Despite increased acceptance nationally towards same-sex sexuality, intolerance within the Black Church against those who identify as lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) continues to persist. As one of the most important institutions in the African American community, the significance of the Black Church makes the religious experience particularly influential. LGBs frequently experience homonegativity in the Black Church in the form of homophobic laced sermons, Microaggressions, and church gossip. The stigma LGBs encounter around homosexuality in the Black Church has created a dissonance between their religious beliefs, faith, and sexual identity. This study explores the multifaceted experience of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals in Black Church. Drawing from the theoretical frameworks of Patricia Hill Collins' Intersectionality and Erving Goffman's stigma, this research focuses on how the intersections of one's religious and sexual identities is impacted and influenced by stigma experienced within the Black Church. This study is based on 14 in-depth interviews with lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals who attended the Black Church and reveals the complex relationship LGBs experience trying to integrate their religious and sexual identities. Additionally, participant narratives provides insight into the impact of homonegative stigma sexual minorities experience in the Black Church.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Andrews, Edwanna, "Damned to Hell: The Black Church Experience for College Educated Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5590.