sao praphet song. So, they are male-bodied individuals who take on a feminine social role. The term Fa’afafine is a Samoan term, and applies to Samoan individuals who are a gender diverse, and that's actually where I did a lot of my PhD research. Yeah. I still collaborate on some research related to the Fa’afafine. But that's really how I got started in this particular area.

CD: Can you tell me a little bit more about that? And how you got started?

DV: Sure, I'd be happy to. So, I think that my interest in the topic goes back to when I was an undergraduate student just down the road at McMaster University, and at that time I was actually really interested in primatology and evolution and topics like that. And when I was thinking about doing a PhD, I remember a graduate student saying something like, ‘oh, you have to do studies to create knowledge that we don't have yet.’ And I thought, ‘oh, that's like really daunting’ like, how do you choose a topic?

And then I remember going to a lecture shortly after, where they were talking about same-sex sexuality. That that's what the professor was lecturing on, and he was talking about, how did it evolve? And how does it develop? And was basically just saying there is very limited research. So, I thought, ‘oh, this is maybe a good topic to focus on.’ And so, I looked for researchers across Canada who were potentially studying this topic, and there was one person, Paul Vasey, who ended up being my PhD supervisor. He was out at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, and at the time he had been publishing a lot on female-female sexual behavior in Japanese monkeys, and he had a field site in a Arashiyama, which is like a suburb of Kyoto.

And so, I started studying monkeys with him as one of my first projects during my PhD, but I quickly realized, like I really don't like getting up early in the morning to walk up a mountain and watch monkeys all day, and I guess for me like I would feel kind of nervous around them sometimes because they're described as a despotic species. So, they're like a high-ranking individual they can be quite aggressive. So, there's like this tension. And I was just watching monkeys, mostly in peaceful encounters, playing or eating bugs off of each other. But then the winter months starts setting in. It's getting colder. The monkeys are still fighting. You're on edge. You're tired. So, it was like not for me. And then a lot of the science part is like after you've like recorded a lot of behaviours, you watched the video that you recorded frame by frame - quite tedious.

And I was like, okay, what else do you have going on? And he was well, you know, I've been doing this research in the Samoan Islands, so like much warmer, tropical, Pacific sort of like. If you ever watched the show Lost, there's areas that look like that. So, it's quite beautiful and just like it, really interesting culture. And so, I had the opportunity to study developmental and evolutionary type questions about same-sex sexuality and gender diversity focusing on the Fa’afafine. And so that's in a nutshell how I wound up there. So, there's like a brief detour in primatology, but which it was a good experience overall. But it was definitely taught me that focusing on humans is more for me.

CD: I know he did mention quite a bit about terminology, and we had a little bit of a chat beforehand, but the terminology seems to have changed over time related to this research. Would you say that terminology has been evolving over the last couple of decades since you started being involved in it?

DV: I would say, in the past five to 10 years, though the field seems to have settled more on particular terms that seem to be considered more acceptable among people who identify as Trans. And so often, when referring to someone's birth sex, the preferred term would be to say, like “assigned sex at birth,” I think, because for people who experience distress related to their sexual anatomy their primary sex characteristics, they might feel like, you know, “I'm not male” or “I'm not female.” They have, like a sense of incongruence.

So, to like, label them as a male or a female individual, just because that was the sex that was observed when they were born, can be considered as something that's like invalidating of their phenomenological or subjective experience of themselves. That's why I think this term sex assigned at birth or assigned sex at birth has been considered to be more acceptable. Many. But at the same time, I don't think that there's universal agreement on any given term.

And so when you read the literature, you often find that people are using different terms, depending on their discipline background, or maybe sort of how familiar they are with the history of terminology in the field. But I would say, like my perception in the past five or 10 years is that the field seems to be converging more on using this term of sex assigned at birth.

CD: Probably the first grant application that I ever saw [from you] it was gender nonconformity. But I remember you telling me something about even that.

DV: Yeah. So, for a lot of years individuals whose gender role, behaviour doesn't necessarily correspond to like what's stereotypical for people of their sex within their given culture. The term that was often used for many years was “gender nonconformity” with the idea, like not conforming to gender norms. And I guess for me, like when I was growing up I like Rage Against the Machine and like bands like that. And I was like, yeah, not conforming is good, but then a lot of other people were like, ‘oh, but if you're saying we're not conforming, then it's kind of like you're saying, we're deviant in some way,’ so like I can appreciate that sort of criticism of that terminology. And so, yeah, the terminology evolves. And sometimes people use as the term “gender variant,” as a way of talking about like gender variability.

Now I would say, yeah, people have settled more into “gender diversity.” Sometimes I wonder whether gender diversity as a term is like, maybe not quite specific, because to me when I hear the term “diversity,” I think it's like, you know, meant to be as inclusive as possible, like you're talking about everyone. So, but if you're talking about individuals who are same-sex attracted, or whose gender role behaviour isn't consistent with stereotypes for their gender, because that's often what people are talking about when they use these terms like gender variant, gender diverse, gender non-conforming.

Yeah, my feeling was just that, like, ‘oh, maybe the diversity term is like too wide.’ But I think that it's become commonplace enough now that when you use that term, people generally have an understanding of what you're referring to.

Yeah. So, terminology has definitely been involving in this fields for a long time, and I expect it, you know, might continue to evolve. But I think that that can be a good thing. I think it can, as scientists it like sort of forces us to sort of consider our biases and prejudices. And yeah, I think, ultimately, for sort of arriving at terminology that still allows us to reflect the world as it exists. But then also do it in a way that makes it more palatable and more respectful for the populations that are being studied. That's a good thing, but it's probably not going to be the kind of thing that evolves without there being some like bumps in the road, or turning down the wrong paths at from time to time. But I think it's important to have ongoing dialogue,

CD: And I guess, tied into the sort of evolving terminology, do you feel that people's acceptance is evolving, like, are we becoming more accepting of different types of people?

DV: Well, my sense is that we are becoming more accepting of more diversity. I think that it probably depends too on your locale.

I imagine that there's differences depending on what geographic region you're living in, what the demographic characteristics of the population are. That's actually something I'd be interested to study more in the future, you know, Right now, obviously, I'm studying Canada versus Thailand, or in comparison with Thailand quite a bit. And also, I do a lot of research collaborating with people in Hong Kong and mainland, China, and what we find is the attitudes towards gender diversity are quite different across those three places. So, I imagine that that sort of same thing is playing out in sort of a more subculture way.

Even within Canada we compared different regions to one another. But my overall sense is that like with time, certainly there's been more attention paid to it, there's more awareness than there was 20 years ago when I started doing this kind of work, and I expect that trends to continue. That's sort of where I see things going, but definitely every step of the way there's been a lot of controversy. I think this is definitely a focal point for culture wars, basically anti-trans. policies are like at the heart of Donald Trump's comeback campaign. There is obviously a lot of debate going on in the US right now, more so than in Canada.

Some States are proposing protections for trans youth; whereas other States are proposing bans on certain kinds of gender-affirming medical practices. And so, I think that overall society is moving in a direction of more acceptance. But I wouldn't consider it to be a guarantee, because there are a lot of these pockets of disagreement. But part of the problem, I think, is that things are evolving so fast at a cultural level, and, to a certain extent, people look to scientific research, to sort of guide what is the optimal way to proceed. And there's been very little of that research - there's more and more, but it's sort of not keeping up with the pace of how things are evolving within the culture in terms of the number of individuals who are youth, and are identifying as gender diverse.

The health care system can't keep up. They don't have enough clinics. They don't have enough staff in the clinics. They don't have enough researchers measuring things and keeping track of things that would allow health care workers, physicians, educators, to know what is the best evidence-based way to approach these issues. And so, what you end up with is a lot of opinions going back and forth, and then some scientific studies to back up certain perspectives on certain points. But then because that scientific research it exists, but it's not a large body of evidence. So, you're still somewhat in the dark about what to do if you're looking for an evidence-based approach.

That said, I think there are physicians, and social workers and educators who are doing some good work. And They are using the literature, the scientific literature of clinical literature, etc., appropriately given what's written. But I think that a lot of these societal debates end up happening because there isn't necessarily a clear answer on what's the best thing to do for each and every single kid, although I will say that my personal view is that the gender-affirming approach that seems to be the most popular approach. Now its heart is in the right place in a lot of respects, because the idea is that supporting a child in understanding themselves, not invalidating them, giving them the space to understand themselves what's right for them, and giving them as much information as possible to make the right decision for themselves in their life. To me that that sort of like corresponds with a lot of my values, and it makes sense to me more so than rejecting a child's based on their gender expression or gender identity, or unnecessarily causing distressed by trying to force them out of being something that they feel that they are. Or discouraging them, maybe not forcing them, but at least, or maybe just trying to discourage them in some way.

CD: Yes, and you're also raising a point and something I wanted to circle back to. And I know you said you're not big on some of the pop culture stuff. But this film that I saw last year, and I think it came out in 2021 was called Little Girl or Petite Fille - a documentary out of France. But basically, it followed this young girl for a year of her life from, I think, age 7 to 8, and so she's a transgender girl. Born or assigned male at births, but always identified as female. And so, it just, the whole film is sort of chronicling her family's advocacy for Sasha to just have the right pronouns used, and not be treated differently when she was going to this girls’ ballet class and things like that. But so, I just wondered, though, if you could briefly touch on, because you do work with adolescents, is it how different their concept of gender is compared to say, in adults?

DV: So I've never worked clinically with adolescents myself. But what I understand about adolescents is a developmental period is often, pychologists think of it as a period where people are able to think more abstractly about things. So, during adolescence they should be able to navigate this issue of like, what is gender to them? And how do they sort of fit within what they understand gender to be?

But adolescence is also, you know, a time of trying on, maybe different ways of being, different identities. So, for some people it might be something that they like definitely know more. Certainly, some youth would maybe be more like gender questioning, which is why some approaches like emphasize the use of things like puberty blockers, if they want to take exogenous testosterone or exogenous estrogens and anti-androgens to sort of facilitate the development of a physical appearance that corresponds with their experienced gender. But yeah, so the purpose of the puberty blocking medication is to halt the current development of secondary sex characteristics to give them that time and that space to reflect, to figure out what's right for them, and a lot of adolescents use that time and go on to transition some, maybe don't.

So, I think that the elements of gender that different people are focusing on. I'm not sure that we know that they're the exact same from individual to individual. What does being a man mean, or what does being a woman mean? Or what does being gender non-binary person mean? 

It doesn't necessarily have the same meaning for all individuals. But in comparison, adolescents versus adults, I think there's also some concern about have they thought about things like reproductive decisions that they might want to make later in their lives, and how my treatments related to gender transitioning, and adolescents affect that. I know that that is an area of research that a lot of people are interested in.

So yeah, I think that there's unique issues that are evidence in adolescence that maybe aren't emphasized so much in adulthood. We sort of expect adults to have a firmer sense of who they are potentially.

But I think a lot of adolescents also have pretty firm senses of who they are, and that's again, I'm not a clinician, but that's probably where someone's clinical skills really come into play is, like, you know, working with individuals taking a client-centered approach or patient-centered approach helping the client or patient to like navigate the situation to come up with the best outcome for that individual.

CD: And because you mentioned that you're not working with them in a clinic. Is that what you mean when you say that your lab is “beyond the clinic?”

DV: Well, partly it's beyond the clinic out of necessity, because I don't have a clinic. But yeah, I've often framed my work because, being beyond the clinic in the sense that, historically, a lot of the research that's been done on gender-diverse people, especially children and adolescents, has come out of clinics, and I think that's because people who are researchers in this area have often been interested because of their clinical experiences working in a clinic where they see many children or youth who experience gender dysphoria. And I would say that, like once the Internet and Internet studies became more commonplace, there's more representation of non-clinical samples for adult studies, but not so much for child and youth studies.

And so, one of the things I wanted to do after becoming a professor was start to like, really focus on children and youth outside of clinical settings, to even just get in a sense of like, how common is it for children to be gender diverse in Canadian society, or to show gender role behaviour that would be considered markedly non stereotypical, and it's a lot more common than probably people realize that the estimates from my studies are about one in every 50 children.

And yeah, I was also interested to know what is the rate according to the measures I was using, the rate of like clinical range, mental health challenges, and the rate of mental health challenges is actually about double what it would be in children who are not gender diverse. And I was just doing some like simple math, and thinking about like this we're talking about like thousands of children, one or 2 or 3, and every school, probably across the country who’re probably going unnoticed because they're not attending clinics. And I think that it also speaks to an approach where focus on treating symptoms within clinical settings is probably not going to cut it for this population, because there's not going to be enough clinics or enough access to mental health professionals.

So, I think we need two things. One would be, we need educators, parents, anyone who basically has some involvement in the lives of children on a regular basis to sort of recognize that this issue exists, and maybe be somewhat prepared to help children navigate situations that are leading to increased mental health challenges, which seem to be situations that involve things like they're being bullied, or even just, their parents have more traditional attitudes towards gender, and they don't necessarily accept their child's gender diverse expression.

So then, that sort of brings me to the other piece of “beyond the clinic” work is starting to think about, okay, well, if the source of a lot of the mental health challenges for these youth is actually a lot of these sort of socially determined things like not being accepted or being discriminated against. But probably the way to ameliorate this increase in mental health risk would be to actually just encourage more societal acceptance. And so, we've been exploring ways in my lab that you can actually lead children to be more accepting of gender, diverse children. So, we've done experiments where we try to manipulate things like how much empathy a child can have for other children.

Or just how they can like think of gender-diverse children as being a member of their in-group as opposed to identifying them as being an “other,” a different person and a group member, and we've had some success. I wouldn't say we found like the key to it yet, but we've had some success, improving children's appraisals of gender-diverse peers.

And then another piece is like doing developmental research in Thailand. So, when I compared children from Thailand and this study we compared them to children from mainland China. We found that the children in Thailand, a society that is generally accepting of gender diversity, those children were more willing to be friends with, or at least not less willing to be friends with gender-diverse peers than other peers; whereas children in China showed clear bias against the gender-diverse peers.

So, starting to sort of like, shine a light on this idea of encouraging societal acceptance, especially even at a young age, because even gender diverse children are at an elevated risk for mental health concerns, and that's something that could carry on to adolescents, carry on to adulthood, addressing societal acceptance at that early age could ameliorate a lot of anguish for a lot of children.

And so you know, I think that's why it's important to sort of zoom out a bit and not be so focused on just like these clinical populations which a lot of the literature has been, I think, in part a) Because the researchers have often been interested in the topic, because they're involved in these clinics. But b) because it's a little bit more challenging, I think, to like, go out into society, or go to other societies and explore these kinds of questions than it is to just make use of the data that come from the people who are attending your clinic.

CD: Yeah, that's so interesting. And now you're making me think about, so that one of the reasons why I was thinking it would be good to chat with you in March, because we've got Transgender Day of Visibility coming up. I think the work that you're doing is already doing an amazing thing for just making people more aware. But is there anything that your lab does in particular for Transgender Day of Visibility?

DV: Well, there's nothing that the lab does in particular. I think, throughout the year, our lab looks for opportunities to like, do outreach. So, I've given presentations to psychologists, to educators in the Peel region, to families in the region, and when I go to Thailand I try to intersect with different organizations there that do outreach with sexually and gender diverse people. So, as a lab, I think we keep an eye out for like what’s going on in relation to International Transgender Day on campus, and I’ll share that with lab members.

I don't know that we would necessarily want to put ourselves front and center on a day like that because actually it's a day for trans and gender-diverse people to be front and center. But I do have a plan for my cross-cultural psychology class, which will be held on that day, and I will talk a little bit about research on gender-diverse people and different cultures, and talk a little bit about variability across cultures and attitudes, cross-cultures. So, I mean, that's how I'll shine the light on it in the classroom.

CD: That's great. Thank you so much for your time today, Doug. I really appreciate it.

DV: Thanks. I appreciate you as well.

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CD: I would like to thank everyone for listening to today's show.

I would especially like to thank my guest, Professor Doug Vanderlaan, from

UTM's Department of Psychology for being so generous with his time, and, as always, very thoughtful and informative about his research and its themes.

I remember when Doug joined the faculty at UTM in 2015, and we had our first meeting to talk about what his lab needed to get going. I was always very intrigued by his work, which straddles so many disciplines as evidenced by his research, being funded by ALL of the Tri Council agencies, but also he has always been a very supportive colleague and a wonderful person to work with. I look forward to future collaborations or ways that we can work together.

If you are a faculty member or student at UTM, please get in touch with me. I would love to meet as many people from our campus scholarly community as possible, and think through how to highlight people's work here. I am continuing on with my seventh year of podcasting at UTM, and the theme for season 8: “We are UTM.”

Also, if you can take the time to rate the podcast in iTunes it helps others find the show and hear more from our great UTM academic community.

Lastly, and as always, thank you to ol’ Timmy Soft Shoe for his tracks, tunes, and support.

Thank you!

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