Publication Date

Summer 2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Mass Communications

Advisor

Richard Craig

Keywords

Affirming, Black, Christian, LGBTQ, Queer, Sexuality

Subject Areas

Sexuality; African American studies; Religious history

Abstract

The relationship between the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning) community and the church has been studied for critical reasons. The connection between the two has been uneasy because of the religious beliefs from religious groups and the many misunderstandings of what the LGBTQ community believes in. I have been able to understand the poor relationship between the Black church and homosexuality from the sources that are examined in my Literature Review. I evaluated the similarities and differences between queer men and women based on upbringing, denomination, and familial acceptance. As a LA native, I narrowed research on Black religion in LA County such as Baptist and Church of God in Christ (COGIC). These denominations are closely related to the participants. There are four affirming Black denominations in Los Angeles, as well as predominantly Black affirming churches in the city that will be examined. I chose to highlight the personal experiences of ten queer Black people and their relationship with the Black Church. I formed a discussion on the reality of coming out to love ones and included studies on non-affirming church spaces. A major discovery came from understanding what spiritual stability meant for each participant. I then shared the limitations from the thesis and ways to enhance the overall study.

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