Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Rejecting, compartmentalizing, or integrating mutually exclusive identities: A qualitative study of gay Muslim men living in the United States
by Thomas, Paul William, Ph.D., Alliant International University, 2015, 407; 3701721
Abstract (Summary)

Given the intolerance of homosexuality in many religions and religious communities, particularly Muslim American communities, many LGBTQ-identified individuals who grow up in Muslim families and societies struggle with the two oft perceived incompatible identities. Numerous researchers have examined this phenomenon among Christian and Jewish gay men in the United States, but minimal research has addressed men who identify as gay and Muslim. These individuals face an even greater risk of psychological and physical harm due to the cultural and religious proscriptions that gay Muslims face and the lack of social and psychological resources available to them. By further examining how gay Muslim men cope with their sexual and religious identities, and how personal traits, experiences, and situations mitigate or enhance the conflict that many experience, my intent with this study was to contribute to the nascent psychological framework that mental health providers, especially therapists, could access when working with clients who identify as gay and Muslim. Using a social constructionist paradigm and thematic analysis, the lived experiences, attitudes, and beliefs of nine men all of whom are between the ages of 24 and 35, were raised in Muslim families, and are attracted to other men were examined in this qualitative study. The analysis of the interviews focused on religion, sexuality, identity negotiation, relationships, and mental health. Particular efforts were invested in looking at how the participants negotiate their religious and sexual identity development and, if present, how they resolve their identity conflict. The majority of the participants rejected their Muslim identities with a few participants maintaining their Muslim and gay identities. Implications for clinical practice are discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Loewy, Michael I.
Commitee: Henderson, Sheila J., Ozyurt, Saba
School: Alliant International University
Department: San Francisco, CSPP
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 76/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Religion, GLBT Studies, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Gay men, Identity conflict, Immigrants, Muslim men
Publication Number: 3701721
ISBN: 9781321725704
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