Are you in or out of the proverbial “Broom Closet”?
Do those around you know of your religion/faith/beliefs?
Or is your pagan-nature something you have to hide?
Obviously, if you are in the closet, you don’t have to write about it in your own blog. I don’t mean to force anyone to come out. Some people however, are open about this online but have to keep things under wraps in the ‘real world’. If that is the case for you, we’d like to hear about how you handle it.
So I’m open to all of this. And it’s a fun thing to look back on for me, considering how far I think I’ve come since I first told anyone I was a witch/pagan.
I’m fully out of the “broom closet” per say. My family all thinks I’m going through a “phase”, one that I’ll grow out of, but they all know (it’s still a phase even after all these years…go figure). Most of my friends know too. I’m sure my friends all think I’m a bit crazy (except the one friend who is pagan themselves, but that’s a different matter), but they pretty much accept me for who I am. I have lost some friends for my beliefs, and in high school when I went through my somewhat militant phase I faced far more trouble for it. Now that I’ve matured and grown up, it’s easier. I’m out about it all, and I don’t really make any point of being shy about my beliefs either. I don’t hide it at all. After all my beliefs are a part of who I am, just like they are for my Christian, atheist, agnostic, Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic or undecided friends.
However, I’m not loud about my beliefs and my pagan self. It took me a long time to learn the difference between being “out” and being “loud”. See, in high school I was somewhat militant (you can look back at 1, 2, 3, initial postings of my path if you want the long version of how I got to where I am now. #2 is the one about high school) about how I dealt with people around me. After all, to my young self, I thought, if Christians could go around being boldly out there about their beliefs, I could do the same, and if I freaked out people by being the scary “witch chick”, well that was a bonus. I’ve learned a lot since then, and I learned that there’s a huge difference between loud like I was in high school and such, and being proud of who I am (what I thought I was being), while still being dignified.
For me now, religion, spirituality, belief, faith…all of that is personal. I discuss mine freely with anyone who asks, if I feel comfortable with that person. However, I am still of the opinion that it is personal. I think, for myself personally, being proud of who you are, and being proud of your beliefs/spirituality, does not require screaming it from the rooftops. I learned that lesson after leaving high school, and so I changed. I was “loud” in high school. Since I screamed my “pagan-ness” from the rooftops at that time, there was never a chance of my hiding it. I always was out of the “broom closet” so to say. It isn’t always comfortable. I have lost some friends due to my beliefs, even if that has been rare since leaving the awful atmosphere of juvenile hijinks and delinquency that is high school and the cesspool that it breeds. Still though, I never hid who I was.
However, I am not loud anymore. I am open. If someone asks, I won’t lie. If I’m asked about my church, I state that I’m not Christian and I don’t go to church. If I’m asked further, I explain what I am. If I’m not asked, I don’t bring it up. I don’t feel the need to scream my beliefs anymore. I’m settled down. It’s not a matter of attention for myself at this point. So now, I make it a non-issue. If it comes up in conversation, I’m bluntly honest (with me, there is no other way). If it doesn’t come up in conversation, then it is a non-entity as far as I’m concerned. There’s no reason to bring up my beliefs if it isn’t already a discussion topic.
So it’s a strange journey for me. I’m out, definitely out about my beliefs. I don’t hide what I think or believe. But, I’m also not looking for attention for it. If it comes up, I’m honest and I share. If it doesn’t, I just don’t mention it. After all, it really is no one’s business but my own, my significant other, and whoever I want to share with what my path happens to be.