Negotiating Religiosity among Hispanic Lesbian Mothers



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Religion might serve as an adaptive tool for Hispanic lesbian mothers in order to maintain a more tolerated identity as a mother, or it could produce heightened conflict given their potential incompatibility with the role of a “good mother.” In particular, there is a potential for conflict between the definition of a “good mother” set forth in Catholicism and the sexual orientation of Hispanic lesbians. I conducted a qualitative study to examine how Hispanic lesbian mothers negotiate their Catholic religious identity with aspects of their sexual identity. More specifically, I inquired about the strategies that Hispanic lesbian mothers utilize to reconcile or navigate perceived conflict between their roles as a Catholic and as a lesbian. For this study, I interviewed fifteen women in different cities across Texas, including Houston, San Antonio, Austin and the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Through semi-structured interviews, I examined several aspects of their identities as a Catholic Hispanic lesbian mother. Specifically, I asked questions regarding parenting, religion, identity and stigma. This study seeks to examine how Hispanic lesbian mothers perceive the available religious scripts as tools for integration or exclusion from the Catholic community.



Hispanic mothers, Religiosity and Identity, Religion and sexuality, Catholic lesbians, Lesbian, Mothers, Motherhood