Rie's story, Ryan's journey: Music in the life of a transgender student

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article presents a narrative account of one gender-variant student and his experiences in public school and school music. In the sixth grade, Ryan began cross-dressing and announced that he was gay. While his family was supportive, the school community's response was hostile. Ryan was eventually forced out of public education, ending his participation in the school's accomplished band and choir program. As a homeschooled student, Ryan used composition as an emotional outlet and a means of introspection. Eventually songwriting became a medium through which he could share his feelings and experiences with others. Ryan's story highlights the pivotal role that music can play in the lives of transgender students seeking community and self-expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-279
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Research in Music Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013


  • Critical storytelling
  • Narrative inquiry
  • Transgender students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Music

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