You are on page 1of 7

The Intersection of Lesbian/Gay Identity and Religiosity And Its Influence on Subjective Well-Being de Guzman, Mary Jane B.

2010-41022 Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements in the course Psychology 118: Field Research Methods in Psychology Professor Jay Yacat University of the Philippines, Diliman Quezon City, Philippines First Semester, A. Y. 2012 -2013 Abstract The Catholic religion generally has negative attitudes towards gays and lesbians, yet there are some who still consider themselves religious. This study aims to examine the phenomenon of how Roman Catholic gays and lesbians negotiate and integrate their religious identity with their LG identity, and, consequently, how this affects their subjective well-being. Semi-structured interviews are performed with two gays and four lesbians who consider themselves as either high or low in religiosity. Results from KJ analysis show that majority of the participants experience intrapersonal and interpersonal conflicts caused by the churchs homonegativity. They tend to take on various attitudes and behaviors in response to these conflicts (ABCs) which have different consequences on their subjective well-being. Those ABCswhich compromise one identity most likely lead to absence of a prior negative emotion but lead to another negative emotion whileABCs that maintain both identities were more effective in minimizing negative emotions. (148 words)

The Intersection of Lesbian/Gay Identity and Religiosity And Its Influence on Subjective Well-Being Up until now, some religions still portray negative attitudes towards homosexuals. Christianity, for instance, has been generally known to lead these homonegative attitudes. In the report of US psychologists Eric Rodriguez and Suzanne Ouelette last 2000, 75% of Christian religions condemn homosexuals and homosexuality as being an abomination in the eyes of God (as cited in Clarke, Ellis,Peel& Riggs, 2010). This mainstream belief against homosexuals has caused a great struggle for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual) people who at the same time, identify themselves asreligious.This conflict in their identities, in turn, has affected their subjective well-beings. LGBTQ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transexual Queer) psychologists consider diversity among LGBTQ people who identify as religious, and within any given religion or spiritual practice, there will be a range of positions held, such as those (1) who experience their religion as a generalized sense of faith in the world, (2) who are committed to a particular religious moral code, (3) who live by the literal inter pretation of a particular religious text (such as the Christian bible, the Quran in Islam, the Jewish Torah or the Hindu Bhagavad Gita), (4) who view religion as providing a sense of cultural connection but dont adhere to specific religious practices, and those (4) who adhere to a combination of t hese (and other) understandings of religion (Clarke et al, 2010). Sherkatand other researchers had suggested that a sense of spiritual connection to others or to god may be important in times of crisis for LGBTQ Christians, such as at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic (as cited in Clarke et al., 2010). In the Philippines, where it is said to be the only Christian country in Asia, the predominant religion is Roman Catholic comprising 81% of its total population (Pangalangan, n.d.). In the present study, we explored the phenomenon of the intersection of Filipino lesbian/gay identity with their religious identity and how it influenced their subjective well-being. With predominantly Roman Catholic as a religion, Filipino attitudes toward lesbians and gays were found to be largely negative, although on the surface, homosexuality seems to be tolerated. (Manalastas& del Pilar, 2005).In the Philippine context,there were very fewactual researches that had been done over the course of this topic. It would be of great significance toconduct a study that would further produce great understanding of the experiences from the lens of those people who experience it. A parallel objective from the study of Subhi et al. (2011) is considered stating that a better understanding of the potential conflict needs to be obtained in order to provide support to gay men and lesbians who have experienced, or are currently experiencing, conflict in daily life between their Christianity and their homosexuality. Although experiences are unique to individuals and their surroundings, understanding the means by which others have confronted such conflicts would be beneficial in guiding those who are dealing with the burden of such conflict. To some degree, all of us face the central dilemmas of emerging identity: sorting out our own values from those we have inherited from our parents, negotiating a life path within the frameworks of the families, communities, society, and culture in which we live. Identity development requires that an individual negotiate the difficult balance that must be struck between the imperative of being true to oneself and the desire to belong (King & Smith, 2004). In the case of LGBTs, the process of coming out was very difficult due tothe threat of being subjected to heterosexist attitudes promulgated by some religions. This was in no way different with Filipino LGBTs. In the present study, we chose to includeonly lesbians and gays as our participants in understanding the phenomenon.We focused not just on the Lesbian/Gay (LG) identity of our participants but specifically on the intersection of their LG identity and their self-perceived religiosity.We aimed to evaluate how religious LGs somehow resolve the contradiction in the Roman Catholic beliefs against their sexual orientation provided that they consider themselves to be religious. In other words, how religious LGs find ways to reconcile the conflict between their LG identity and religious identity.We presumed that there would be differences in how gays and lesbians accomplish this so we tried to compare the manner of negotiation between lesbians and gays, who perceived themselves to be high in religiosity, to those of gays and lesbians, who perceived themselves to be low in religiosity. Lastly, we aimed to see how this process affects each participantsentire subjective well-being. In our study, we managed to distinguish the effect of Roman CatholicChurchs homonegative attitudes from that of the societys heterosexist attitudes. Himmelstein (1986) had arguedthat the religious environment was one that created conservative attitudes on ethical issues by immersing its members in a subculture that endorsed these values. He explained the impact of religiosity on traditional values in terms of religious networks (as cited in Vanderstoep& Green, 1988). Even though these two constructs were highly correlated, we would like to see not how the church affects LGBT in an indirect manner through other intervening variables like ethical conservatism (Vanderstoep & Green, 1988). Instead, we tried to produce a direct link on how the Churchs belief against LGBTs affectedthe subjective well-being of our religious LG participants. Literature Review There werequiet a number of studies concerning the effect of religions homonegativity on the subjective well -being of LGBT people.

In a study conducted by Subhi et al. (2011), their homosexual participants considered both Christianity and homosexuality as important components of their lives. Majority of respondents wanted to maintain both identities. As a result, for those who upheld their religious identity dearly sometimes, it is more realistic to consider changing their sexual orientation than abandoning their religion. Conversion Therapy was the strategy used in effort to change sexual orientation according to Haldeman. However, Herek (2003) and Worthington (2004) argued that the success of such therapy was still debatable (as cited in Subhi et al., 2011). This valuing of both identities had led the participants to experience two separate kinds of conflict: intrapersonal and interpersonal. Intrapersonal conflict occurred within the individual. Most of their participants identified the same underlying reasons for the intrapersonal conflicts they experienced, they believed that Christianity condemns homosexuality and considers it to be sinful. Interpersonal conflict occurred when the conflict involved significant others around them (e.g., family, friends or church community) (Subhi et al., 2011). In general, the findings of their research study found two possible outcomes based on the intersection of Christianity and homosexuality: (1) no occurrence of potential conflict between Christianity and homosexuality and (2) occurrence of potential conflict between Christianity and homosexuality. Four respondents, all females, did not experience conflict between Christianity and homosexuality for two reasons: (a) Christianity had already been abandoned before coming out as a lesbian or (b) respondents were identifying as Christian although not practicing. Conversely, the majority of respondents did experience conflict between Christianity and homosexuality. Since we would observe how religious LGs negotiate their two conflicting identities, the results from the study conducted by Subhi et al. (2011) could provide sufficient support with regards to how religious LGs tend to facilitate the possible outcomes that would be produced from the intersection of their two identities. Psychological research has found that many Christian men and women reconcile the negative aspects of their religion with their nonheterosexual sexuality by altering their relationship to their religion. Rodriguez and Ouellette found that some gay and lesbian Christians focus on tangible ways of connecting spirituality and sexuality (such as through readings or attending church) rather than solely feeling a relationship to god(as cited in Clarke et al, 2010).LGBTs see God as loving and immanent definitions of God that most easily would support LGBT selfacceptance (Wilcox, 2002). These were worth-noting that religious LGBTs had undergone different modifications in their attitudes and behaviors when reconciling their religious beliefs with their LGBT identity and that they had a sense of a transcendent being who they personally thought accepts their sexual orientation. Because spirituality and religiosity were seen by many like Hill & Pargament, as being conceptually overlapping, in that both involve a search for the sacred, some researchers like Zinnbauer, Pargament, & Scott, preferred to interpret these two dimensions as being redundant. Musick, Traphagan, Koenig, and Larson had noted that in samples of adults, these two terms were highly related to one another; over 88% rated themselves as being average to high on both spirituality and religiousness (as cited in Piedmont, R. L., Ciarrochi, J. W., Dy-Liacco, G. S. & Williams, J. E. G., 2009) To establish a clear and distinct definition for both constructs, our group employed the definitions used by Piedmont et al. (2009) in their study.Religiosity is concerned with how ones experience of a transcendent being is shaped by, and expressed through, a community o r social organization. Spirituality, on the other hand, is most concerned with ones personal relationships to larger, transcendent realities, such as God or the universe (Piedmont et al., 2009). The establishment of these definitions was crucial in our study for the two constructs affect the subjective well-being in different ways.Since our emphasis was on religiosity, we tried to sort out responses that would fall under the construct, spirituality. Another relevant definition of religiosity that had been considered in our study is, it is defined as the degree of dedication to specific religious beliefs and the extent to which those beliefs are influential in ones life (Marsh, T., & Brown, J., 2011). In the study of Marsh & Brown (2011) about the relationship of homonegativity and religiosity, the prediction that religiosity would be positively related to homonegativity was strongly supported by both the specific multiple regression analyses, and the combined models presented in the hierarchical regression analyses. This supported the claim that through ones religiosity, homonegative attitudes couldbe produced. It adds up to the burden carried by LGBTs since they were subjected to these homonegative attitudes. With regards to our study, we assumed that the religious LGs would have experiences of these homonegative attitudes to a higher extent since they most likely participated in religious activities. Having this kind of conflict between two identities, some LGBT individuals integrated the conflict by (Halkitis et. al., 2009): a. self-defining as atheists b. rejecting public religious life, but engaging one's self in such private acts of devotion c. disregarding or minimizing the relevance of anti-gay doctrines The scope of our study only concerns religious LGs therefore we would only consider (b) rejecting public religious life, but engaging one's self in such private acts of devotion and (c) disregarding or minimizing the relevance of anti-gay doctrines as means of resolving the conflict in our participants identities. In another study conducted by Stefurak et al. (2010), they found out that religiosity has been found to be a predictor of heterosexist attitudes. Their findings were the same as to those that were found by Marsh & Brown (2011). Moreover,Stefurak et al. (2010) found that women held more homosexual prejudices than men. This had been correlated withthe degree of life prominence of women to religious activities. According to Donelson(1999),Francis and Wilcox (1998), women across numerous societies had consistently reported being much more religious than their male counterparts. They were more likely to regularly attend worship services, pray, and hold religion as a central belief-set (as cited in Stefurak et al., 2010). Previously, negative attitudes toward homosexuals (homonegativism) consistently had been found by Herek to be stronger in people who are relatively high in religiosity, supporting the data stated by Donelson (1999), Francis & Wilcox (1998). Nyberg & Alston, 1977 found that people who attend church frequently are more negative than those who attend less frequently (as cited in Vanderstoep & Green, 1988). However, it had been stressed that although the relation between homonegative attitudes and religiosity were well-established, homonegative attitudes could betheological, ethical, or social in nature (Vanderstoep & Green, 1988). From all of these literatures, we determined that the religion had really played a great role in the prejudices from which LGBTs were the subjects. However, there were intervening variables (e.g. spirituality, heterosexists attitude, ethical conservatism) that simultaneously affect the LGBT people. There were also studies conducted that explore the emotions that LGBT feel towards their own identities in response to different situations. The degree to which gay individuals invested in goals that were rooted in gay identity ought to be related to the experience of positive wellbeing. It was predicted that the salience of the gay best possible self would relate to heightened SWB among gay men and lesbians. Even if individuals had never considered themselves to be heterosexual, the heterosexual privileges that were withheld from them were certainly ever present and likely to be seen as advantages associated with one of lifes precluded possibilit ies. (King & Smith, 2004).

From this study of King & Smith (2004), results indicated that investment in hoped-for futures that were embedded in identity was associated with enhanced concurrent psychological well-being and lowered distress overtime. In contrast, preoccupation with future life dreams that were not part of that identity was associated with lowered well-being and heightened regrets and distress. In addition, the salience of ones hoped -for gay possible self was associated with the tendency to have that identity be made public; while the salience of ones straight possible self was associated with being more closeted. It was well-stated that the subjective well-being of a person had included his/her anticipation of the future. As how it was broadly defined, subjective well-being was a persons cognitive and affective evaluations include emotional reactions to events as well as cognitive judgments of satisfactions and fulfillment. Subjective well-being was a broad concept that includes experiencing pleasant emotions, low levels of negative moods, and high life satisfaction (Diener, E., Lucas, R. E. & Oishi, S., 2002). Subjective well-being included all set of evaluative affects that determine his/her satisfaction across all events. In the study of King & Smith (2004),the two possible selves of an individual, which includedhis gay best possible self and straight possible self, hadopposite effects on subjective well-being. The LGBT identity had been correlated with a more positive well-being when ones identity was made public. According to Leserman et al., accepting oneself as gay was an important aspect of psychological well-being for gay men and lesbians (as cited in King & Smith, 2004). Thus, it was noteworthy to realize that given this context, the conflict proposed by having an LGBT identity and the goal to achieve acceptance as part of subjective well-being; and religious identity and valuing their religious beliefs, is in nature very contradicting. As mentioned in the results of the study by King & Smith(2004), distress was the outcome when future life dreams were those that were not part of being an LGBT. In a previous study conducted by Herek, G. M., Cogan, J. C., Gillis, J. R., & Glunt, E. K. (1997), distress was also correlated with internalized homophobia. The available data suggestedthat higher levels of internalized homophobia were associated with lower self-esteem and greater psychological distress, such as depression. Internalized homophobia had been operationalized not only as dislike of ones own homosexual feelings and behaviors, but also as hostile and rejecting attitudes toward other gay people, denigration of homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle, unwillingness to disclose ones homosexuality to others, perceptions of stigma associated with being homosexual, and acceptance of societal stereotypes about homosexuality (as cited in Herek et al., 1997). The results of their study suggested that lesbians may experience internalized homophobia to a lesser extent than gaymen, and that internalized homophobia may be less closely linked to self-esteem for lesbians than it is for gay men (Herek et al., 1997). Such a pattern might be explained with reference to empirical studies of heterosexuals attitudes toward homosexuality, which have repeatedly shown that heterosexual mens attitudes toward gay men are more negative than their attitudes toward lesbians or heterosexual womens attitudes toward eith er gay men or lesbians (as cited in Herek et al., 1997). It had been explained that the data they gathered from their LG participants were not as representative as of that of the general population since the time when they conducted the study was in an event where they were celebrating the local gay and lesbian community. They were probably higher in self-acceptance and community involvement than many other lesbians and gay men. Also the instrument they used for assessing internalized homophobia (IHP) was initially developed for gays only and therefore may not be suitable in measuring the IHP of the lesbians (Herek et al., 1997). However, the implications of their study were very important. Internalized homophobia may indeed be an underlying cause of psychological distress. Alternatively, it may be indirectly related to depression because it contributed to social isolation (as a result of non-disclosure and lack of community involvement), which can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression. Yet another possibility was that psychological distress led to feelings of dissatisfaction with many aspects of oneself, including ones sexual orientation (Herek et al., 1997). Since the topic of the present study was indeed sensitive, the possibility of this construct to be visible as shown by the previous work of Herek et al. (1997), was very high. However, the considerations we took in our study was the ethical probability that our LG participants might not disclose personal information regarding their sexual orientation for it could possibly harm or may make them feel homophobic towards themselves, as what internalized homophobia was all about. We adopted the definition of internalized homophobia used by Herek et al. (1997) for our study. Majority of the literatures reviewed in this section comprised of non-nationals as their participants. Thus, our study was even more relevant in the context ofindigenous way of data collection. Since limited is known about the intersection of LGBT identity and religious identity of a Filipino and how it affected his/her subjective well-being, the significance of this study is to generate new information about this topic. This would greatly help other people, who were unaware of this kind of identity consolidation, to better understand the experiences of the LGBT people they meet in the course of their lives.Hopefully, with the information gathered in this study, the church, society and LGBT themselves would find a way to finally resolve the conflict and minimize the negative effects it created to LGBT people.

Method This basic research aimed to generate information about the intersection of LG identity and religious identityin the context of Filipino participants. The focus of our study was on the phenomenon which was the intersection of the two identities. Through phenomenological approach, we wanted to understand from the point of view and experiences of areligious Lesbian/Gay,how onemanaged to negotiate the conflict and how the process of negotiation had affected his/her subjective well-beings. We employed constructivist paradigm since we believed that given this kind of phenomenon, multiple realities would exist in how each participant made meaning of themselves as an LG and a religious individual. Participants Our research study was comprised of three gays and 4 lesbians. Their age bracket ranged from 20 to 33 years old at the time the study was conducted. All of these participants perceived themselves to be religious. They should have Roman Catholic as their primary religion. One of our gay participants was a member of a non-Roman Catholic religion so we had decided to exclude his responses from the majority of Roman Catholics. However, his insights were still considered upon analyzing the data gathered. For the purpose of our study, specification was made in terms of their self-perceived religiosity. One gay and two lesbians were classified under high in religiosity (High in R), and the rest were classified under low in religiosity (Low in R) (see Appendix A, Table 1).All of their residences were in Metro Manila.Two of our participants (Gay, High in R and Lesbian 1, Low in R) attended non-Catholic Co-ed schools. Our lesbian, low in R participant attended Catholic co-ed school. Our gay, low in R participant was currently studying in a Catholic co-ed school.One of our lesbian participants who were high in R attended Catholic girl school from preparatory to high school and was currently studying at a Catholic Co-ed School. We were unable to obtain school background information from our other lesbian participant (Lesbian 2, High in R). Only two of our participants (Gay, High in R and Lesbian 1, Low in R) had mentioned that they had prior non-Roman Catholic experiences. Our gay, high in R participant was a choir member at the time the study was conducted. Both lesbians, low in R were involved in a romantic relationship with a female heterosexual (See Appendix A, Table 2).

The participants were recruited through purposive sampling technique. Since one part of our study was to explore the intersection of LG identity and religious identity, we purposively sought to have religious gays and lesbians as participants. According to Erik Eriksons theory of psychosocial development, identity development and identity confusion occurred at adolescence, ages 12 to 18 years old. We aimed to find participants whose identity was almost stable and not anymore subjected to identity confusion so we set our age requirement, initially, from 20 to 30 years old, which was classified under young adulthood. We limited it at a 10-year gap to avoid possible generational differences.Since this theory was outdated, contemporary researches had attempted to fully operationalize its aspects. One of the first and most notable of these was Marcia (1966), who posited exploration and commitment as two primary dimensions of identity development. Exploration represents sorting through an array of goals, values, and beliefs, whereas commitment represents the act of choosing and adhering to a specific set of goals, values, and beliefs. Marcia (1966, 1993) explicitly noted that both exploration and commitment were necessary elements of successful identity development, and that commitment may serve as an index of identity consolidation (as cited in Schwartz, 2006).According to Bell, Weinberg, and Hammersmith (1981), adult homosexuality stems from homosexual feelings experienced during childhood and adolescence; according to Money (198 8, p. 124), the most important formative years for homosexuality, bisexuality, and heterosexuality are those of late infancy and prepubertal child hood (as cited in Kitzinger & Wilkinson, 1995). We assumed that after the stage of adolescence, the participants would have successfully developed their identity and that was during young adulthood. However, in our actual study, we had difficulty looking for qualified participants so we adjusted the age range from 20 to 35 years old, reasoning that somehow, it was still under the stage of young adulthood. After setting the sample requirement, announcements about the present study were disseminated to different people for the efficiency of finding and gathering the participants. Data Collection and Analysis In collecting data, we conducted semi-structured interviews. One on one interviews were done for all participants. Interview protocols were differentiated for participants of high religiosity to participants of low religiosity. The interview protocol for LGs with high religiosity (see Appendix B) was structured in such a manner that would determine whether the church where he/she was in or the people inside it had affected his/her subjective well-being. For the interview protocol for LGs with low religiosity (see Appendix C), we had an assumption that the church or the people in it had played a role in his/her identification of being low in religiosity (e.g. if he/she experienced homonegative attitudes from them or not). The questions in both interview protocols were made parallel for participants of high and low religiosity. The interview protocolsincluded questions about the participants religiosity. The presence of conflict between LG identity and religiosity was also manifested in the questions in the interview protocolsto see whether this would be acknowledged or not by the participants. The subsequent questions required responses on how religious LGs find ways to negotiate or balance the conflict in their identities. Simultaneously, questions about their subjective well-being were asked. Before the interview, we managed to create a rapport with our participant so the interview would be conversationally meaningful and comfortable. We asked them to answer a scale about religiosity. The purpose of this scale in our study was for validation purposes only, to see whether the result from the scale would be correlated to the claimed religiosity of our participants. The scoring scale measured ones religiosity from 1(low in religiosity) to 5 (high in religiosity). This scale was created by Professor Josefina Andrea Ramilo-Cantiller, a professor from the Department of Psychology, University of the Philippines, Diliman. The scale contained 95 statements about religiosity, each statement under specific dimensions. In interpreting the data from this scale, we only picked statements that were relevant to our topic and scored them. The statements that we only considered were statement numbers:1-5, 9, 10, 15-17, 20, 22-25, 28-30, 34, 35, 37-40, 42-47, 50, 53-57, 60, 64-66, 70-75, 77, 82-85, 87, 88, 92, 93 (See Appendix Dfor the full religiosity scale). After the participant had finished answering the scale, wecontinued to the actual interview. Interviews approximately lasted for half an hour but it also rest on the weight of information shared by the participants.The interview was audio-recorded and transferred directly to computers for transcribing. When analyzing the data, we utilized KJ analysis to extract themes in the responses gathered from the participants. We sought for meaningful units, similarities and differences in the responses of the participants to our questions. In conducting KJ analysis, first, the responses had to be individually coded. Then, we synthesized the ideas in the first process to create a new set of codes to be used in group recoding. After recoding the data, similar codes were categorized and distinguished from other codes of different category. As soon as categories had been set, themes were then extracted from these categories in response to our research goals.

Results &Discussion From our seven interviews, we excluded one interview after finding out on the day of the interview that one participant was a non-Roman Catholic Christian. But still, we would consider some of the insight he had imparted to us and used it to see some parallel responses with our Catholic participants. From our interviews, we generated codes that reflect the religious identity of our participants, and their LG identity, as well (See Appendix E for the KJ Diagram). Participants religiosity was determined in the first part of our interview. Their responses under this category were coded as follows: Indicators of ones religiosity (High/Low), Perceived benefits of being in a Catholic religion, Interaction with other people in the church, Conceptions of a religious person, Spirituality, Disagreement with the Churchs principles, Christian experiences and Importance of religion (See Appendix F for the Codebook). These codes reflected their beliefs towards their religion like the code, Disagreement with the Churchs principles. From this category of codes, we were able to determine the roots of their own religiosity, specifically from the codes, Interaction with other people in the church and Christian experiences. These codes were also used to assess how they see Roman Catholic as their religion (e.g. Importance of religion and Perceived Benefits of being in a Catholic Religion). The code, Indicators of ones religiosity, enabled us to justify the self-perceived religiosity of our participants. Generally, those who perceived themselves to be highly religious were revealed to have more indicators of high religiosity and those who perceived themselves to be low in religiosity revealed to have more indicators of low religiosity. With regards to the results of the religiosity scale, it was moderately correlated with these self-perceived religiosities. All of the lesbian participantss score were generally neutral (3.04 - 3.78). Gay, low in Rs score in the religiosity scale was almost neutral (2.93). Only Gay, high in Rs score was highly correlated with his self -perceived religiosity (4.05). However, in our study, we had decided to prioritize the claim of our participants on their religious orientation and as mentioned earlier, the religiosity scale was for validation purposes only. Moreover, the participants were asked of their Conceptions of a religious person, which was another code. This code might have been used by the participants to assess oneselfs religiosity and their idea of a religious person was still different from their self-perceived religiosity. We also found out from the interviews that the participants self-perceived religiosities were associated with another code, Spirituality. As reviewed from the literature cited for this study, Spirituality and religiosity were highly related to each other.Our lesbians and gays established a relationship with a God and as mentioned, they generally perceived God as an accepting God concerning their sexual orientation. Only one notable response from Lesbian 1, Low in R was that she thought God dislikes lesbians and gays:

Bawal yun e. ayaw ng Diyos. Hindi ka ikakasal ng pari na pareho kayong babae at saka lalaki kasi ang Diyos naglikha para sa lalaki at para sa babae. ang babae ay para sa lalaki di ba? hindi naman pwede talaga.. From this response, we were introduced to how Lesbian 1, low in R perceived the conflict in her identity. As for the LG identity of our participants, the code Expression of Homosexuality had been salient across all their responses. All of them justified that it was important not to hide the real self for it will only be harder to deal with its consequences. As Lesbian 2, low in R said: Kasi mahirap kasi yung parang, papakita mo lang sa tao na parang nagbago ka, pero sa sarili mo parang labag naman sa loob mo na ano, di ba. Labag sa loob mo yung ginagawa mo. Parang, minsan may mga magulang na hindi matanggap yung anak nilang ganoon, pinipilit nila na gawing totoong babae o totoong lalaki pero hindi naman nila gusto yung maging ganoon sila. Dahil sa takot lang sa magulang Di kagaya talaga nung, i-ano mo yung sa sarili mo. Kasi ang sarap-sarap talaga ng feeling pag nagagawa mo yung, yun bang sa sarili mong, ano, yung nararamdaman mo mailabas mo talaga. As both identities were important and valued by our religious LGs, we asked them how the intersection of their idenitities affected them. In the interviews of our six Filipino, Roman Catholic, religious lesbian/gay participants,we found out that one of them did not acknowledge the conflict between her two identities. Lesbian 1, high in R said that she had not perceived any conflict in her two identities: Bahala tayo, kanya-kanya. Walang pakialamanan basta respeto lang. This was her response after being asked of her opinion about those people who perceive the conflict of homosexuality and religion. One possible reason that could be accounted for this attitude was the fact that Lesbian 1, high in R had studied in a Catholic girl school and she had been exposed to this environment wherein lesbians were seen in everyday course and so it was not a new thing for her anymore. Her score from the religiosity scale revealed that her degree of religiosity was neutral (3.04). This score was not correlated with the self-perceived religiosity of Lesbian 1, high in R.In fact, she scored lower than Lesbian 2, low in R. The underlying cause was not well-determined. In addition to her perception of no conflict in her two identities, her responses were found to be indifferent towards prejudices supporting the notion that she did not acknowledge the conflict. For our remaining five participants,as their two identities had intersected, they acknowledge the conflict. Acknowledgment of conflict was found to have two situations by our participants: intrapersonal conflict and interpersonal conflict. This was parallel to what Subhi et al. (2011) had found in their study. Conflict was found to happen within an individual and with respect to other people. The causes of this conflict found in the interview were Churchs Homonegativity and Societys Heterosexist Attitudes. Since our focus was mainly on the intersection o f religiosity and LG identity, we limited the data analysis only on the aspect of the Church causing the conflict to the religious LGs. Negative emotions were salient with respect to these conflicts caused by the Churchs homonegativity. Some of the negative emotions related to intrapersonal conflict were guilt and shame. Internalized homophobia was the prominent negative emotion that our religious LG participants experienced towards themselves as lesbians and gays.However, internalized homophobia was more salient with our lesbians, low in R participants. Lesbian 2, low in R said: Kaya lang kung minsan, siyempre minsan nakokonsensiya ka din lalo kung nakakapagsimba ako, minsan dumadaan talaga sa isip ko na, minsan nga sinasabi ko, Lord, alam ko namang kasalanan tong ginagawa ko. Sabi ko, hindi ko alam kung hanggang kailan ako ganito. Sabi ko ganon. Tulungan mo na lang sana ako. Ganon mga Ganon ang mga dinarasal ko talaga na gabayan niya na lang ako. Alam ko naman na mali tong ginagawa ko na to. Sabi ko, sana patawarin mo na lang Yun ang lagi kong dinarasal na ano e The effect of the churchs homonegativity to the intrapersonal well -being of Lesbian 2, low in R had caused her to think that having a lesbian identity was forbidden and therefore should be asked for forgiveness.According to the literature cited in this paper, people who regularly attend religious activities in the church tend to possess more negative attitude towards homosexuals. Also, women were said to hold more homonegative attitudes than men. It was cited to be due to the high prominence of their lives to religious works (Stefurak et al., 2010).This could be the reason of why internalized homophobia appeared more salient to our lesbians, low in R participants than togay, low in Rparticipant. However, no literature has yet to support why lesbians, low in R experienced internalized homophobia and gay, high in R did not.This finding was set to be one of the limitations in our study since we were only able to interview one gay whose religiosity was high. There were codes that were considered to be factors that also influenced the subjective well-being of the religious LGs. These were Identity Crisis and Limitations of being a homosexual and they only appeared in the responses of the lesbians with low religiosity. The relationship of these two were causal, Limitations of being a homosexual as a cause leading to Identity Crisis of Lesbian 1, low in R, particularly the inability to provide children for their partners. She said that maybe by becoming a heterosexual (a straight female), she would achieve the essence of her being by bearing a child. However, Identity Crisis for Lesbian 2, low in R was due to her experiences inside the church and this was given more attention with respect to the phenomenon being studied. Lesbian 2, low in R said that if she would stay longer inside the church, and exercise more of her religious practices, maybe she could redeem herself from a belief that it was a sin to be homosexual and that was by becoming a heterosexual. However, she stressed that the thought harmed her expression of homosexuality citing that it was a dilemma for her to push herself into something that was not in the light of her personal interests. That can be one of the reasons why she was low in religiosity because she prioritized more of her homosexual expressions. She revealed a high sense of spirituality instead. She asked for forgiveness from God because she chose to be a homosexual. As you can see, religion had played a great role in the identity crisis of Lesbian 2, low in R. Both codes, Limitations of being a homosexual and Identity Crisis greatly affected the subjective well-being of the participants. On the other hand, our religious LG participants also experienced positive emotions brought by their religious identity.They shared experiences wherein Interaction with other people in the church had made them happier. Also, as they cited spirituality as an aspect of their religiosity, it also resulted to a positive emotion. To be particular, they said that having aclose relationship with God eased the weight of burden they were carrying. Acceptance from other people like friends and family also led to a positive emotion for their sexual orientation was not harmed by the significant people in their lives. As what can be observed, these codes were not associated with the intersection of LG identity and religious identity. As spirituality had been distinguished from religiosity, we had decided that its not really their relationship with their religion that provided positive emotion; instead, it was their personal relationship with God. Relatively, only negative emotions were directly associated to the influence of the phenomenon to the subjective well-being of our religious LG participants. In dealing with these emotions, we found out that religious LGs had various attitudes and behaviors in response to the conflict (ABCs) of their two identities. It is important to note that the terms used in this analysis were in accordance to the description of the responses from our participants. These ABCs of the participants were different for intrapersonal conflict and for interpersonal conflict. The ABCs were classified according to their effect to the over-all subjective well-being of the participants. These classifications of ABCs were named: Compromising One identity and Maintenance of both Identities.When attitudes and behaviors classified under Compromisng One identity were applied in response to the conflict, either of the two identities was compromised. The attitudes and behaviors utilized by the participants in response to their intrapersonal

conflict were: LG Identity over R.I., R. I. over LG Identity, Withdrawal, Sexual Orientation as an improper basis for judgment and Negotiation through Respect. LG Identity over R.I., R. I. over LG Identity and Withdrawal were classified under Compromising One Identity. From the codes themselves, LG Identity over R.I. andR. I. over LG Identity,whenever conflict occurs, the mechanism of prioritizing one identity led in compromising the other identity. These ABCs helped them minimize a particular negative emotion when they tend to give more value to one identity than the other. However, these ABCs produced another negative emotion by the process of compromising an important identity for the religious LG participants. In one instance of LG Idenity over R.I., Lesbian 1, low in R said: Hindi ako talaga yung lalaki ang para sakin . Talaga ang babae yun talaga ang puso ko emabibigyan ka rin ng basbas [ ng simbahan], pero kung yung pipilitin mo sa sarili mo na mag-aasawa ka ng lalaki? Yung puso mo naman wala talaga dun e, nasa babae di ba? From this exact quotation of the participant, the intrapersonal conflict was dealt by justifying what identity was more important for the participant, in this case, for Lesbian, low in R. It could also be reasoned out that since her religiosity was low, that was why she gave more value to her homosexual expression than her religious belief. In addition, it was clearly stated that although she believed she could gain basbas from the church, she insisted that her interests did not comply to what the church had required, a clear implication of LG Identity over R.I. On the other hand, the code R. I. over LG Identity was also used in response to the intrapersonal conflict. As another quote from Lesbian 1, low in R: Ayy sakin.. masasabi ko, ang maging opinyon ko ay tama talaga ang pari. Di talaga pwede yun kasi ang Diyos naglika para sa lalaki at para sa babae. Ang babae ay para sa lalaki di ba? Hindi naman pwede talaga yun.. Tama naman talaga ang simbahan kahit ba ako ay.. kahit ganito ako, mali talaga. With this quote, it could be inferred how Lesbian 1, low in R gave value to her religious beliefs even though it would lead to suppression of her sexual orientation. It would be worth mentioning that these quotes came from the same participant employing ABCs that compromise one of her identities in different situations. From this instance, intrapersonal conflict was proven to be very difficult for religious LGs not just for Lesbian 1, low in R. The last code classified under this category was Withdrawal. In the context of intrapersonal conflict, Gay, low in R said: Nakokonsensya pa rin ako pag ganun.Oo.As in super. Kaya nga minsan ayoko nang magsimba kasi para sa kin ang kasalanan, napakamakasalanan ko na magsisimba pa ako. Di ba. This was his response when asked about his realizations between the church and himself, as a gay. Withdrawal from religious doings had been his behavior in response to the conflict. As a religious gay, his religious identity, an important aspect of his life, was again compromised by this behavior. This, in turn, led to another negative emotion, an implication of a negative subjective well-being. The general outcome of the interviews revealed that both sexual orientations with low religiosity usedthese attitudes and behaviors in response to intrapersonal conflict. They mentioned the greater importance of Expression of Homosexuality for them rather than their religious practices. The possible reason was because they exercised their homosexual expressions more than their religious practices since they were low in religiosity. And since they prioritized their homosexual expression more than their religious beliefs, their resort was to withdraw from religious practices. They cited that they feel shame and guilt when being inside the church while prioritizing more within themselves their homosexual expressions. For the other group of ABCs under intrapersonal conflict was Maintenance of both Identities. The ABCs classified under this category were Sexual Orientation as an improper basis for judgment and Negotiation through Respect. When confronted by the conflict intrapersonally, Lesbian 1, low in R said: Pag ikaw naman, pag ikaw namatay, di naman sasabihin sayo na tomboy ka ba? bakla ka ba? o di ba? Hindi naman natin masasabi na pag namatay ka e.. Alam ba ng Diyos na ganito ako? This response determined another ABC which concerned sexual Orientation as an improper basis for judgment. Generally, all of them said that sexual orientation was an improper basis when assessing the value of a person. Through this attitude, our religious LG participants protected themselves from the churchs negative beliefs associated with their sexual orientation by explaining that the worth of a person should not be measured in terms of his/her sexual orientation. They further explained that it had to be good will that should matter. With this ABC, religious LGs were somehow to able to minimize the negative emotion caused by the intrapersonal conflict and therefore, enabled them to exercise both of their identities so long as they maintain good character. Next ABC was Negotiation through Respect. Gay, high in R said: Medyo lang kasi sa simbahan, yung medyo maayos, hindi yung sobrang madaldal ka naman. Yung simple ka lang tapos paglabas mo, yun na Wala naman akong binago basta as long as maayos, hindi ako yung pag sa simbahan, hindi ako magsusuot ng mga siguro kung magsusuot man ako ng mga shorts, siguro yun yung lalabas na ko pero pag dyan talaga inaayos ko talaga yung sarili ko. Negotiation through respect appeared in gays who were high in religiosity and in lesbians who were low in religiosity. It could mean that whatever your sexual orientation and religious orientation was, when one wanted to maintain both identities, this behavior was the best resort. By doing so, they were able to exercise their religious practices inside the church despite the stigma and this was because they maintain respect for them. These two ABCs helped religious LGs were more effective in minimizing negative emotions caused by intrapersonal conflict since the outcome of employing these ABCs was the maintenance of their both identities. For the second conflict experienced by the religious LGs, the interpersonal conflict, various ABCs were also associated with categories of Compromising One Identity and Maintenance of Both Identities. In this conflict, ABCs under Compromising One Identity wereHelplessness and Withdrawal. Helplessness as defined in our Codebook means, feelings and beliefs that their actions were futile; that there was no chance of changing whatever negative attitudes others may have towards homosexuals. A quote from Lesbian 1, low in R: Kung halimbawa gusto naming magpabasbas [ng girlfriend niya] sa pari, ay ayaw naman talaga ay talagang walang magagawa yung tulad namin. From this kind of mindset, Expression of homosexuality was endangered because of the Chur chs Homonegativity, particularly that of the priest as specified by Lesbian 1, low in R. This described how one of their identities was compromised because there was nothing that they could do

to achieve what they wanted since the Church had already prohibited it. Another manifestation of a negative subjective well-being for satisfaction in life would not be granted to them as long as the Church has these homonegative attitudes towards them. The next ABC under interpersonal conflict, Withdrawal, which was also present as a beahavior in response to intrapersonal conflict was also used by LGs to minimize the negative effect of the conflict on their subjective well-being. As Lesbian 2, low in R mentioned: Kaya kung minsan pag nasa simbahan ako, lumalabas ako epagkanababanggit yung mga nakikiapidsiyempre hindi mo maaalis na parang nanliliit ka na.. From this statement, Lesbian 2, low in R has withdrawn her church activity when prompted with an interpersonal conflict, generally led by the people in the church. Just like Helplessness, Withdrawal in this context, resulted in compromising one of their identities.The consequence was a negative subjective well-being for the religious LGs. For interpersonal conflict, some ABCs were also identified under Maintenance of Both Identities. These ABCs minimized the negative emotions caused by religious institutions like the Church and its people. Through these ABCs, the religious LGs were able to maintain both of their identities. The ABCs under this category were Sexual Orientation as an improper basis for judgment, Engagement in personal acts of religiosity and Indifference to prejudice. Sexual Orientation as an improper basis for judgment also appeared as a response to intrapersonal conflict. In this case, this ABC was made to minimize the negative impact of the churchs homonegativity on the subjective well-being of religious LGs. For instance, Lesbian 2, low in R said: ano ba ang mas masama, yung maging ganito ka [homosekswal], o yung pumatay ka ng kapwa mo, makaagrabyado ka, manloko ka ng kapwa mo? From the point of view of Lesbian 2, low in R as an individual in a community, she sought that being a homosexual was not as worse as being a criminal or a drug user. Therefore, sexual orientation should not be a basis when assessing the value of a person. Through this attitude, LGs defended themselves fromthe negative beliefs associated with their sexual orientations promulgated in churches and disseminated by its people. With this attitude, LGs were able to maintain both identities. They go to churches as an individual having an LG identity and a good character, which they thought should matter more than their sexual orientation. Engagement in personal acts of religiosity was another ABC classified under the category of Maintenance of both identities. Through this ABC, religious LGs, particularly those participants with low religiosity, practice their religiosity in a personalized way, individuated from the usual doings of the Church people in order to avoid the stigma inside the Church. Just like what Lesbian 2, low in R said: nung ako yung lumapit, kung anu-ano na yung sinabi sakin. Parang galit siya na ganito na yung katauhan kona alam niya yung sarili ko na mali itong ginagawa kogusto ko talaga mangumpisal kaya lang bigla akong panghihinaan ng loobgagawin ko na lang direkta akong magdadasal sa taas. Praying personally was her way of avoiding the stigma that had harmed her lesbian identity and at the same time, it was her way to still exercise her religious identity. This result from our study was parallel to that of Halkitis et al., (2009). The consequence of this behavior was the maintenance of her both identities. Lastly, indifference towards prejudice was the ABC that was present in all sexual orientations and religious orientations in our study. As defined, Indifference towards prejudice was unresponsive attitudes towards negative treatment or discrimination towards homosexuals. Receiving negative treatment from others wont interfere with them doing whatever else they need to do. A quote from our Gay, high in R participant: kung may sasabihin man sila, di ko naman pinapansin. Minsan kasi magfocus ka na lang sa ginagawa mo This finding was also salient in Halkitis et al., (2009) study. Disregarding anti-gay doctrines was an effective way to minimize the negative impact on the subjective well-being of religious participants. General findings from our study stated that through rejecting the stigma, they were able to proceed to other meaningful things that they could do. They further explained that it would never help to pay attention to these negative attitudes. Recommendations for Future Study Conclusion Our results showed that generally churchs homonegativity imposes negative emotions to gays and lesbians, an implication of t heir negative subjective well-being (SWB). Majority of our religious gay and lesbian participants acknowledge the presence of conflict between their two identities, namely homosexual identity and religious identity. Based from our results, it varies from intrapersonal conflict to interpersonal conflict. However, one special case occurred that a participant did not acknowledge the conflict and therefore was indifferent towards it. For our religious gays and lesbians who acknowledge the conflict, they apply various attitudes and behaviors in response to the conflict (ABCs) of their two identities. These ABCs are grouped according to the outcomes that would result upon utilizing these ABCs. These attitudes and behaviors are either classified under (1) Compromising One Identity or (2) Maintenance of Both Identities. All ABCs from each group have different influences on the participants SWB. In general, the participants are indifferent towards the stigma. In addition to this, they insist that a persons sexual or ientation is an improper basis for judgment or assessment of ones value.