Historically members of the LGBTQ+ community have struggled to find safety and acceptance within spaces and communities, specifically those spaces of a religious nature. This study aims to explore and understand what makes a religious space safe and welcoming for LGBTQ+ members. I was able to conduct 14 interviews with 8 Christian, 4 Jewish, and 2 Muslim Queer participants. They were asked a series of questions about what makes their space safe and unsafe as well as what changes they would like to see within that space. Participants spoke about topics such as bigot leaders, unclear policy, and discrimination from members. The grounds of this research was rooted in the understanding of Queer Theory and Queer Theology. These theories helped the study explore the data collected and propose solutions for change within unsafe spaces. Participants were clear that they would like to see a change in the policies of religious spaces, the leader’s language towards LGBTQ+ issues, and congregant’s attitude concerning the stigmas and cultures of the LGBTQ+ community. The statements made during the interview process showed times of hope and positivity for the future of religious spaces while exposing some hate-filled and painful moments for the participants. A majority of the participants noted that they would be willing to attend the space again if proper changes were made. This study is a call to leaders, governing bodies, and members to create the changes that will invoke support and positivity for its LGBTQ+ members.
Ferreri, Connor, ""Who Do You Know Here?” A Qualitative and Comparative Study of the LGBTQ+ Community and Their Safety in Religious Spaces" (2019). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 8644.
Gender and Sexuality | Liturgy and Worship
LGBTQ, Religion, Religious Space, Safety
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2019 Connor Ferreri