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InsideOut: Facilitating Gay Youth Identity Development Through a Performance-Based Youth Organization
Abstract and Figures
This article addresses issues of identity development for youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ), using the concept of a "viable social identity" (Côté & Levine, 2002) as the model for a positive developmental trajectory. LGBTQ youth face more extreme developmental challenges than most mainstream youth, such as learning to manage a stigmatized identity (Hetrick & Martin, 1987) in a potentially hostile environment, making participation in identity-work activities particularly important. Through a case study with About Face Youth Theatre, a performance arts organization in Chicago, this study explores the relation between narrative and identity, and the way in which the public performance of personal narratives both allows youth to explore possible selves (Markus & Nurius, 1986) and to see their painful, personal stories independent of themselves, allowing them to move beyond these events toward a positive future.
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