TRANS + SEXUALITY TEACHING, ADVOCACY, + RESEARCH (TSTAR)
TSTAR is a consulting and research firm dedicated to increasing cultural competence in the South related to the lives of sexual and gender minorities, especially trans individuals.
TSTAR is committed to empowering people with marginalized gender and sexual identities through community outreach and affirmative research. Our work is accomplished on three fronts:
- We teach gender and sexual diversity competency to organizations and institutions through professional development and training;
- We advocate for gender and sexual minorities through academic literature and community-based organizing;
- We conduct research to promote a richer and more inclusive understanding of gender and sexuality in academia and among health professionals.
TSTAR began in 2011 under the name T*STAR Lab, established as a psychology research lab by Dr. Stephanie Budge and a team of graduate students in the Department of Counseling and Human Development at the University of Louisville.
TSTAR members, under Dr. Budge's direction, collected an impressive body of new qualitative data on the trans psycho-social landscape for adults in the Midwest and South. Thanks to the passion and dedication of Dr. Budge and her team, TSTAR also began receiving requests for consultation and guidance from organizational leaders looking to improve transgender understanding and competency in their institutions.
Over the past five years, TSTAR has grown beyond academic research to include copious amounts of advocacy work through consultation, training, and community engagement. The members of TSTAR, encouraged by Dr. Budge's spirit of community engagement and through their own lived experiences as LGBTQ people, have worked to meet the mental and medical health as well as the social support needs of the trans community in Louisville and the surrounding region. We continue this work today as an independent LLC.