Including LGBTQ Voice: A Narrative of Two Gay Music Teachers

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Department 1

Conservatory of Music


While the past few decades have shown promising societal trends for LGBTQ individuals, the workplace is still a space of discrimination for many LGBTQ music teachers. Our narrative tells the story of two gay music teachers (Kevin, nearing the end of his career; and James, in the first few years of teaching) meeting for the first time and dialoguing with one another about their lived experience, sexuality-specific challenges in the field of music education, and issues of resilience and support. This research reveals the transformative power of telling and retelling stories, specifically as James shared and re-shared details regarding past discrimination in the workplace and – with Kevin’s mentorship – reframed his old narrative into one of advice for other LGBTQ music teachers. This story of experience-sharing between James and Kevin highlights the importance of mentoring relationships as a means of support for LGBTQ.


This paper was presented as part of the 2014 Diversity Research Symposium at Ball State University. The full text of Professor Talbot's work is available from Ball State University.