Sexuality, Gender, and Religious Attendance
Keywords:gender, identity, religion, sexual orientation, spirituality, women
Existing research on religious organizations serving lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgendered people has noted a dearth of women in such congregations but has offered little explanation for this phenomenon. Working from a study conducted with 29 lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered women in the greater Los Angeles area, this paper demonstrates that race and ethnicity, feminism, a concern for LGBT rights, and interaction between the life-course patterns of religion and sexual identity influenced participants’ decisions about religious involvement. These results, while not generalizable, indicate the need for a nuanced understanding of both religious practice and identity in larger studies of gender, sexuality, and religious attendance.
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