How do I talk about the importance of my faith with someone who might not be on the same page?

If faith is important to you, I think it’s crucial to have perspective on a couple things. First and foremost, we all know that religion has been wielded in societies to hurt people (and, oftentimes, queer people bear the worst of that hurt). If you start a conversation about religion with a relative stranger, you should be prepared to be open—and not defensive—about their personal experiences with their faith, and why they may have set boundaries around it. I know that most faith traditions teach us to lead with compassion when people have been wrongfully marginalized. So do your best to let your faith guide you appropriately in that scenario.

Second, even in moments like these, you have the power to allow your faith to act as a bridge and not a barrier.

When we distill our religious customs, beliefs, traditions, and stories down to their purest essence, we’re mostly left with a profound sense of how to live and accomplish justice in this world. Someone does not necessarily need to be a person of your exact faith to share those same values with you. If you talk about your faith from this vantage point, you might actually excite a potential partner who’s thrilled you’re being open and vulnerable with them. Who knows? That kind of conversation might ignite an unexpected bond. My faith tells me that leading with vulnerability instead of fear will reap a reward of love. Try it, and maybe you’ll find the same is true for you.

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