Brain Health Video Interviews

Finding Harmony: Jay Long on Music, Queer Identity, & Mental Stability

“The topics of mental health, the topics of religion and upbringing, being in the church, coming out as gay, being a queer human…all of that has influenced how and why I create music.” Queer Artist, Musician, and Teacher, Jay Long shares how music has always been an integral part of his life and his mental health journey.

Growing up in the church, Jay struggled with his queer identity. He faced many mental health struggles throughout his life, including living with ADHD, being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, experiencing anxiety and depression, and also becoming a survivor of attempted suicide. Since becoming an attempted suicide survivor, and taking control over his mental health, Jay’s life has improved tenfold. Not only did his relationships with his family and friends improve but Jay has also since learned numerous tools, tricks, and tips for how to manage and cope with mental health challenges in order to maintain mental stability. On top of that, Jay has been able to channel all that he’s learned into his music, which, as an elementary school music teacher, has afforded him the opportunity to inspire young people to pursue music as a tool for healing and processing emotions too.

Watch the full interview with LGBTQ+ Musician, Music Teacher, and Mental Health Advocate, Jay Long as he joins “You. Me. Honestly.” Host and fellow Queer Musician and Mental Health Advocate, X. ARI, for a conversation about the healing power of music, the joys and challenges of being queer while also being raised in a religious upbringing, and the power of talking about our mental health and sharing our stories with others.