Date of Conferral







Nina Nabors


Spiritual Well-Being of Black LGBT Individuals When Faced With Religious Homonegativity


Patricia A. Hill

MA, Loyola University-Chicago, 2004

BS, Chicago State University, 2000

Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree of

Doctor of Philosophy


Walden University

May 2015


Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) individuals in the United States often face homophobic sermons and messages within their traditional religious settings. This phenomelogical research study was designed to document and understand the lived experiences of Black LGBT individuals' spiritual well-being in the face of homonegativity, and to identify the ways in which they cope with these experiences. The qualitative interview data from 9 participants were interpreted through the lens of feminist theory and Pargament's theory of the psychology of religion and coping. Recurring themes were coded from the participants' interviews using the QSR Nvivo 10 software program. Interview themes included change in faith community, experiencing familial acceptance or discord/rejection due to sexual orientation, feelings of abandonment by God/religion, negative experiences in a religious setting due to sexual orientation, emotional reactions, maladaptive coping, adaptive coping, and religious and/or spiritual reconciliation. The results of this study provide insight into the challenges that Black LGBT individual experience with religious homonegativity and they ways in which they cope with these stresses and challenges. This study promotes positive social change by providing a better understanding of the impact of Christian religion on the mental and spiritual well-being of the Black LGBT individual. These findings can be used to inform therapists and psychologists who are seeking treatment strategies for their Black LGBT clients. The findings suggest there is an educational component that also could benefit family, friends, and religious leaders who want to be present and accepting of the Black LGBT community.