Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Chwalisz, Kathleen


Transgender populations are at higher risk for negative health and psychological outcomes compared to cisgender populations (Rood et al., 2017). Previous research has explored ways in which Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual people who are religious reconcile their identities (Britton & Greene, 2015), however; there is a scarcity of literature regarding identity-related experiences of transgender Christians. Given that many LGBTQ+ people do not find religious environments accepting due to homophobia and transphobic sentiments (Barnes & Meyer, 2012), the purpose of this study was to shed light on salient experiences of transgender Christians as they have made sense of their identities. Through interpretative phenomenological analysis, I examined various psychosocial processes that occur for transgender Christians regarding experiences with transphobia, rejection, and ways in which they navigated oppressive social or religious environments. Four main themes emerged through the participants’ qualitative accounts of their experiences: (a) Meaning of Identity, (b) Challenges and Barriers, (c) Positive Experiences and Self-Compassion, and (d) Community Responsibility. Research and clinical implications for improving psychological outcomes for this population are discussed.




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