“We Are Scared of Being Kicked out of our Religion!”: Common Challenges and Benefits for Sexual Minority Latter-Day Saints

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity


American Psychological Association

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This study explored common challenges and benefits reported by sexual minority people (SMP) in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (CJCLDS). A sample of 438 SMP members of the CJCLDS responded to a qualitative survey that asked participants to identify the challenges and benefits of identifying as SMPs in their faith. Participants reported several common challenges to identifying as an SMP in the CJCLDS, including lack of belongingness, identity conflict/confusion, distal stressors, proximal stressors, religious/spiritual struggles, mental health problems, and sexuality struggles. Participants reported several common benefits including increased empathy or compassion, a sense of belonging and happiness, religious/spiritual improvements, and perspective/personal growth. The results suggest that some SMP members of the CJCLDS experience more religious and sexuality struggles as well as a lack of belongingness due to their intersecting identities, whereas others seem to benefit from their religious involvement and find a sense of belongingness. Therapists who work with SMPs in the CJCLDS, and potentially other SMPs in nonaffirming religions, should be aware of both the challenges and benefits reported by SMPs to help clients most effectively navigate difficulties arising from their intersecting identities.

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