Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

BS/MCM - Counciling & Clinical Mental Health


Expressive Therapies


Dr. Rebecca Zarate MT-BC, AVPT, LCAT


This thesis explores the role of community and chosen family for queer belonging. The queer community is in a mental health crisis, with substance abuse, high suicide rates, anxiety, depression, personality disorders, and complex post-traumatic stress disorders being pervasive in the community. Current therapeutic services and medical services often enact more harm than good and that mutual aid and chosen family has been a cornerstone to support chronic illnesses. To better understand these complexities, a community arts project was held to explore how it might support these theories. This research was facilitated at a local queer owned Boston fiber shop. Groups were held for queer fiber artist in the Boston area of all ages and identities to explore a positive sense of self, safety, and belonging in the queer community. People from a range of neighborhoods came to experience togetherness and work on their current knitting, crochet, embroidery, felting projects. This research demonstrated the way joy and connection is created within in groups. As well as the importance of safe spaces for people to explore identity and creativity.

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