Jake Pyne poses for picture in front of a stone wall.

August 20, 2014

Jake Pyne wants to know all about Bodies in (E)motion

A PhD candidate in Social Work and Gender Studies is quickly becoming one of the country’s most recognized names in the field of transgender research and advocacy.

Jake Pyne’s current research project is called Bodies in E(motion): Trans Youth and the Movement to Access Early Gender Transition.

The  project looks at medical developments that allow youth to suspend puberty or transition into a gender role, and investigates other factors such as how such decisions are made, the role of parents and caregivers in the process and what the human rights implications might be for youth who are not able to access these options.

Pyne's research builds on more than a decade of community-based work he has done, with a focus on improving access for transgender people to emergency services, healthcare and family law equality.

He was recently awarded a Vanier Graduate Scholarship, along with eight other recipients from McMaster.

The scholarship is recognized as one of the most prestigious of its kind in Canada, and will provide Pyne with $50,000 per year for the next three years to advance his research. Pyne also received a Trudeau Scholarship this past May.

“It’s a true honour to have this work recognized, and I’m excited about the possibilities this creates for connecting with more people and having these important conversations on a larger scale,” said Pyne. “I’m indebted to everyone I’ve worked with and learned from, both in the community and the academy – most recently my outstanding supervisor Christina Sinding.

“I’m actually not the only trans health researcher who is being recognized with the Vanier and Trudeau awards this year,” added Pyne. “To me, that’s really significant and speaks to a growing recognition of trans lives. I hope it also indicates a greater interest at the national level of addressing the intersection of social violence and social policy as a site where certain futures can become possible or impossible for 'outsider' groups in this country.”