issues and experts

SFU Expert: 2S/LGBTQ health research leads to Trailblazer Award

June 28, 2023

Simon Fraser University health sciences assistant professor Travis Salway’s research on issues impacting 2SLGBTQ+ communities has not only raised awareness but has also led to positive change. The newly-named recipient of  an Early-Career Researcher Trailblazer Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Population and Public Health (IPPH), Salway can speak to ongoing topics such as the harmful practice of conversion therapy, the impacts of U.S. states banning transgender health care for youth and in Canada, the New Brunswick policy changes regarding youth gender identity.

The award recognizes his exceptional contributions to the field of population and public health research focused on 2S/LGBTQ identities. As a social epidemiologist, he works in affiliation with the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and the Centre for Gender & Sexual Health Equity (CGSHE). 

Accepting the award on behalf of his research team and collaborators, Salway says, “Our research team works to understand the settings in which 2SLGBTQ identities are made visible, where those identities are affirmed, and even celebrated, and in turn we try to understand how affirmation of those identities affects the health of the 2SLGBTQ population.”

Salway also directs the REAFFIRM Collaborative, an interdisciplinary team committed to researching 2S/LGBTQ+ health and supports the Two-Spirit Dry Lab (2SDL), Turtle Island’s first research group exclusively dedicated to understanding the health of Two-Spirit Indigenous people. He is the founder of MindMapBC, a 2S/LGBTQ-affirming mental health service finder.

His expertise has had real-world impacts and contributed to positively improving the lives of the 2SLGBTQ population in Canada. In 2019-2020 he testified for two standing committees of the Canadian House of Commons to inform federal policy to promote 2S/LGBTQ health equity. This led to the passing of Bill C-4, making it a crime to perpetrate anti-2S/LGBTQ practices such as conversion therapy in Canada. 


TRAVIS SALWAY, assistant professor, MSHRBC Scholar, health sciences


MELISSA SHAW, SFU  Communications & Marketing 
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