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Exploring Queer Identity Development Through the Song Lyrics of Queer Musicians

May 13, 2022 from 9:30 am to 11:00 am

Speaker: Gray Baldwin (they)

This presentation will focus on queer identity development as detailed in The Homosexual Lifespan Development Model by D’Augelli (1994) and the Modification to Describe Trans Identity Development by Bilodeau & Renn (2005). Each coming out process will be explored through song lyrics by queer artists. Participants will be invited to engage in the discussion of the lyrics in relation to each developmental process. Through this exchange, experientials, and lyric analysis of songs, participants will gain personal knowledge about the emotional experience of coming out and the reactions they may experience as part of this process. We will present details on these models to help participants understand the processes of coming out, and understand where their clients may be in this process whether they are working with children, adolescents, adults, or older adults.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the LGBTQIA+ population of therapists, students, and clients. 
  2. Discuss identity development processes for LGBTQ+ identified individuals and the needs of LGBTQ+ individuals related to identity development.
  3. Trace the experience of LGBTQ+ identity through song and lyric analysis.
  4. Analyze internal biases and limitations when working with the LGBTQ+ community.


Gray Baldwin (they)

Gray Baldwin, MA, MT-BC, of Main Street Music Therapy, specializes in working with LGBTQAI2S+ children, teens, adults, and older adults. They have over twenty-five years of music therapy clinical experience at behavioral health settings, medical and hospice settings, schools, and community music therapy. Their work centers in humanism, queer theory, & culturally responsive practices. They specialize in queer issues, minority stress, identity development, acute and chronic pain, trauma, and stress. In addition, they teach at several universities and colleges courses that focus on research, music therapy in medical settings, practicum, supervision, mindfulness, ethics, and culturally responsive practices.