Tips For Truly Listening To Queer Stories
Everyone loves a good story.
As Christians, we love stories even more than the average person. Hearing about a person’s journey of faith, their testimony, or their life story, is usually one of the first conversations that help us feel truly connected to that person.
In the queer community, stories are much more complex. For much of our lives, we’ve had to lie or filter ourselves through moulds that are unnatural for us. We might change the pronouns of crushes or relationships, fabricate entire experiences, and spend our dating lives in secret.
Shame is woven through all of this.
So when it comes to our stories, we’re much more hesitant to share, and it’s much more difficult for us to.
To our friends at TWU, here are some things you can do, to make this whole process easier. These are great tips even if you don’t know the person is queer, and you just want to hear their story.
1) Be hospitable. First and foremost, it is up to you to create an environment where they feel comfortable to share.
2) Don’t assume someone wants to share their story. Give them the agency. Say something like “In the future, if you feel comfortable, I would love to hear more of your story.”
3) Be humble, if someone is sharing their story with you. You don’t know everything about this person, even if you know them well. You also don’t know everything about what it’s like to be queer. This is an opportunity to learn.
4) Also understand the importance. If they feel comfortable sharing their story with you, it’s an indicator that they trust you.
5) Ask questions, but don’t force them to answer. Give them the space to answer as they feel comfortable.
6) Know that they aren’t looking for your answers or opinions, unless they explicitly ask for it. They’re looking for your support and love. Ask them how you can support them.