The Influence of Religion, Spirituality, and Purpose in Life for Resilience among Trans and Gender Diverse Individuals

In: Religion and Gender
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  • 1 University of North Carolina at CharlotteUSACharlotte, NC
  • | 2 Temple UniversityUSAPhiladelphia, PA

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Religion, spirituality, and purpose in life have benefits for mental and physical health, yet religious environments can be stigmatizing for trans and gender diverse (TGD) individuals. This study aimed to examine the influences of religion, spirituality and purpose in life for resilience among TGD individuals. This study included photo-elicited interviews (35 longitudinal interviews, 21 individuals) and surveys (n=108). Religious affiliation was significantly associated with increased levels of social support but was not significantly associated with other variables. Strategies found in themes from the qualitative analysis foster resilience strategies, including spirituality to overcome challenges, purpose in life, and social support. Yet strategies in the themes also utilize resilience strategies, including discrimination, strategies in response to discrimination, social support, and identity negotiation. As participants did make sense of religion and spirituality in how they conceived of their resilience, findings may inform therapeutic interventions and pastoral approaches.

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