Communication ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-29-2020


The Mormon Church is one of the fastest growing and most conservative religious organizations in the world. The Church’s conservatism has meant that its rhetorics, doctrines, and discourses have cultivated a culture of queerphobia and anti-queer sentiments. By interviewing 15 transgender, bisexual, and gay Mormons who are active in the Church, I conducted a critical thematic analysis that yields insights and critiques into how Mormon rhetoric impacts the identity performances and relationships of queer members. Using queer theory and Whiteness as conceptual and theoretical lenses, the analysis revealed four major themes: 1) queerness as non-identity, 2) the primacy of divine identity, 3) paradoxes of ideologies, and 4) health issues regarding identity performance. The communicative impacts of these themes highlight the intricate influence Mormon rhetoric has on relationships and shaping the participants’ identity performances. Limitations are discussed and future directions are encouraged.




Queer, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, LGBT, Whiteness, Identity Performance, Divine

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Communication and Journalism

First Committee Member (Chair)

Shinshuke Eguchi

Second Committee Member

Yangsun Hong

Third Committee Member

David Weiss