Oct 17, 2009

In Or Out......?

Most folks, who like me, consider themselves wiccan or pagan eventually find themselves seriously pondering the question of whether or not to “come out of the broom closet.” If you have never heard this term, this basically means “coming out” as a pagan or wiccan ....identifying yourself to family,  friends and/or neighbors that this is your spirituality. It’s a very personal issue, and people have a number of reasons for choosing not to disclose this information....just as many people choose this to be appropriate for them to declare.

Coming out may not be for everyone, or it may be something you choose to do a bit at a time. When you decide to make your faith known, you are opening yourself up to all the problems that may accompany being recognized as part of a non-mainstream faith. But  you do have certain rights particularly in the United States. Arming yourself with knowledge will help you tremendously in protecting those rights.

There are different levels of being “out”. For most of us, simply letting friends and family know about our spirituality is enough. Many people consider religion to be a private thing anyway no matter what religion they may be ... and are perfectly content to limit the number of people in their lives who actually know the details. Plenty more people are of the opinion that if you are asked, tell the truth, but otherwise it is better not to be "in-your-face" about paganism or wicca.

Other folks are more vocal and feel that if you really believe in something, you need to tell everyone and do so with  great pride. It is, however, difficult to know just how many choose this path and one of the reasons it’s so hard to get an accurate count of the current pagan and wiccan population is because there are so many people who are simply private about their beliefs. There are some estimates in the United States that suggest that there are anywhere from 200,000 to two million pagans and wiccans in the United States alone.

As paganism and wicca move more towards the mainstream, more and more people are coming out of the broom closet. Some are very vocal while others are more discreet and quiet...and some don’t come out at all simply because they’re concerned about the reactions they’ll receive. I always give the advice that if you feel that your community would be accepting or tolerant of  you and wish to proclaim your spirituality as a way of life and not just a fad as some have accused, then by all means,  let it be known!

*Side Note* If you want a truly authentic, absolutely gorgeous handmade broom, please check out this website. I own two and often send them as gifts!! 


greekwitch said...

Oh i am so out! Although i have had my share of weird looks and the do you believe in Satan question i never regreted this not even once.
That besom is truly beautiful. I hope they ship overseas!
Be blessed and happy.

The Traveler said...

surprisingly enough I'm out to everyone but my family. I tried to tell them but it became a source of jokes and mockery so I just never mentioned it again. But to everyone else I'm the ask and I'll tell you type.

Sloan said...

Im really glad you posted this. I am not yet out of the broom closet, except to my closest friends. All my friends are/would be very accepting. Im just not fully ready. I do want to come out to my parents (before i ship out). I would be fine, i think, with staying in when it came to them but i feel like they have not noticed any of my changes and it makes it more difficult for them to now understand my point of view. **ill post on this and continue later** :) Great Post.

Eliza said...

Still very much in the broom closet,*hiding behind the hoover and dusters* still new to Wicca, maybe one day.

Bridgett said...

At this point, I'd say I'm half in and half out. Some of my family knows...just not my parents. I'm not sure I'll ever come out and tell my parents, as they're highly conservative fundamentalist Christians. It would be a bigger headache for me than it's worth. And I really don't feel the need to hear them tell me I'm going to "hell" at every opportunity. If they ever find out or outright ask me, though, I certainly won't lie. I'm proud of my craft and the person it's helped me become.

Most of my friends know though.

The longer I practice this faith, the more comfortable I feel putting myself out there. Of course, I've always been one of those people who doesn't really care what other people think. I'm me. Like it or not. That's just the way I feel.

But I certainly understand people's need and desire to stay in the closet.

Great entry!

And those brooms are GORGEOUS!


Rue said...

I am mostly out... I'm just not interested in explaining myself all the time. I suppose that makes me a lazy Pagan. Plus, like Bridgett, I have family who are very Christian, and I just don't have time to battle. I don't pretend that I'm Christian - I just don't throw what I believe in their faces.