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Negotiating Gay Male Christian Identities

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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., The Demography of Sexual Orientation, 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 identity. The goal of this project is to add to the amount of 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 times a far cry from the actual, lived experiences.


  • Sociology
  • Identities
  • Negotiating identities
  • LGBT
  • Queer
  • Gay
  • Rural
  • Country
  • Christian
  • Religion
  • Gay culture
  • Rural spaces
  • Conflicting identities
  • Intersecting identities
  • Rural lifestyle
  • Metropolitan community church
  • Gay-friendly
  • Christian life
  • Gay community
  • Christian community

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-8718-5_3
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    The Institutional Review Board at the University of New Orleans has approved this study.


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Correspondence to Brandi Woodell .

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Woodell, B. (2014). Negotiating Gay Male Christian Identities. In: Farris, D., Davis, M., Compton, D. (eds) Illuminating How Identities, Stereotypes and Inequalities Matter through Gender Studies. Springer, Dordrecht.

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