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STUDENT PROFILE: REMOVING BARRIERS
Vincent Mousseau is a social worker, educator, community organizer, and incoming PhD student in the Faculty of Health. This year they co-founded Lambda Health: Canada’s only 2SLGBTQ+ focused health co-operative that is helping to fill a widening service gap in Nova Scotia.
“We grew a team very quickly, and we have now become super visible on this front. All of our staff are 2SLGBTQ+ themselves, which removes a barrier for many folks looking to access services.
The feedback we have been getting has been absolutely amazing. Community partners have been reaching out to us, and our mission has really resonated – that’s been great to see.”
One of the main reasons Vincent entered social work is the profession’s ability to positively influence the health and wellbeing of queer people.
“I think social work provides a very useful analytical framework that allows us to understand the ways that 2SLGBTQ+ folks navigate the world, and how that navigation impacts our health.”
A Franco-Ontarian, born in Toronto, Vincent moved to the Gatineau-Ottawa region at 15. They finished their undergrad at McGill, and they are currently completing their MSc in Social Work from the University of Montreal.
“My [Master's] research aims to understand the ways that LGBTQ+ identities intersect with Blackness and intersect with folks’ physical location in Quebec, and how those things impact the creation of a cohesive sense of sense.”
Even though Vincent’s current research specifically focuses on Quebec, they have been active in advancing issues important to 2SLGBTQ+ communities in Nova Scotia – recently taking part in a highly anticipated panel on Gender Affirming Care.
“Nova Scotia has lots of rainbow crosswalks. We have the highest Trans population in the country per capita. Businesses will put up their Pride flags in June and July but when it comes down to creating meaningful services for our populations, there is still lots lacking.”
Vincent’s PhD research at Dalhousie will expand upon the research they are currently undertaking and will see the development of pilot programming across Canada that aims to improve health outcomes among Black gbtq+MSM (Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer + Men Who Have Sex with Men) by identifying barriers to health and social services.
“I chose to come to Dal specifically because of the focus on Black studies that I didn’t feel was prevalent in other universities, especially to have the chance to work with scholars like Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard, Dr. Barb Hamilton-Hinch and Dr. OmiSoore Dryden is something I’m really looking forward to.”
Vincent previously worked with Dr. OmiSoore Dryden (JRJ Chair, Black Canadian Studies) during their time at McGill, where they served as a Research Assistant on the #GotBlood2Give Project, a two-year research project that sought to identify the barriers African/Black gay, bisexual, and trans men encounter to donating blood in Canada, led by Dr. Dryden, who Vincent counts as a mentor.
“Dr. Dryden’s research is unapologetically Black and queer and really has created the space for me to conceptualize myself and my research in that way. Her contributions have been really insightful in helping me understand how I will begin to interact with institutions as a Black PhD.”
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