Repository logo

"For the love of all that is queer and holy": exploring the experiences and identity tensions of LGBTQ individuals within Christianity




Young, Jade M., author
Williams, Elizabeth A., advisor
Parks, Elizabeth, committee member
Ogle, Jennifer, committee member

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Historical tensions exist between Christian and LGBTQ communities and LGBTQ people are marginalized within Christianity. The purpose for studying the experiences of LGBTQ people within Christianity is to explicate how this religion both benefits LGBTQ people's wellbeing and causes them harm, and to offer solutions for increasing their inclusion at personal and congregational levels. Christianity is a dominant U.S. religion and many of its practices are founded by cisgender, heterosexual White men, and the LGBTQ community is socially marginalized. This study uses Dominant Group Theory and Social Identity Theory with emergent themes to investigate how Christians as a dominant group reinforce, impede, or dismantle LGBTQ discrimination and reveals that LGBTQ Christians embody two historically conflicting populations. Fourteen in-depth interviews were conducted with participants across the U.S. Findings revealed dynamic connections between participants' Christian faith, their LGBTQ identity, and their other social identities. Participants testified leveraging their knowledge of and experiences within Christianity to enact dominant group strategies to advocate for themselves and other LGBTQ people within Christian contexts. There are unique challenges and opportunities in studying how individuals can glean from dominant and nondominant social identities simultaneously to address ingroup–outgroup tensions. This study revealed more avenues to be explored within this context, using these theories, and additional theories.


Rights Access


dominant groups
social identity


Associated Publications