Integrating Religious and Sexual Identities: The Case of Religious Homosexual Men in Singapore

Peter Kay Chai Tay, Chang Yau Hoon, John Y.K. Hui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The sexual and religious ecosystem in Singapore represents an intricate interplay of factors that religious homosexuals navigate to attain a well-adjusted personal identity. A qualitative research project was conducted to understand how Christian and Muslim homosexual men in Singapore integrate their religious and sexual identities. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine religious homosexuals to elicit responses on their dual-identity experience, and coping strategies. Narrative analysis revealed three themes (and a number of subthemes): (1) Intrapersonal factors (a personal journey, knowledge seeking, reinterpreting belief system, redemption by good deeds, and love prevails over sin), (2) Interpersonal factors (segregating social circles, involvement in the gay community, role models, and social support), and (3) Sociopolitical factors (state and societal tolerance of homosexuals, and homosexual events). Interestingly, the participants assigned positive attributes to being both religious and homosexual, and reported that embodying both identities was enriching than if they had possessed just one of the two identities. This suggests that integrating positive psychological frameworks (e.g., stress-related growth) to existing ones may provide a more holistic account of identity integration among religious homosexuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-353
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Sexual Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2018


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