Date of Award

5-2022

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MA in Child Development

First Advisor

Linwood Lewis

Second Advisor

Julie Abraham

Abstract

Central to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church, Mormon Church) is a belief system that discriminates against and marginalizes non-heteronormative identities. Cisgender heterosexuality is framed as divine, natural, and eternal, whereas LGBTQ+ identities and relationships are framed as deficient, inferior, and oppositional. Within this classification scheme, trans and gender nonconforming Latter-day Saints must navigate ongoing oppression and face difficult questions concerning the relationship between their gender and religious identities. While some choose to disaffiliate from the Church, others strive to negotiate a working relationship between these identities in complicated, nuanced, and dynamic ways. This paper will discuss the findings from qualitative interviews conducted among seven trans and/or gender nonconforming Mormons (or former Mormons). The purpose of such research was to better understand the complex ways in which this demographic was constructing (and reconstructing) a sense of self in a religion where non-cisgender identities occupy little to no semantic or symbolic space. Analysis from the individual interviews will be situated in a broader discussion about the development of trans issues in the LDS Church as well as suggestions for future directions the Church can take to become more inclusive and affirming of all sexual and gender identities.

Previous Versions

May 11 2022
May 10 2022

Under author imposed embargo.
Available for download on Monday, May 01, 2023

Included in

Psychology Commons

Share

COinS