Monday, July 27, 2009

Coming Out of the “Broom Closet”

I am lucky to have two parents that fully accept the fact I am a pagan. In fact, after I converted, my mother followed; the jury is still out on my father...he would be willing to join in for ceremonies or feasts, but he still goes to church some Sundays and doesn’t really know anything about religion in general. The rest of my family was technically raised Presbyterian, they don’t go to church and we just say grace before big family meals, mostly because of my grandmother.
I doubt my family would have major issues with the fact I am a pagan, they would probably brush it off and think it was “just a phase”, or ask me questions about what paganism really is, but they wouldn’t disown me. Yet, I still have found myself unable to come out of the “broom closet”. So, I kind of want to talk about why, or why not, to come out of the broom closet.
All of my information is taken from personal experiences of friends and of myself, and from the website Lady of the Earth.
Picture if you will, you’ve been studying paganism for a while, and you’ve managed to cast a couple of circles, built up a rather nice collection of oils, incense and candles, and really proud of what you’ve learned. So, now what? Are you ready to tell your friends and family? Wait, we’ll have to consider some things first.
In Africa today, someone may be brutally murdered because they were accused of Witchcraft. Whether or not they are or aren't doesn't matter. Just an accusation.
Closer to home, in America today, someone may lose their children because a social worker was misinformed. Children have been taken from their parents because a 'child welfare' worker believed they will be sacrificed at Samhain.
Very close to my home, in Canada today, someone may be forced into a mental institution for practicing Wicca. Some institutions believe that practicing modern Witchcraft is a sign of mental distress or social maladjustment.
In the world today, someone is losing a job for being Pagan; someone is losing a friend. Someone is polishing a gun and muttering about the 'baby killers'. Someone is holding community action meetings to deal with the 'Wiccan threat'.
These facts are very scary. To think that there is so much ignorance over something is unfathomable to me.
Coming out of the broom closet will change everything.
But, there is good news. The teachers at my high school were very open-minded and prided the small pagan community we had; my friends may not agree with my beliefs, but they happily accept that it is what I believe.
Also, keep in mind there are different forms of being “out”. If we want to be technical, I’m very much out in the open, but at the same time I am very much in the closet. I am out with my friends, but for my cousins wedding on August 1st, I’ll be more half in the closet. I am more out with my mother than my father. Ordering books online is more anonymous than going to your local bookstore.

Stay tuned for tomorrow, “So you’ve decided to come out of the broom closet”

Source/More information


Anonymous said...

I was in the closet in the States because of the abuse, it would have taken some strange turn if they found out. It's bad enough they thought goths were evil. But now I am 100% out of the closet :)


A lot of my information is directly copy-pasted frm my own Book of Shadows, collected over the past couple of years from a variety of sourses. I try to credit where I can, and I try to paraphrase and change words around without changing meanings as much as I can.
IF YOU SEE YOUR INFORMATION HERE: Please let me know, I'll be more than happy to credit you. The best way to contact me is to leave a comment on the post, and I'll be sure to edit the post as soon as I get the message.