Graduate Center’s Public Science Project Launches ‘What’s Your Issue?’


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Graduate Center’s Public Science Project Launches ‘What’s Your Issue?’
A National Survey of LGBTQ and Gender Non-Conforming Youth

Findings to be reported during Fall 2017

New York, Dec. 10, 2015: The Public Science Project at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, has announced the launch of a national survey of LGBTQ and Gender Non-Conforming (GNC) youth, created in partnership with LGBTQ and GNC youth, that will yield groundbreaking research of a vastly unrecognized and underserved population within the United States.
Watch the video.
The survey — “What’s Your Issue?” — was designed by and for LGBTQ youth of color to create a national landscape of the dreams, struggles, desires, and priorities of young people who craft identities at the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, class, and experiences of structural injustice. The intent is to represent the diverse population of LGBTQ and GNC youth from rural Montana to urban Chicago, from elite communities and foster homes, from radical social movements for justice to those writing poetry alone.
Specific topics included in the survey address community and political involvement, relationships, housing, education, employment, and general interests.
“For too long the story of queer youth lives has been told from the outside — from adults who think they know best,” said María Elena Torre, director and co-founder of The Public Science Project. “This study creates a space for LGBTQ and GNC to speak for themselves — to name the pressing personal and social issues as they see them and to ultimately share their vision of a just world for all youth.”
Graduate Center’s Public Science Project Launches ‘What’s Your Issue?’The project’s immediate goal is to distribute the survey to 5,000 participating LGBTQ and GNC youth nationwide, engage a participatory analysis of the data with youth, and report the findings to the public Fall 2017.
Concurrent to the survey, the Public Science Project will support local youth organizations to conduct participatory action research on emerging trends in “real time.” Participating local organizations are located in New York City; Austin, Texas; San Francisco, California; New Orleans, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; Tucson, Arizona; Providence, Rhode Island; Denver, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan; and Omaha, Nebraska.
 The Public Science Project  plans to use the data to create a “LGTBQ Youth Agenda for Change” rooted in the experiences/struggles/wisdom of LGBTQ and GNC youth, as informed by the survey and the local PAR projects, to share with funders, community groups, activists, and policymakers to effect and shape current and future legislation. As one of the largest participatory surveys of its kind, the “What’s Your Issue?” project seeks to use the data to raise the visibility of LGBTQ and GNC youth’s concerns, which have been historically on the margins and reposition them at the center of the national LGBTQ movement’s conversation.
“It’s important to hear the voices of young people of color in the LGBTQ community especially when legal rules and policies are being made that impact our lives,” said Destiny DeJesus, a participant from New Jersey.
The “What’s Your Issue?” project awards raffle prizes to winning participants and has thus far given away $7,500 in prizes to those who have completed the survey, which is offered in English and Spanish languages. Youth who are 14-24 years old are eligible to take the survey. More information is available in a fact sheet.
“What’s Your Issue?” is a Participatory Action Research project of the Public Science Project. Funding for the project was provided by the Tides Foundation.  Learn more about this project at
About The Public Science Project
The Public Science Project (PSP), based at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, is dedicated to conducting research for a just world. For nearly 20 years we have been collaborating with communities to design and implement participatory research that investigates, speaks back to, and reimagines structural injustice. We are dedicated to conducting research for a just world.
About The Graduate Center
The Graduate Center (GC) is the principal doctorate-granting institution of the City University of New York. Offering more than 30 doctoral degrees and fostering globally significant research in a wide variety of centers and institutes, the GC affords rigorous academic training in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. It is home to a core faculty of approximately 140 teachers and mentors, along with 1,700 faculty from across the CUNY colleges and New York City’s cultural, academic, and scientific institutions. Through its public programs, the Graduate Center enhances the City’s intellectual and cultural life.

Submitted on: DEC 10, 2015

Category: Press Room