Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Mari Ann Graham


Social Work


Literature shows that many LGBTQ individuals believe that they must deny or hide their sexual identities and conform to a hetero-dominant lifestyle that often results in shame, denial of self, depression, anxiety, isolation, addiction, and abandonment of spirituality. This qualitative research study explored how LGBTQ individuals raised in non-affirming Christian traditions integrated their spiritual and sexual identities by in-person interviews with seven participants. Findings support previous research, and although the researcher was well aware of the nuances of this topic, an unexpected finding related to the complexity of gender identity and sexual orientation also surfaced. Practice implications include development of social workers’ selfawareness regarding their identity and/or belief systems. Further research is also suggested to better understand client journeys toward integration, and how clinical social workers can increase their sensitivity and advocacy for LGBTQ individuals.

Included in

Social Work Commons