UBC Undergraduate Research

The UBC Change Room Project Ly, Christopher; Speidel, Emily; Minhas, Gurleen; Hum, Jordan; Ensworth, Lauren; Simpson, Rachel


The purpose of this paper is to specifically review the success and implementation of the ‘Change Room Project’ at other campuses and communities, and then to use the information gathered to develop recommendations and design a communications plan, and to collect testimonials for the launch of the UBC Change Room Project in January 2018. The research conducted focused on the Change Room Projects that have been launched at the University of Toronto, a similar past KIN 465 project, and other literature that focused on LGBTQ+ members’ experiences, opinions, and recommendations in regards to change rooms at recreational facilities. Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with members of the LGBTQ+ community to gather testimonials of their own personal experiences in change rooms at recreation facilities, both personal challenges and personal resilience, and their opinions on the role of allies. From the interviews, three general findings were identified: (1) almost all participants expressed a feeling of vulnerability due to the binary and exclusionary nature of a change room environment, and this has at times discouraged their use of recreational facilities; (2) participants discussed the need to overcome mental barriers and internalized feelings; (3) most participants believed that their allies on campus and in change rooms were supportive, but stressed the importance of knowing when to let the LGBTQ+ community to speak for themselves, and when to intervene. Based on these findings, we developed four recommendations for the launching of the UBC Change Room Project: conduct additional interviews from a more diverse sample, highlight the personal experiences of the LGBTQ+ community and the importance of allyship, use education as a tool for change, and to use intentional branding. The most significant limitation of this paper was the lack of diversity of our sample size as most interviewees were cisgendered, gay, white males. Further research needs to be conducted to accurately represent the views of the LGBTQ+ community’s diverse population. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International