The idea was that a study capable of producing statistics and other empirically grounded information could be used as a way to get more funding for existing services and in the creation of new services for trans people. Of course Scanlon and Travers already knew there was a pressing need for better health services, but they had to find a way to formalize and support what they already knew so that the government would have a harder time ignoring their requests.
With a community-based research model directed in significant part by a community engagement team of trans people, researchers Greta Bauer from the University of Western Ontario (my alma mater!) and Robb Travers from Sir Wilfrid Laurier University were (rigorously) interviewed and hired to help out on the project with the provision that they met a specific set of criteria, one of the most important being their ability to let trans people be experts in their own issues. Trans PULSE has used respondent-driven sampling, where access to a comprehensive online or paper survey is shared through networks of trans people who already know each other. This method allows the project team to access an appropriate sample of what they’ve called “hidden populations” who can’t be randomly sampled.