Research participants needed: “Talking beyond the binary: queer and genderqueer speech”

Andy LawannouncementsLeave a Comment

I’m in the process of recruiting participants/informants for my PhD research focusing on queer and genderqueer speech. I come at this as a queer and genderqueer/non-binary (as well as trans) person, therefore the research is being conducted from inside the community.

I need participants from the following social/identity groups across a range of ages:

  • genderqueer and/or non-binary people
  • trans women and trans men
  • queer people (specifically in terms of sexuality)
  • lesbian, gay and bi people

The only other requirement at this stage is that participants are from Southeast England. By “from” I mean that people who spent most of their school life in the region.

Full information on the study and what is needed of participants is provided below (text is as approved by the university’s ethics committee). Please do get in touch if you might be able and willing to help out!


We would like to invite you to be part of this research project being conducted in the Department of Linguistics at Queen Mary University of London. Participation is entirely voluntary: you should only agree to take part if you want to. If you choose not to take part there won’t be any disadvantages for you and you will hear no more about it.

Please read the following information carefully before you decide to take part; this will tell you why the research is being carried out and what you will be asked to do if you take part. Please ask if there is anything unclear or if you would like more information.

If you decide to take part you will be asked to sign a consent form to say that you agree. You are still free to withdraw at any time during or after your involvement without providing a reason – please contact the researcher with this request in the first instance (details on the next page).

Aim of the study

This study will explore the interaction between language, gender and sexuality. In particular, it will look at the speech of trans and non-binary, LGB* and queer people across a range of ages. The primary researcher is a PhD candidate and a member of the LGBTQ* (or GSRM/MOGAI*) community, identifying as trans/non-binary (specifically genderqueer; pronouns they/them/their) and queer. The research is therefore being conducted by/from within the community, and its outcomes are intended to benefit the community.

Your involvement

Minimum involvement will include a one-on-one 60-90-minute interview between you and the primary researcher, covering a broad range of topics related to your life experiences, current activities and identity. You will be free to decline to discuss any topic or answer any question. You may also be invited to record multiple 15-30-minute conversations of you interacting with other people in different contexts without the researcher present; this will be entirely optional.

Your participation in the study would present minimal risk to you, aside from potentially being asked to discuss matters of a personal or sensitive nature. As already stated, you can decline to respond to any questions you do not feel comfortable answering. You can also decide to withdraw your participation at any time without providing a reason – please contact the researcher with this request in the first instance (details below).

Storage and use of your data

Recordings will be stored in a password-protected cloud account, accessible only to the researcher and their supervisors. Data will be kept confidential and used only under the conditions to which you consent, with the exception of instances where there are concerns about ongoing or potential harm to children, in which case it may be necessary to report such concerns to relevant authorities.

A pseudonym/fake name will be used to refer to you in marking up data and in any discussion, so that you will be unidentifiable. You may be quoted in an academic journal or online publication, and audio clips (with any reference to names or other identifiable information obscured) may be used in teaching, conference presentations or online publications. Your data may also be made available on the UK Data Service, a repository of social, economic and population data for researchers, students and teachers. You are free opt out of any or all of these uses of your data if you consent to participate in this research.

Next steps/contacts

It is up to you to decide whether to take part. If you do decide to take part you will be given this information sheet to keep and be asked to sign a consent form. If you decide you wish to withdraw your participation after agreeing to take part, please contact the researcher using the details below.

If you have any questions or concerns about the manner in which the study was conducted please, in the first instance, contact the researcher responsible for the study: Andy Law, a.j.law@qmul.ac.uk.

You can also contact the researcher’s supervisor, Dr Erez Levon, at e.levon@qmul.ac.uk, on 020 7882 8435, or at Department of Linguistics, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS.

If you would like to speak to anyone other than the researchers involved, you may contact the Secretary at the Queen Mary Ethics of Research Committee, Room W104, Queen’s Building, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS or research-ethics@qmul.ac.uk

* Abbreviations

LGB: lesbian, gay and bi
LGBTQ: lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer
GSRM: gender, sexual and romantic minorities
MOGAI: marginalised orientations, genders and intersex