AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

CAT | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues

Welcome to 2016! My name is Leia K. Cain, and I’m an instructor at the University of South Florida in the Educational Measurement and Research program. I’m here to wish you a bright and wonderful 2016, and wrap up our aea365’s LGBT TIG week!

Making (and keeping!) resolutions is something that I tend to struggle with. While many of us will be working out this week, gym attendance will surely be falling by February. However, I’m here to suggest a resolution that you can definitely feel good about making and keeping – be more inclusive in your evaluation work!

This week, we have given you tips on things to consider when thinking about including LGBTQ populations within your work. Considering sexual and gender diversity is just as important as considering any other types of cultural diversity. After all, you may not know if there are tensions or difficulties for LGBTQ populations within an organization or program unless you ask.

Hot Tips: Consider having more categories for gender identity, such as; cisgender* male, cisgender female, transgender male, transgender female, and gender queer**. Invite participants to “select all that apply,” and also allow participants to write in their own gender identity!

Consider also allowing participants to write in their own sexual orientation.

Don’t use options and terms like “other.” This sort of language is the opposite of inclusive; it instead pushes individuals out. It’s exclusive – which is definitely not in line with our resolution to be more inclusive!

I hope that this week has been informative for you, and that you will consider LGBTQ populations within your future work! Remember that inclusivity not only adds depth to your work… it also makes sure that everyone is a part of your bigger picture.

*Cisgender: An identity which applies to individuals who identify with the sex they were assigned at birth.

**Gender queer: An identity that marks when an individual does not fit into the gender binary – therefore, they do not identify as male or female.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating LGBT TIG Week with our colleagues in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our LGBT TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

No tags

This is Efrain Gutierrez with FSG and Grisel M. Robles-Schrader with Robles-Schrader Consulting. We want to share some suggestions to help cisgender heterosexual allies support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQ+) communities in culturally responsive evaluations. Allies who seek to address LGBTQ+ needs should consider the following:

Hot Tips:

  1. Acknowledge your privilege. Some things you have taken for granted are not always accessible to the LGBTQ+ community: broad community support, bathrooms appropriate to your gender identity, acceptance in places of worship, and protection against discrimination are just a few examples. Reflecting on how the unavailability of these supports might affect LGBTQ+ communities will help you identify blind spots and ask better questions during interviews and surveys.
  2. Get educated. Expand your knowledge of LGBTQ+ terminology and the history of the LGBTQ+ movement in the US. Don’t expect members of the community to have to educate you. Be proactive!
  3. Ensure that LGBTQ+ folks are partners in your evaluation activities. Evaluators can’t reflect the needs and experiences of the LGBTQ+ community if members of this community are not included in meaningful ways in the evaluation activities. You can’t represent people that have not been invited to collaborate as equal partners in the process.
  4. Be a good listener. When members of the LGBTQ+ community share personal experiences during interviews or focus groups, listen carefully. Don’t focus on what you want to say next, or offer alternative explanations (e.g., “They probably didn’t mean that”). Understand that some LGBTQ+ experiences are unique to their lives and you might not relate. Sometimes the role of an ally is to simply give a chance for the voiceless to be heard.
  5. Speak up but not over. After listening to LGBTQ+ communities, spread awareness by using your privileges and resources to help them reach others. The most effective way to share power is to empower LGBTQ communities to share their own stories instead of filtering them through your understanding as a cis/heterosexual person. Use direct quotes in your evaluations and always give credit to those you are learning from.
  6. Create safe spaces. Unfortunately there are still spaces unreceptive to LGBTQ+ stories. Speak up when people make homophobic comments and educate others. As an ally, you can help create opportunities for safety where resistance occurs. It can be as simple as coming out as an ally to your family, workplace, and/or house of worship, or it may require a more lengthy, involved process of opening hearts and minds. Remember that sharing cannot occur where fear exists.

Being an ally goes beyond being merely accepting of LGBTQ+ communities; it requires intentionality, learning, and action!

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating LGBT TIG Week with our colleagues in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our LGBT TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

No tags

I’m Maddy Boesen and I am a Research Associate at the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools at NYU Steinhardt.

So you’ve decided that your next evaluation will be inclusive of the issues that your lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) respondents may face. Now what? How will you know the relevant issues to ask them about? You don’t have to know everything about LGBTQ issues to successfully include LGBTQ people in your evaluation; you just have to know about what’s relevant to your evaluation.

Hot Tip: First, figure out what issues are relevant to your population. LGBTQ people of all walks of life are already organizing around the issues that matter. A quick web search including “LGBTQ” and some of the characteristics that describe your population can point you to the organizations, research, and news items that will be salient to your study.

Rad Resource: National nonprofits and activist movements can help you get a sense of what is important to a variety of subpopulations: elders, K-12 students, undocumented immigrants, and even STEM professionals. Be sure to remember your transgender population; they may face slightly different or additional challenges. Local LGBTQ community centers and activist groups can help you hone in on the factors that may affect your LGBT population the even further.

Hot Tip: Spend time figuring out which information is relevant to you. For example, AEA365 contributor Emily Greytak yesterday discussed considering respondents’ identities, behaviors, and attitudes to select appropriate, respectful ways to measure sexual orientation and gender identity in evaluation. It’s also important to know that information respondents’ sexual and gender identities will not be enough to answer some questions, like when assessing the extent of experiences of discrimination or harassment. In those situations, it can be helpful to include a measure of respondents’ outness or visibility regarding their gender or sexual orientation; greater visibility can mean greater vulnerability. Use the information you’ve gathered to think about the process you’ll need to identify.

Lesson Learned: A little specificity goes a long way when it comes building a knowledge base for LGBTQ-inclusive evaluation. I’ve even used local knowledge to resist pushback I’ve received about LGBTQ-inclusive survey questions; when I can point to evidence that these topics are relevant to the population, my LGBTQ-inclusive questions tend to stay in my evaluations. LGBTQ people exist everywhere – you just have to ask.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating LGBT TIG Week with our colleagues in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our LGBT TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

 

No tags

I’m Emily Greytak, the Director of Research at GLSEN, a national organization addressing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) issues in K-12 education. At GLSEN, we are particularly interested in the experiences of LGBTQ people, but also know that it’s important to identify LGBTQ individuals in even more general evaluation research – whether just as basic descriptive information about the sample, or to examine potential differential experiences.

Lessons Learned: When considering the best ways to identify LGBTQ people in your evaluations, here are four key questions to ask before selecting your measures:

  • What do you want to assess? The LGBTQ population includes identities based on both sexual orientation (LGBQ) and gender identity (T). Sometimes you might want to assess both; other times, one might be more salient. For example, if you want to know about gender differences in use of a resource, sexual orientation may not as necessary to assess whereas gender identity would be. Within each of these broader constructs, there are different elements. For example, do you want to know about sexual identity, same-gender sexual behavior, and/or same-gender sexual attraction – if you are examining an intervention designed to affect sexual activity, then behavior might be the most key.
  • What is your sample? Are you targeting an LGBTQ-specific population or a more general population? The specificity of your measures and variety of your response options might differ. What about age? Language comprehension and vernacular could vary greatly. For example, with youth populations, the identity label “queer” might be fairly commonplace, whereas with older generations, this might still be predominantly considered a slur and could its inclusion could put off respondents.
  • What are your measurement options? Can you include select all options for sexual identity or gender? Can you include definitions for those who need them? Can you use multiple items to identify a construct (e.g. assessing transgender status by asking current gender along with assigned sex)?
  • What can do you with it? Consider your capacity for analysis – e.g., do you have expertise and resources to assess write-in responses? Once you are able to identify LGBTQ people in your sample, what do you plan to do with it? For example, if you aren’t able to examine differences between transgender males and females, perhaps a simpler transgender status item is sufficient (as opposed a measure that allows for gender-specific responses).

Once you answer these questions, then you can move on to selecting your specific measures. Use the Rad Resources for guidance and best practices.

Rad Resources:

Best Practices for Asking About Sexual Orientation

Best Practices for Asking Questions to Identify Transgender and Other Gender Minority Respondents

Making Your Evaluation Inclusive: A Practical Guide for Evaluation Research with LGBTQ People

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating LGBT TIG Week with our colleagues in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our LGBT TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

My name is Kari Greene, co-Chair of the LGBT Issues TIG, currently living in Sydney, Australia with a renewed sense of curiosity and excitement. Through my participation in the LGBT Issues TIG, I have had the great fortune to be involved with the Cultural Competence Statement Dissemination Workgroup. This group offers deep thinking, wise counsel and thought-provoking activities, benefiting the AEA membership as a whole in many explicit and hidden ways. And our TIG felt valued when we were sought out by the workgroup to ensure an LGBTQ perspective was included in the work.

As a queer-identified evaluator, I’ve struggled with what “diversity” and “cultural competency” really mean in my life and my work. How do we make these concepts meaningful for all of us, particularly in those spaces where we have privilege? And how do we use these concepts to shore ourselves up so we can speak (even if it’s with a wobbly voice) and use our experiences to engage actively in solutions?

Early in my work as *cough* “A Real Evaluator” (ahem), I was exposed to the importance of reflective practice, which has become a critical component for improving my evaluation practice and my way of moving through the world. I use reflective practice on formal and informal levels, exploring issues of identity, beliefs, and culture alongside “the data” I collect and generate throughout an evaluation. I have experienced and witnessed reflective practice facilitate critical learning for individuals, evaluation teams, and organizations as a whole. And as we respond to Michael Quinn Patton’s plea to position ourselves as “members of an international evaluation community,” reflective practice offers a framework for understanding our selves within that larger global community.

This isn’t easy work, but my-oh-my is it worth it. Within the LGBTQ communities there are so many perspectives, beliefs, and identities that we struggle to find a shared language…we can’t even find a shared acronym!! But the tools and concepts of reflective practice can allow us to share our culture across our diverse communities and with the international evaluation community as a whole.

Rad Resources:

Donald Schön (1983) The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action.

Fiona Gardner (2014) Being Critically Reflective: Engaging in Holistic Practice.

Marilyn Daudelin (1996) “Learning from experience through reflection” in Organizational Dynamics.

Preskill and Torres (1999) Evaluative Inquiry for Learning in Organizations.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating LGBT TIG Week with our colleagues in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our LGBT TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

Welcome to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Evaluation Topical Interest Group (LGBT TIG) week on aea365! My name is Leia K. Cain, and I’m an instructor at the University of South Florida in the Educational Measurement and Research program. This week, I’m acting as the coordinator for the LGBT TIG’s blog posts.

One area of measurement in evaluation work that I feel really strongly about is the use of binaries. When you think about sexualities, do you only think of gay or straight? Homosexual or heterosexual? What if I told you that there were so many more categories in the in-between areas?

Lesson Learned: After reading Judith Butler’s work, I started working through the binaries under which my own thinking is structured. I still catch myself falling into binary thought categories sometimes, but I constantly work to “queer” my understanding of whatever the topic is at hand – I break apart my understanding and try to examine it.

In my particular line of work, I have examined the affect that outness has on the experiences and perceptions of LGBTQ individuals. However, I didn’t just ask participants if they were out or not – instead, I asked them to rate their outness on a scale from 1-6, where 1 meant “not at all out” and 6 meant “completely out.” This is similar to the Kinsey Scale; a scale created by Dr. Alfred Kinsey, who measured sexuality on a seven-point scale with categories ranging from 0-6.

I encourage thinking about how binaries could be stifling your evaluation and research work as well. After all, the world isn’t black or white, 0 or 1, or right and wrong. If you aren’t measuring the identities that fill the spaces in between, are you really reaching your entire audience?

Rad Resource: For more information on the Kinsey Scale, check out the Kinsey Institute’s webpage.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating LGBT TIG Week with our colleagues in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our LGBT TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

My name is Leah Christina Neubauer. I am the President of the Chicagoland Evaluation Association and the Program Manager and an Instructor in the MPH Program at DePaul University.

Today, I am writing to extend three updates from the Practice committee of the AEA Public Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation Dissemination Working Group. We are working on projects to disseminate the statement and integrate the contents into evaluation practice. The following updates are shared in the form of RAD RESOURCES. Enjoy!

Rad Resources:

  1. HIV/AIDS Focused with National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC): Task Force Members Cindy Crusto and Leah Neubauer are collaborating with Robin Kelly and NMAC in the development of culturally-responsive data plans for the local and statewide HIV/AIDS response.  NMAC is focused on building leadership and healthier communities to address HIV/AIDS across the US.  For more information, check out this link: http://nmac.org/resources/
  2. LGBT Health with George Washington University: Task Force Members Crusto and Neubauer are collaborating with Stephen Forsell to further develop culture and LGBTQI issues in evaluation. Forsell is currently leading a LGBT Health Certification program at GWU. For more information about this program, check out this link: http://programs.columbian.gwu.edu/lgbt/
  3. Future Scholarship Talk with the AEA GEDI Scholars: Task Force Members Katrina Bledsoe and Neubauer joined Stewart Donaldson and the Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) Scholars at the Inaugural Conference on Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) in Chicago, Illinois.  The discussion was quite lively and the time at the inaugural conference was well-spent.  For more information on GEDI or CREA, check out the hyperlinks.Clipped from http://education.illinois.edu/crea/conference 

This week, we’re diving into issues of Cultural Competence in Evaluation with AEA’s Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation Dissemination Working Group. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

 

· · ·

I’m Robert Hoke, independent evaluation consultant, and co-chair for the LGBT Issues TIG.  Today, I want to share some reflections from this AEA365 week.

Although it is becoming easier, it remains challenging to be different regarding sexual identity and gender issues.  The “It Gets Better” campaign grew out of the bullying of youth, and primarily the bullying of GLTQ youth who continue to struggle.  Suicide rates remain over 3 times that of heterosexual youth and individuals who come out as gay, lesbian or transgender continue to lose family and friends.

Hot Tips: Our intention was to take LGBT beyond the checkmarks of “what is your sex” and even past “what is your gender” questions.  We hoped to expand the interests of LGBT evaluation beyond those who identify as LGBTQQI and reveal:

  • As Joe Heimlich suggested, the complexity and integrity of the person who identifies as different from the heteronormative gender labels.
  • The wonderful link and information Terry Brown included on straight privilege on how pervasively our society remains heteronormed.
  • Inclusive evaluation around gender begins with incorporating opportunities to feel included in the evaluation, as shared by Kari Greene and Emily Greytak.
  • Efrain Gutierrez’ advice that culturally competent evaluations require understanding how gender identity is woven through all life components of an individual.
  • That true cultural competence means moving beyond one’s comfort zone and challenging the system.  David Fetterman shared just a hint of what he and his students discovered when they asked a different question from the norm.

With the increased acceptance of gays and lesbians, and emergence of a growing transgender awareness movement, the evaluation field is at a decision point—does the field as a whole push society and become truly inclusive in our work, or do we wait for society to change and follow?  I believe the cultural competency statement gives a clear indication that honoring all respondents is part of our profession.

The LGBT TIG issues a challenge for all evaluators this year:  consider how you could increase and apply cultural competence inclusive of LGBTQQI populations.  Please share your story at AEA 2013 by allowing the LGBT TIG to sponsor or co-sponsor your presentation.

Rad Resources:  The LGBT TIG leadership is available as sounding board to help increase the sensitivity of your evaluation tools to LGBT cultures or suggest others who are knowledgeable about how LGBT issues may be different in your topic area.

Check out these AEA resources:

*AEA members-only content

aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators. We’re celebrating LGBT Evaluation week with our colleagues in AEA’s LGBT Topical Interest Group. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. 

·

My name is David Fetterman.  I’m President & CEO of Fetterman & Associates, an international evaluation consulting firm (with 25 years experience at Stanford University) and past-president of the American Evaluation Association (AEA).  I am probably best known for empowerment evaluation work (helping people learn how to evaluate their own programs).  For examples see our blog and an article about empowerment evaluation in the School of Medicine at Stanford University in Academic Medicine, and the book Empowerment Evaluation in the Digital Villages:  Hewlett-Packard’s $15 Million Race Toward Social Justice, Stanford University Press

LGBT-Related Survey

One of my recent evaluations, conducted with my  Stanford School of Medicine students, focused on LGBT curricular training in medical schools throughout the U.S. and Canada.  The results – a median reported time of 5 hours of LGBT-related content in the entire curriculum – were published in this article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). It received considerable attention in the press, in part because it is as much a human rights issue as a medical education issue. I’ll share a few tips and tricks that emerged from conducting and publishing this study.

Hot Tip:  We used an online survey program to ask Deans of Schools of Medicine to evaluate their institutions’ level of coverage of 16 LGBT related topics.  Online survey tools, such as SurveyMonkey, save time and money and sort data almost instantaneously.  Surveying Deans automatically enhances the credibility of findings (especially if findings suggest minimal coverage of the material, as in our case).

Reporting survey findings was as much a social responsibility as a scholarly one.  See Anne Dohrenwend’s challenge to speak out about gay rights in Academic Medicine.

Cool Trick: Videoconferencing programs, including Skype, ooVoo, and Google Hangouts are invaluable tools to facilitate communication with team members at remote sites.  Most team members were located across the country, completing residency requirements.  Videoconferencing allowed us to function remotely and inexpensively.

Rad Resource: The Association of American Medical Colleges maintains a curriculum management and Information (CurrMIT) database that helps you determine the coverage of specific topics in medical schools. This database was particularly useful as a form of triangulation when our reporting format – “reported hours of instruction” – was questioned in a draft of our article.

Recommended LGBT cultural competence resources:

Fenway Health

Institute of Medicine of the National Academies

Lesson Learned:  Be prepared for significant opposition to unpopular or controversial findings.  Be prepared to speak with the press.  Highlight key findings and recommendations simply and concisely and be prepared to see how journalists use the information (see example of highlighted findings in New York Times.)  Appreciate your team and enjoy the media blitz for as long as it lasts.

aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators. We’re celebrating LGBT Evaluation week with our colleagues in AEA’s LGBT Topical Interest Group. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. 

· · · ·

I am Efrain Gutierrez and I work for FSG, a nonprofit consulting firm that helps foundations, nonprofits and corporations increase their social impact. Last year a friend started collaborating as an evaluator for a program that works with LGBTQ youth. Before starting his evaluation he wanted to talk about cultural competency when working with the LGBTQ community. As I prepared for the meeting, I reflected on the lessons that I think would be most useful for evaluators working with this community:                    

Lessons Learned: 1. A person’s sexuality is not the only thing affecting their life. The LGBTQ community replicates the patterns of sexism, racism, and classism prevalent in our society. Problems affecting women and other underrepresented groups are also affecting members of the community. Being queer creates a “multiplier effect,” making it even more challenging for queers to overcome social barriers, stay healthy, get an education, make a decent wage, etc. A clear example of this “multiplier effect” is in the study All Children Matter: How Legal and Social Inequalities Hurt LGBT Families . The document shows how children across races are more likely to live in poverty if they live with a same sex couple compared to those living in different sex couples (see graph from the report below).  As evaluators it is important to account for this “multiplier effect” and be open and prepared to discuss race, sexism, class, and other social issues when engaging with LGBTQ folks.

gut

2. Account for a diversity of voices in your evaluation; tapping only into the most visible LGBTQ members might not give you the diversity needed. Since the LGBTQ movement often reproduces patterns of racial and gender separation prevalent in our society, most intellectual and political circles in the community remain predominantly cis-gender, male, and white. As you determine who to include in your evaluation look for a representative set of members of the LGBTQ community to provide a full picture of the issues affecting the recipients of the programs you are evaluating.

3.  Don’t take for granted that you understand the political context for LGBTQ rights just by reading the headlines. Marriage equality is important, but there is a wide range of challenges affecting the community popular narrative is not focusing on: discrimination against transsexuals, violence against queers living in rural areas, and inadequate access to resources for queers with special needs, to name just a few of the issues evaluators should consider as they work with the LGBTQ community.

Rad Resources:

A Fragile Union  – article on gay politics

Allan Bérubé’s work

aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators. We’re celebrating LGBT Evaluation week with our colleagues in AEA’s LGBT Topical Interest Group. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. 

· ·

Older posts >>

Archives

To top