Abstract

This study qualitatively examined the experiences of transgender individuals who also identify as active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (N=10). Researchers took an interpretive phenomenological approach to elicit factors which allow trans Mormon folks to hold their apparently conflicting religious and gender identities simultaneously (and the consequences of doing so). Overall, we aimed to answer the broad question, “what is it like to be transgender and Mormon?” Following a process of semi-structured interviews, transcription, and coding, the broad categories which seemed to connect many elements of the trans/Mormon experience were 1) a sense of being pulled in two directions, 2) experiences of sacrifice, and 3) experiences of loss and rejection. Findings suggest that sacrifices of authenticity, gender expression, and well-being were made because of a desire to: a) be accepted within the LDS Church, b) promote change within the LDS Church, c) maintain family relationships, d) live congruently with one’s personal interpretation of doctrine, and/or e) follow personal guidance from God. Results also suggest that most experiences of loss and rejection for trans Mormons center around their church communities and local leadership, the LDS Church as an institution, and LDS family members.

Degree

MS

College and Department

Family Life

Rights

https://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2021-07-29

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd11786

Keywords

transgender, non-binary, LGBTQIA+, religiosity, LDS, Mormon, Christianity, identity, family, community, minority stress, mental health

Language

english

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