Study Finds Latino Gay Community Suffers Most Guilt

Latino and Black lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) men and women are more religious than their White counterparts, according to a new study. LGB Latinos also harbor more guilt about their sexual orientation than other ethnicities because of religious upbringing that may clash with gay or bisexual behavior, according to a recent article.
The study, reported at LatinaLista.com, is called “Religious Affiliation, Internalized Homophobia, and Mental Health in Lesbians, Gay Men, and Bisexuals.” It found that  LGB Latinos and Blacks go to church far more than LGB Whites. Sexuality isn’t discussed at church services. The emphasis is on the “Word of God,” according to the article.
LGB Latinos silently understand that any sexual orientation other than heterosexual is not only frowned upon in Catholic teachings but is a sin against God. That ‘sin’ is also felt by the family, the study found.
“A majority of religious LGB people attend services in settings that do not affirm their sexuality and sexual identity,” said David M. Barnes, co-author of the report and a doctoral candidate at Columbia University. “This is further evidence that clinicians working with LGBs need to understand their patients’ religious backgrounds and current religious attendance.”
The strong emphasis on religion in Latino households, leads to guilt and something called “internalized homophobia.” Self-loathing may be lessening, however, as the Latino community becomes more accepting of same-sex marriage, according to the study.

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