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Between two worlds: Turkish religious LGBTs relationships with islam and coping strategies

This study aimed to understand the interaction between individuals' LGBT and religious identities and related coping strategies as well as their religion-based interactions with other Muslims and LGBTs in Turkey. Twelve Turkish LGBT individuals (three women, eight men, a transwoman) who identified as Muslim either currently or in the past, expressed their views regarding Islam via semi-structured interviews. Participants ages ranged between 19 and 30 and seven of them identified their sexual orientation as gay, one of them as lesbian, two of them as bisexual, one of them as pansexual, and one of them as heterosexual. The interviews were analysed using thematic analysis. Three main themes that emerged from the interviews wereReligious and Gender Socialisation, Conflict and Coping, andDiscrimination. Most of the participants grew up in Muslim communities, adopting a Muslim identity. As they became aware of their sexual orientation/gender identity, they experienced a conflict and developed various coping strategies to deal with such conflict. Also, they faced discrimination both from Muslims and other non-religious LGBTs which affected their identity development and expression. This study was among the few studies investigating the interaction between religion and sexual and gender identity in a predominantly Muslim country. The findings were discussed in light of identity and coping models.