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Participant information: essentials

Our research: Being and becoming a femboy

Hello! We are inviting you to participate in a research project.

Before you decide if you want to take part, we want to make sure we have explained clearly what the project involves and why it is being conducted.

Please take time to read this guide carefully. If anything is unclear or you want more details, our contact details are at the end. We can send you a full information sheet and answer any questions you have.

What is the purpose of the study?

We are becoming more aware of the different ways people experience and express their gender, but there is still a lot of ignorance and confusion about this diversity. In particular, there is little understanding of the experiences of people who do not fit in the traditional labels of “man” and “woman”.

In this project, we want to help improve public awareness of what it means to be a femboy. We are inviting participants to share stories and images that help them describe their lived experience in their own terms, and to tell their own unique story.

If you take part, we will use what you tell us to help other researchers and the general public better understand and accept how different gender-diverse people live their lives.

Some things that we intend to talk about are:

  • how your lived experience fits with the common ideas of ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity’
  • how you express your gender identity in your appearance and your behaviour
  • how you feel about the way people like you are represented in the media

The project follows a participatory design, which means that we trust our participants to be the experts about your own life. It will be up to you yo take the lead in deciding the topics and issues that should be addressed.

Why have I been invited to participate?

You can take part in this project if you:

  • identify as a femboy
  • are over 18 years old
  • are normally resident in the UK
  • can communicate fluently in English

In this project we are looking for the participation of approximately five to eight people. We will recruit the first 8 people who meet all of the recruitment criteria in the order which they apply.

What will be involved if I participate?

The project involves:

  • a briefing meeting to answer any questions that you have, introduce you to Photovoice and organise the next stages (about 30 minutes)
  • a Photovoice project, in which you will have 2–3 weeks to create images and captions to help you explain what being a femboy means to you
  • a review session to share the images and captions you have created with us and explore the stories behind them (about 45–60 minutes)
  • an optional follow-up interview to explore your thoughts in more depth (about 60 minutes, or longer if there's a lot you want to say)

To keep everyone safe, all sessions are planned to be online over Zoom. If this does not meet your accessibility needs, we can discuss other options; our aim is to make participation accessible to everyone.

The discussion session and interview will be recorded, and the conversation then typed up by a confidential professional service.

We appreciate the time it takes to take part, and you will be compensated £30 for your participation.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

If you take part, you may be involved in conversations about topics that are potentially difficult or distressing, such as negative stereotypes, or personal experiences that can be uncomfortable, such as rejection from one’s family.

Throughout the project, you will not have to talk about anything that you do not want to discuss. We will never ask for your reasons if you refuse to answer any question, and you can stop your participation at any time if you feel uncomfortable.

To minimise the risk to everyone, we will be asking participants to warn others before they introduce a potentially distressing topic or image. You can let us know in advance of any topics that you would like warnings about.

We will also ensure that everyone is aware that the discussion session is a safe space, and set explicit ground rules to make participation comfortable for everyone and protect your confidentiality.

For the follow-up interview, we will give you access in advance to the complete list of our questions, and you can ask us to skip any that you do not wish to answer.

If participating brings up difficult emotions or memories, you can contact the following confidential helplines:

Gendered Intelligence Support Line
0330 3559 678 // 07592 650 496 //
Switchboard LGBT+ helpline
0300 330 0630
LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline
0300 999 5428 //

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

The study is not intended to benefit you directly as a participant, although some people find it validating and empowering to talk openly about their experience and identity to a supportive audience. If that is your case, the design of the study is meant to centre on your perspective throughout and let you choose the issues that you think are most important to address.

The main benefit expected from this study is to improve public understanding of the experiences of gender-diverse people, their challenges and their needs. That can help gender-diverse people more generally by raising visibility and reducing stereotyping.

It is entirely up to you whether you want to take part in the research study. You do not need to give any reasons if you decide not to participate.

If you decide to take part, we will ask you for your consent in writing, and give you a privacy notice with the details of how the information you give us will be collected and used.

Even once you have consented to take part, you can choose not to answer questions at any time or even to withdraw from the study, without giving us a reason.

Will what I say in this study be kept confidential?

Anything that you tell us or show us as part of the research project will be kept strictly confidential, unless you give us explicit permission or the law requires that we disclose it (for example, if something you say gives us reason to think that you or someone else is at serious risk of harm).

If you decide to take part, we will ask you to choose a pseudonym that we’ll use instead of your name throughout our meetings and in our records and any publications about the project.

We will also change or withhold details (like names of places or events) to make it more difficult for other people to identify you from interview quotes in any talks, reports or published work, although people who know you personally may still be able to do so.

You can ask us to use your real name instead if you are happy for it to be disclosed, but we may still decide to use a pseudonym for you if it is needed to protect someone else’s privacy.

We will ask for your permission to use the images and captions you created as part of the research project in any of our talks, reports or published work. If you or any other people appearing in the image could be recognised, we will not use it unless everybody in the picture has agreed in writing. If there are images that are very important to your story but you don’t want us to reproduce them publicly, we may ask permission to recreate an anonymised version so we can use it in publications.

To protect your confidentiality, all records and notes produced as part of the research will be kept securely in encrypted, password-protected files hosted in Google Drive. Once the project is complete, the data will be stored securely in the university repository for a minimum of ten years to comply with the University's policy on Academic Integrity.

The data that we collect will be accessible only to the researchers unless you choose to agree to make it available to other researchers who are not involved in this study and want to study the same topic. If you agree, they would be able to use the data under the same confidentiality and security rules used in this study, but only after this project finishes

If we use a transcription service to write down the recorded conversations, they will be bound by the same rules about confidentiality and data security as us, and they will not keep any data after the transcription is complete.

How will the data be used?

We intend to report the results of the project in academic conferences and publications. In these writings we will usually explain the things that participants said in our own words, but often also include literal quotes or images and captions from the data when it helps us get the point across. When we do that, we will follow the confidentiality rules we explained in the previous section.

We also intend to use these results to create an exhibition for a non-academic audience. The exhibition would use quotes and images from your Photovoice creations as part of a visual reconstruction of the stories you tell us. If you give us consent, we will let you know when the exhibition is occurring and invite you to attend. You would not be identified as a participant unless you want to.

If you want copies of any publications we write using the results of the study, you can get in touch with Alon and we will make them available to you.

Who is organising and funding the project?

This project is being conducted by Dr Dalila Missero (she/her), Dr Carmel Capewell (she/her) and Dr Alon Lischinsky (they/them).

Some of us work at Oxford Brookes University, Carmel in the School of Education and Alon in the School of History, Philosophy & Culture. Dalila is based at the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts of Lancaster University.

The project is being funded by the Diversity and Inclusion Research, Innovation and Knowledge Exchange Network at Oxford Brookes.

Who has reviewed the study?

The project has been approved by the University Research Ethics Committee, Oxford Brookes University (registration 221602).

How can I get more information?

The full Participant Information Sheet can be obtained from the research team. You can get in touch with Alon by email at or by phone at +44 1865 488739.

If you have any concerns about the way the study is being conducted, you can get directly in touch with the Chair of the University Research Ethics Committee at

What should I do if I want to take part?

If you want to take part in the study, please get in touch with Alon by email at or by phone at +44 1865 488739.

Thank you for your time and attention!