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Date and Time: February 8, 2022 | 12-1:30pm

Program Description: 

Our identity is made up of many identities, developed both through experiences and reflections on those experiences. People with traditionally marginalized identities tend to experience challenges in identity development due to stigma and exclusion from developmental experiences. For example, young people with marginalized identities report engaging in fewer developmentally necessary activities, such as dating or clubs. Young people with intersecting identities feel more supported when adults structure activities that help them explore their emerging identities at home, school, and in the community. Focusing on youth living at the intersection of LGBTQIA+ and disability, this presentation will share information about how identity develops, what can help build or stall identity development for youth who identify as LGBTQ and disabled, and how adults can be supportive of identity development across settings.


Julie Austen, PhD, has over a decade of clinical experience serving LGBTQIA+ youth in community health and private practice settings. She holds a doctorate in Health Psychology with a specialization in Pediatric School Psychology from East Carolina University and has earned national recognition for her work in developing integrated care programming, clinical training opportunities, and clinical policy for rural, traditionally marginalized, or stigmatized populations (e.g., PLWHIV/AIDS, gender diverse peoples, youth, incarcerated peoples, homeless and transient peoples, among others). She is a licensed psychologist. Most importantly, Julie has lived experienced as a queer person with a disability.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe at least 3 milestones of identity development in young LGBTQ people with disabilities.
  2. Define the concept of intersectionality, as it pertains to identity development.
  3. Practice 2 effective and empowering approaches to supporting identity development in young LGBTQ people with disabilities.


Craig, L. S., & McInroy, L., (2014). You can form a part of yourself online: The influence of new media on identity development and coming out for LGBTQ youth. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health, 18(1), 95–109.

Martin, C. L., & Ruble, D. N. (2010). Patterns of gender development. Annual Review of Psychology, 61, 353–381.

Smith, E., Zirnsak, T.-M., Power, J., Lyons, A., & Bigby, C. (2021). Social inclusion of LGBTQ and gender diverse adults with intellectual disability in disability services: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 1–14.