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College of Information and Communications

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We are currently recruiting LGBTQ+ community leaders (ages 13+) for interviews to learn more about the health issues their community faces, the community’s key health questions and concerns, and how the community deals with these questions and concerns. In order to qualify, these leaders (as defined below) must meet with their communities in South Carolina either physically or virtually. If virtually, the group must include some members who reside in the state. If interested, please click the following link to make an appointment for an interview::

Schedule interview»

Below, we've provided some information about the study, divided into the following sections: 1) Defining “community” and “leader,” 2) Information about the study, and 3) How to sign up yourself or someone you know. Feel free to read each section or skip to the sections most relevant to you. If you have any questions while reading or want further information, please email: hiplgbtq@sc.edu or call the Principal Investigator’s (PI), Vanessa Kitzie’s office

Defining “community” and “leader”

In this study, “community” means a group of LGBTQ+ people who come together to engage in a series of shared activities, which may or may not relate to their LGBTQ+ identities. Communities can gather physically, virtually, or both. Community members should either be based in South Carolina, if they convene virtually, or have at least some of their gatherings in South Carolina, if they convene physically. Communities can be formal, such as an organization that has rules and procedures and where members have various roles and responsibilities, or informal. Here are some examples of communities that fall under this definition:

  • A high-school gay-straight alliance in South Carolina

  • An online social-networking site for LGBTQ+ people from South Carolina

  • A queer ultimate frisbee team based in South Carolina

  • An LGBTQ+ artist collective from the South that hosts events or activities in South Carolina

In this study, “leader” means someone who is looked to by members of the community to organize or guide members in accomplishing shared goals, activities, or tasks. Leaders may or may not have titles. For this study, leaders can be anyone who is 13 years of age or above. Leaders between the ages of 13 and 17 do not need parental or guardian permission to participate in this study. Leaders do not need to reside in South Carolina as long as their community convenes at least part of the time in South Carolina. Here are some examples of leaders that fall under this definition based on the community examples provided above:

  • The president of a high school gay-straight alliance in South Carolina

  • The founder of an online social-networking site for LGBTQ+ people from South Carolina

  • The captain of a queer ultimate frisbee team based in South Carolina

  • Someone who convenes the LGBTQ+ artist collective for South Carolina-based events and activities 

If you have any questions of whether you or someone you know is a community leader that qualifies for this study, please email: hiplgbtq@sc.edu or call the Principal Investigator’s (PI), Vanessa Kitzie’s office.

Information about the study

We are currently scheduling interviews between February 1 – June 30, 2019. The in-person, individual interview will take approximately 90 minutes and occur at a location mutually agreed upon by the leader and researcher. The PI is based in Columbia, SC, but will travel to a location convenient to you. During the interview, the leader will be asked about:

  • Their community, their personal involvement in the community, and for information about the leader’s personal and community identities

  • The types of health issues their community experiences

  • What health questions their community has and how their community addresses these questions

  • How they or members of their community share health advice, news, and other resources

  • How their community uses health advice, news, and other resources to make changes or decisions 

Leaders will also participate in an exercise where they will be asked to draw a picture of their community on a piece of paper along with the people, places, and things that provide health information to their community, receive health information from their community, and help their community to make health decisions. There is no right or wrong way to make this drawing.

Leaders’ identities will be kept confidential and they will be referred to using pseudonyms in all research presentations and publications. With the leader’s permission, the PI will audio record the interview for data analysis and transcribe it verbatim. Once the transcript has been created, the PI will delete the recording. If a leader does not consent to having their interview recorded, the PI will take detailed notes instead. The leader will have access to and be able to review their transcript and interview notes as well as a preliminary write-up of the interview findings following the interview. Leaders will receive $50 in cash for their participation. This study received approval from the University of South Carolina's ethics board for expedited review (IRB Protocol Pro00085287). View the letter from the review board approving the study here» 

View the letter of invitation for this study, which provides more in-depth information on what exactly will happen before, during, and after the study here»  

If you have any questions about the document, please email: hiplgbtq@sc.edu or call the Principal Investigator’s (PI), Vanessa Kitzie’s office.

How to sign up

If you are interested in participating … please click on the following link to make an appointment for an interview: https://calendly.com/hiplgbtq

If you or someone you know is interested in participating and need more information or would like to schedule via phone or email, please Contact Us.

After you make an appointment, we will be in touch to confirm the interview time, date, and location as well as answer any questions you might have.

If you know someone who may be interested in participating … please consider telling them about this study and giving them the link to the project’s website, where they can find all of this information by clicking on the "Participate" link.

If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to schedule by phone or email, please email: hiplgbtq@sc.edu or call the Principal Investigator’s (PI), Vanessa Kitzie’s office.

We also have a recruitment flyer that you can print and disseminate with the study information. Download flyer»


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