sexual minority, LGBQ, conservative religion, religiosity, mental health, suicidality


Sexual minorities often struggle to navigate their sexuality and conservative religious beliefs. Conservative religion is often thought to be toxic for sexual minorities because of the emphasis on traditional marriage (Anderton et al., 2012), and often, the LGBT community will reject sexual minorities that choose to remain in religion (O'Brien, 2007). Conservative religion, however, provides many resources that could benefit sexual (and other) minorities. Religion can help create a sense of identity through teachings and community involvement that may strengthen positive self-perception; it may also create a sense of belonging within a supportive community, especially when individuals are raised among those with similar values and standards (Snapp et al., 2015). Families within conservative religious spaces also tend to be more functional; therefore, despite not always being accepting of sexual minorities when they initially “come out,” families can often learn to become more accepting over time due to their religious convictions (Goodrich & Gilbride, 2010). These identity and social supports, along with other factors, including lower perceptions of burdensomeness and higher feelings of belonging, can help buffer minority stressors that sexual minorities could face and may therefore mitigate feelings of suicidality (Dyer & Goodman, 2021). Thus, sexual minorities should consider remaining in conservative religions and embracing such beliefs despite the common assumption that they should leave to improve overall well-being.

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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Family, Home, and Social Sciences



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Psych 307

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Psychology Commons