Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Social Sciences and Globalization


Social Sciences

First Reader/Committee Chair

Hareem Khan


There are approximately over 10,000 distinct religious practices in the world, some of these religions are either a variation of each other or very different. Historically and presently, certain religions are positioned in popular discourse as not fit for our times or too conservative for example, evangelicalism and Islam have often been two religions that are viewed as ‘too traditional’ and in need of modernization of their ‘extreme’ beliefs.

This typically gets reduced to specific ideologies and viewpoints revolving around feminism and LGBTQIA+ identity. Ideologies regarding the treatment and place of women have been backed up by ‘evidence’ presented in the Bible placing religious beliefs in a negative light. The history of religion and LGBTQIA+ issues is not a new or unknown one. There are many court cases depicting the fight between justice and religion. However, these views are not so black and white as depicted in popular media.

Instead of criticizing these religions, this project uses semi-structured interviews to understand how believers of evangelicalism express their views on gender and sexuality. For example, what does it mean to be a part of the LGBTQIA+ community and still uphold religious beliefs and practices? What might these interviews reveal about the fluidity of religious practice? And finally, how can these narratives disrupt reductive two-dimensional definitions of religion presented to the world?

With the use of interviews, surveys, and secondary literature this project centers on the stories and experiences of evangelical women and LGBTQIA+ to analyze how their stories complicate the perception of evangelical religions as rigid and strict.