05/23/2012 10:59 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How to Deal With Homophobic Religious Extremists (VIDEO)

Since it first aired on Charlotte CBS affiliate WBTV, the video featuring pastor Charles L. Worley from Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, N.C. has incited anger around the world. This comes on the heels of several other disturbing anti-gay religious sermons that became viral on the Internet, including one from pastor Sean Harris, who told parents that they should hit their children if they begin to act gay.

Every person on this planet has a voice, and we are all teachers; however big or small, each of us has a pulpit. These pastors choose to use their pulpit to spread pain, disharmony, and hate in the world. My social media platform is my pulpit, and I choose to use it to broadcast a message of peace, forgiveness, hope, and understanding -- with the intention of validating the millions of gay people who live, love, and learn in both big cities and small towns around the world.

People ask me if I'm Christian, or Jewish, or Buddhist, or another religion. And I say, "Yes, I'm all of these things." There are many ways to cultivate a relationship with a higher power, the Universe, God -- whatever you want to call it. Religion, and stories of the compassionate people of our past, are but two of these many ways.

I want to share here, with you, how we can launch a more fruitful discussion with our adversaries and, most importantly, with ourselves.