Queer theory is a post-structuralist critical theory that destabilizes sexuality and gender categories and challenges the concept of normal, fixed, and binary identities. This approach to understanding identities has evolved into a verb, “queering,” to encapsulate an action or method of challenging a range of systems of oppression. Literature on the application of queer theory to the field of music therapy is developing, particularly the expansion of queer theory to identities beyond sexuality and gender in the clinical space. For example, how does queer theory apply to music therapy with clients of multiple, intersecting marginalized identities, such as those who are disabled, ethnic minorities, etc. How do we move beyond fixed categories, attend to intersectionality, and resist the pathologization of those we work with? Ultimately, queer theory offers opportunities to push us in new directions for how we understand therapists, therapy participants, the therapeutic relationship, and radically inclusive practice.
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