Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies


Expressive Therapies


Dr. Angelle Cook


Creating a healthy sexual minority identity remains a challenge in the 21st century, despite significant advances in social acceptance and civil rights. Sexual minorities are more likely than cis gender heterosexuals to be exposed to traumatic events, and experience shame and mental and physical health symptoms as a result. Despite this, sexual minorities do overcome obstacles to develop resilience. While the coming out process looks different depending on the background of the individual, many gay men find connection and build community through this often difficult process where even rejection may play a part. The author found connection and community through social nudist experiences, beginning with his first visit to a nude beach. While social nudity is by no means mainstream, it has a persistent presence in modern history and research suggests positive effects on self-esteem and body image as well as an ideological return to nature and rejection of industrialization. Nudity has appeared in some form or another on theatrical stages for centuries, but it wasn’t until Hair that it became a staple of Western theatre. In this arts-based community engagement drama therapy research project, the author examines the possible relationship between the coming out process, letting go of shame, self-acceptance, and social nudity. The researcher gathered 10 participants to engage in a workshop which focused heavily on the discussion of role as well as partner interviewing techniques to explore these questions. An ethnodrama response, inspired by the experience of facilitating and witnessing the workshop, was created.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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