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Liveability at the crossroad of religion, gender and sexuality.

An ethnographic study of religious and social barriers encountered by LGBTQ+ people across diverse traditions of faith.

Denna sida på svenska

PI professor Mia Liinason

FORTE (ID no 2021-01970)


While Sweden frequently is recognized as a secular and liberal country with a broad acceptance for same-sex
relationships, contemporary research presents a contradictory situation for religious lgbtq+ people in this
context. This ethnographic study aims to examine these contradictions by exploring religious and social barriers
encountered by lgbtq+ people of faith across diverse religious traditions in Sweden. The purpose of the project is to illuminate the effects of internalized lgbtq+ negativity and heteronormativity and identify what makes, and could make, spaces livable for lgbtq+ people of faith.

Bringing together multisited ethnography with digital ethnography and life story interviews, this project pioneers a novel interdisciplinary and comparative approach to examine religious and everyday experiences of lgbtq+ people in Muslim, Jewish, Sami and C atholic communities in Sweden, which until today has not been the focus of any academic study. Situated in an intersectional theoretical framework, and bringing together feminist postcolonial and queer of color scholarship, this project moves beyond a monolithic understanding of religion to approach religion as both doctrine and practice. Problematizing the assumption of a coherent identity as a goal for lgbtq+ people of faith, the project shifts from a focus on individual irreconcilability, to recognize how individual experiences are framed and shaped in an interplay with dominant narratives and explore both religious and social barriers encountered. 

Attending to religion as a transformative phenomenon, and which itself also may be subject to change, this project will contribute with new knowledge of the nature of expressions of heteronormativity and lgbtq+ negativity, the effects of minority stress on lgbtq+ people in diverse traditions of faith and the spaces in which they receive support, allowing us to develop unique understandings of how lgbtq+ lives become liveable across different religious contexts.