Despite the shift in attitudes in religious institutions toward homosexuals in the United States, there are some religions that continue to view same-sex behavior as a deviant and damning sin. For many, religious beliefs and values provide meaning and impact personal identity. Using autoethnography, I will explicate my own experiences with religious institutions and the ongoing conflict between religious beliefs and sexuality. I will discuss messages received from the Pentecostal church, family, and Latino community, and how these messages influenced my human development and emotional well-being. I show that internalization of the principles taught by the Pentecostal Church triggered a conflict when I became aware of my homosexuality. In this article, I discuss the mental health challenges I faced, and strategies I used to reconcile conflicting identities. I also discuss the use of autoethnography in social work and its implications in social work research and practice.
Latino, Homosexuality, Religion, Autoethnography, Social Work
I would like to thank Dr. Roy Laird and Dr. Lynn Slater for their support in the development of this article. Additionally, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to my mother for the ongoing love and support. Finally, I would like to thank Steven for always believing in me.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.
Recommended APA Citation
Gerena, C. E. (2019). Conflict between Religious Beliefs and Sexuality: An Autoethnography. The Qualitative Report, 24(9), 2297-2308. Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol24/iss9/14
Anthropology Commons, Clinical and Medical Social Work Commons, Family, Life Course, and Society Commons, Gender and Sexuality Commons, Public Health Commons, Religion Commons, Social Work Commons, Sociology of Culture Commons, Sociology of Religion Commons