James is conducting research to empower queer and trans youth of color in their experiences with mental illness and mental health services. Power differentials exist between youth and adults, which are exacerbated by homophobia, transphobia, and racism, and this impacts youths’ access to and confidence in mental health services. James’ research uses digital ethnographic methods and content analyses of social media to explore youths’ unique contextualization of their mental health and better equip mental health systems and providers with this knowledge. Ultimately, the goal of this research will be to address the increasing rates of mental illness and suicidality, especially in queer and trans youth of color, and to promote the ways in which these youth have thrived in spite of systems of care which weren’t built with them in mind.
MORE ABOUT JAMES
James is a Los Angeles native who is passionate about empowering queer and trans youth of color because of their own experiences navigating stigmatizing systems in youth. Their experiences as a mental health counselor and community organizer influence their desire to apply their research directly to communities, rather than being trapped in academia.