Religio-spirituality and the coming-out process
Following completion of semi-structured interviews of 15 participants, the researcher acknowledged the emergence of nine categories that explain the essence of the coming-out process and its connection with religio-spirituality: (1) a noticeable societal influence on lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) beliefs, (2) an evident family influence on LGBT beliefs, (3) a direct church influence on LGBT beliefs, (4) a difficulty in merging sexuality and religio-spirituality, (5) a feeling of guilt for being an LGBT individual, (6) religio-spirituality affects when and to whom to come-out, (7) many leave the church after coming-out, (8) a feeling of need to protect family still in church after coming-out, and (9) an attempt to maintain a relationship with God or higher being without a relationship in a church or religious institution.
These nine conclusions develop the essence of the coming-out process and religio-spirituality. Individuals in the coming-out process find themselves at a divide in their lives and they must decide which path to follow or attempt to make the paths intersect. The coming-out process is often an internal debate of whether they are LGBT, whether to come-out, and whether they should leave a church or change religio-spirituality.
In student affairs, administers, counselors, and campus ministers can use data and conclusions from this research to understand the coming-out process and the overlapping nature of religio-spiritual identity and sexual identity. The researcher concludes that these professionals must have an understanding of the stages of growth for LGBT students as they attempt to come-out to friends and family as well as possibly maintain a religio-spiritual identity.
School:Kansas State University
School Location:USA - Kansas
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:coming out religion spirituality sexuality education higher 0745
Date of Publication:01/01/2008