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CCH Research Seminar


Health Communication Research Seminar

A platform for cutting-edge work in health communication, forging  new collaborations, and building community.

Thursday, June 3, 2021 (CST)

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Virtual Presentations via Zoom

Understanding Opposition to Transgender Rights:
The Health Misinformation Perspective


Transgender rights have become the flashpoint du jour of the American culture wars, with the conservative movement, in particular, giving opposition to trans rights high priority. One key weapon in the arsenal of those who oppose trans rights has been health misinformation, which they have successfully employed to advance their political ends. Beyond negatively impacting trans people’s mental health and increasing barriers to accessing necessary medical care, the conservative campaign of misinformation has supported a wave of anti-transgender federal policy, state legislation, and mass media discourse (much of which has targeted trans youth specifically). As such, transgender health misinformation is—beyond a health equity issue—a social, cultural, and political problem. Drawing on a misinformation perspective to analyze current trends in trans-related policy and media discourse, this presentation explores the path forward for actualizing the health and human rights of transgender populations in the United States.


TJ Billard is an assistant professor in the School of Communication at Northwestern University, where they are affiliated with the Center for Communication & Public Policy and the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing. Outside of Northwestern, they are the founding executive director of the Center for Applied Transgender Studies in Chicago, the leading academic organization dedicated to scholarship on the social, cultural, and political conditions of transgender life. Dr. Billard’s research spans political communication, the sociology of social movements, and transgender studies, with a primary focus on the relationship between media and the US transgender rights movement.

TJ Billard, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor,
Department of Communication Studies
Northwestern University

Executive Director,
Center for Applied Transgender Studies

Interested in presenting your research?

The Center is always looking to host a platform for your work. If you would like to give a talk or recommend a speaker, please contact Rosa Ortiz (