Black Sexual Minority Men's Disclosure of Sexual Orientation Is Associated With Exposure to Homonegative Religious Messages

Am J Mens Health. 2019 Jan-Feb;13(1):1557988318806432. doi: 10.1177/1557988318806432. Epub 2018 Oct 12.


Previous research has highlighted the homonegative atmospheres of many religious communities in Western society and their harmful impact on Black sexual minority (SM) people's mental and physical health. However, few studies have examined the relationship between sexual orientation disclosure to church members and exposure to homonegative religious messages in religious settings. This online quantitative study investigated this relationship among a sample of 320 Black SM men. The participants for this study were recruited nationally from across the United States and had a mean age of 34 years. Descriptive statistics and linear regression analyses were conducted. Findings indicated that sexual orientation disclosure to church members was significantly associated with exposure to homonegative religious messages, even when controlling for geographic region of residence and denominational affiliation. Black SM men who had higher levels of disclosure were exposed to fewer homonegative religious messages. The implications of these findings for health research and clinical work with Black SM men are discussed in detail.

Keywords: Black men; homonegativity; religion; sexual minorities; sexual orientation disclosure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black or African American / psychology*
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disclosure
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Health Status
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Religion*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sexual Behavior / ethnology*
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities / psychology
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States
  • Young Adult