The relationship of religion, gender and sexuality is frequently the subject of controversy and debate within media, public discourse, and policy modifications. However, the debates about these categories and their relationship often essentialize the topics as incompatible markers, requiring mediation in order to produce policies that do not offend one over and above the other. These essentializations ignore the lived intersectional identities of individuals who are religiously, gendered or sexually diverse and who exist across these identity possibilities. Drawing on data from the Religion, Gender and Sexuality Among Youth in Canada project (RGSY) this chapter will explore the ways young people in Canada are developing, negotiating, and understanding the dynamics of religion and sexuality. The RGSY project is led by Pamela Dickey Young (Queen’s University) and is a mixed methods study of 18 to 25-year-olds in Canada, comprised of an online survey, semi-structured interviews, and video diaries. While legal challenges, and the media coverage of these challenges, often represent both religion and sexuality within narrow parameters, on-the-ground research continues to debunk stereotypes about both categories of identity.
By Heather Shipley, 2018