Our History

The Two-Spirit Dry Lab (2SDL) was formed in response to a commitment on the part of the Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC)—a community-based non-profit organization that promotes the health of Two-Spirit, gay, bi, trans, queer and non-binary people through research and intervention development—to address the 2015 Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

In 2017, 2SDL co-founders Harlan Pruden and Travis Salway began working with data collected from 365 Indigenous Two-Spirit, gay, bisexual, and queer respondents to the 2015 Sex Now survey. Supported by BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) staff, they began to look at the Sex Now data in new ways. In a radical departure from the conventional epidemiological approach of cross-group comparisons, they started by focusing only on Indigenous respondents to the survey. This opened up new questions and ways of seeing the data, leading them to describe Indigenous and Two-Spirit specific drivers of sexual health knowledge.

Inspired by what was learned in the analyses of the 2015 Sex Now survey, they worked with the Sex Now team to add Indigenous specific questions to the 2018 survey. They then traveled with the Sex Now team to Pride festivals across Canada, to ensure Indigenous people were welcomed into the survey. As a result, the proportion of Sex Now respondents who identified as Indigenous increased from 4.6% in 2015 to 9.0% in 2018. In 2020, they received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to expand our way of working, bringing on board more team members and starting collaborations with Two-Spirit community partners.