THE BLOG
10/02/2013 05:31 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

LGBTQ Research Receives More Hate Mail Than Donations

What more support does one need for conducting LGBTQ prejudice research when advertisements for the study attract more prejudice than donations?

Dr. Karen Blair, a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Post-Doctoral Fellow in Dr. Lisa Diamond's lab at the University of Utah, has turned to crowdfunding to raise money for a research project, and this experience has only solidified the reasons that this research is so necessary.

How about hate crimes against straight, white, middle-aged, nuclear family, men? That happens way more often than any other narrow causes of hate crime. Doncha think?

stop your propaganda and pushing your sick lifestyle in people faces, and you won't be hated.

These are just two of the many hate messages that Dr. Blair and her fiancée Ashley wake up to each morning.

"It is really disheartening but also completely solidifies the reason I'm working so hard to get this research done," Blair stated in a discussion about the hate mail she has received. A public album has been made available on Facebook to document the hate mail.

The project, examining the physiology of prejudice, was launched on microryza.com on Aug. 19, 2013. Microryza.com is a crowdfunding website designed solely for the purpose of crowdfunding scientific research. It has successfully raised over $300,000 for 40 different studies. Dr. Blair is hoping for her study to be added to that list.

Her research team seeks to understand what makes people go from seeing gay to seeing red. They believe that if they can better understand the physiological reactions of prejudiced individuals in the moment that they encounter the target of their prejudice, such as a same-sex couple holding hands, a member of a racial minority, an interracial couple, etc., then they can design more targeted and tailored interventions to reduce prejudice and the subsequent behaviors that result from prejudice, such as hate crimes.

The study needs $12,000 to move forward, and after Dr. Blair donated $4,500 of her own money, and the current online support at $2,760, there is still $4,740 left to be pledged. The funding will be used mostly for incentives for participants but also for some of the day-to-day research costs, such as analysis of cortisol samples and graduate assistance for running the study. The campaign ends Nov. 18, 2013.

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