Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Communication and Storytelling Studies

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Amber E. Kinser

Committee Members

Christine K. Anzur, C. Wesley Buerkle


This study explores the experiences of six LGBTQ+ individuals living in Appalachia who have felt conflict between their LGBTQ+ and Christian identities. Using data from six one-on-one intensive interviews, the study examines the various kinds of conflict participants experienced, the strategies they used to manage those conflicts, and the role that Christianity played in their lives. The author found that participant conflicts were grounded in struggles to find acceptance from others while living authentically, to reconcile ideological disputes with the church, and to accept themselves as LGBTQ+ and/or Christian. Included among their various management strategies were finding accepting people and communities, avoiding conversations, and finding compatibility between their LGBTQ+ and Christian identities. Finally, the author found that Christianity served a unique role as a source of both validation and invalidation for participants.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.