Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Donna Owens


This paper presents a new approach that centers on supporting and bringing forth the embodied narratives of LGBTQ+ adults through designing and wearing temporary tattoos. The researcher synthesizes literature in regards to notable historical symbols of queer visibility, tattooing as a social work adjacent practice, and previous interventions that have been conducted with the LGBTQ+ community. The researcher also provides a focus on how temporary tattoos have been utilized in past expressive art therapy methods. The majority of preexisting research within the intersections of queerness, tattoos, and art therapy techniques are often rooted in themes related to self-perception, community connection, and the body as a living document. With this considered, this work investigates how creating and physically exhibiting personalized temporary tattoos could potentially assist with reclaiming and affirming queerness in LGBTQ+ adults. The researcher was also concerned with how temporary tattoos could contribute to collective memory, serve as a temporary memorial, and assert queer incarnation. In part of the completion of a community-based project, several individual sessions and one group session were conducted with greater Boston area based LGBTQ+ identifying adult participants. The results displayed here indicate that through the process of customizing and wearing temporary tattoos, queer individuals can experience feeling valid in their identity and a sense of connection with others that share and witness their identity.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.




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