Date of Award

Summer 8-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

D'Lane Compton

Second Advisor

Susan Mann

Third Advisor

Renia Ehrenfeucht


The majority of discussions of gay and lesbian experiences in the United States associate gay culture with urban areas. However, there is still a significant population of LGBT people living in the rural United States (Baumle et al 2009). Many of these individuals identify with rural spaces and seek to maintain “country” identities. As with rural spaces, there is an assumption that Christian identities directly conflict with those of non-heterosexual identities. This study examines the ways in which these individuals create and negotiate stereotypically conflicting identities regarding their sexuality, their rural identities and their religious identities. The goal of this project is to add to currently sparse literature on rural gay Christians and give an accurate portrayal of gay Christians in rural areas. I found that the sensationalized stereotypes of what it means to be a gay Christian in the country are often far cries from the actual experiences.


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