What is it?

Our Voice is a groundbreaking participatory action research project based in Lothian that will work directly with gay and bisexual men, and men who have sex with men (MSM). This includes cis and trans men.

Participatory action means that the project will involve men from the local community, training them as peer researchers to gather the ideas, experiences and attitudes of other men on key issues that disproportionately affect all men who have sex with men.

The research will help to ensure that services delivered to gay and bisexual men, and MSM, in Lothian are informed and developed based on the views and experiences men locally.

Who can be a peer researcher? 

We want to hear from any gay and bisexual men, and MSM in Lothian who can help us. We’re looking for men who are: 

  • comfortable talking to 3-4 of their friends and peers about the issues that affect their health and wellbeing
  • able to commit to two days of training to be informed about the research and issues affecting gay and bisexual men, and a follow up session after you have spoken with your friends and peers
  • comfortable passing on details of the conversations they have to our research team - you do not need to identify who you have spoken to, only what they have said

How is it done?

This research is first of its kind in Scotland working with gay and bisexual men, and MSM, and aims to empower you to have conversations with your peers around the issues they face and what matters most to them in respect of their health and wellbeing. 

For this to happen we will need your help to decide what the content of the conversations should be through development of some questions which you can then ask your peers.

Once you have met with your peers you will be asked to meet with one of the research team to tell us about the responses you got. Once this has been done we will collate all the responses and invite you back to discuss what men told us and how this may impact work and services provided to gay and bisexual men in Lothian.

How much time will I need to give?

To participate in this project, we would appreciate it if you could commit two Sundays to be trained and help inform the content of the research. We will do this at our office @ 3 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, on 1 and 8 October 2017.  After that we will ask you to arrange to meet your peers at your convenience to have conversation around the agreed topics of discussion.

Once you have met with your peers, you will be invited back to be interviewed by one of the research team who will ask you about the conversations you had. This should take no longer that a couple of hours. 

When all the work has been collated, SX will invite you back to hear the results and get you views through a focus group discussion.

Why are SX doing this?

SX is a Lothian-based health and wellbeing service for all men who have sex with men. We aim to improve the sexual, physical and mental health and wellbeing of all men who have sex with men.

Gay and bisexual men in Lothian continue to be affected by many issues including poor sexual health, poor mental health, a lack of confidence in sex we have, drug and alcohol misuse and much more. As part of our community, SX wants to ensure that the voices of men are heard and able to influence the work we do.


If you are able to help, or have a question about how Our Voice will work, simply email info@s-x.scot to let us know and we will get back in touch with you with further details.