Date of Award
Thesis - Open Access
MA in Child Development
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.
Burns, Keith, "Transcending Mormonism: Trans and Gender Nonconforming Experiences in the LDS Church" (2022). Child Development Theses. 48.
Under author imposed embargo.
Available for download on Monday, May 01, 2023