Religion is a touchy subject for many people, especially when it comes to marriage. The thing is that it should not be a touchy subject. Everyone is welcome to their own beliefs. Who are we to judge the spirituality or lack thereof of another? Unfortunately, there are too many people that will force their beliefs on other individuals. It is one thing to ask for someone else’s ear – to try and enlighten others on why you believe what you do. It is something completely different to make someone feel uncomfortable simply because you wish to convert them.
One of the biggest tragedies that Dr. Tinsley Ariana Taylor Keefe has witnessed as a wedding officiant in Oklahoma City is LGBT-based profiling involving religion. While the majority of it is unrelated to wedding themed incidents, there are a number of reasons why it can influence those involved in the pre-wedding prep and even the ceremony. This is why Dr. Tinsley Ariana Taylor Keefe is willing to share some advice with those less socially aware than others.
One of Dr. Tinsley Keefe’s first experiences as a wedding officiant in Oklahoma involved witnessing the bullying of a transgender bride involving religion. The LGBT community is used to the stigma that comes with an unaccepting and prejudice society, but that does not mean it does not sting. It is easy to find dutiful fanatics profiling the LGBT community and targeting them via religious bullying. The first thing that Dr. Tinsley Keefe stresses to the religious fanatics willing to listen is the importance of sharing your message without profiling.
A member of the LGBT community is a lot less likely to feel threatened and bullied if you share your message with everyone –not just them. If you are out in a public place, do not continuously go up to people that are labeled “different”. There will be cisgendered people willing to hear your message too. The biggest thing to remember is that profiling is a form of bullying and it can result in depression and anxiety.
Another tie into LGBT profiling and weddings that Tinsley Ariana Taylor Keefe has experienced during her time as a wedding officiant in OKC is the resistance to a simple command: “no”. Whether it is involving the wedding directly or the time preparing for the wedding, many people tend to misconstrue the demand “no” as less than it is. This comes into play with sharing your religious beliefs as well. Tinsley Keefe wants to stress the significance of being told “no”. If you are asking people to hear your beliefs on a subject – religion or not – you are asking, not demanding.
When a person tells you they are not interested, you need to respect their choice. Do not force your opinion on someone else and do not profile those you approach. Have a random selection of people that include members of all communities. If you are polite about the message you are conveying, eventually you will find someone willing to listen. Even better, you might find someone willing to share your beliefs.