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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



This research explores the unique and divergent experiences of LGBTQ+ young adults as they engage in identity and space-making practices at the intersection of gender/sexuality and religion. Utilizing queer theorists’ conceptualization of identity as a form of embodied and spatial labor, I critique the approach of existing scholarship that constructs LGBTQ+ and religious identities as incompatible or at least in need of reconciliation. Based on thirteen semi-structured interviews with LGBTQ+ young adults in Utah, my research makes visible how vulnerability and risk impact the strategies that LGBTQ+ young adults employ to navigate their identities and make space. It shows that they strategically navigate space wherever they find themselves, regardless of whether they encounter accommodation or belonging. In doing so, it comes to look beyond the narrative of visibility as the primary strategy for LGBTQ+ progress to recognize that LGBTQ+ young adults employ varied strategies of visibility and concealment to navigate the spaces where they find themselves.


First Advisor

Emily West

Second Advisor

Kimberlee Pérez

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.