Monday, June 30, 2014

Broom Closet: A Bit Of Advice

Blessed be,

Before you read, take a deep breath and say this as a mantra, "I am not alone". The broom closet situation is a dear passion of mine to talk about; everyone feels the need to hide a part of their true self from how society judges things they do not understand. It happens everywhere, believe me. LGBT, Transsexual/Transgender, here, and even small problems like hiding a hobby interest. Two years ago I came out as Pagan. I remember the fear, rejection, loneliness, confusion, sadness, and pain I endured. I longed to practice openly. I longed to be free. When I came out, some of my secret practices disappeared. I adapted. I coped.  I swore. I cried. And I fought for what I believed in. Things changed. Coming out as a Pagan in this day and age is a blessing and a curse; you'll find great support while you'll discover hurt from non-supporters. In the end, coming out can either be a great advantage or it may impact your practice for a long time. I want to list out some pros and cons to coming out for those who are debating what step to take next. Your circumstances will highly affect the results if you do come out, so only keep your situation and loved ones in mind as you think.

The Pros:
1. You'll feel better. Believe me, it's true. I hid my preference from my family most of my life. When we laid everything out on the table (and I gave it time for the first response storm to calm), my family became a little more accepting. That acceptance increased later on.

2. Consider your friend circle. Do you know anyone who may be interested in related topics that you can trust first? Sometimes it may be easier and reassuring to be open with a close friend before your family. It's practice.

3. Opportunities may expand. After coming out, you may be able to join Pagan events freely and meet others. This can depend on your exact situation, something I can't answer.

4. Testing your faith. Maybe after opening up, you'll find that maybe the Pagan path isn't for you the way you once thought. It didn't happen to me that way, but I'm sure many other people have gone through it. 

The Cons
1. Your Family's ExpectationsMaybe you were raised to be Catholic or maybe you were raised to strictly believe in nothing spiritual at all. Depending on how spiritual (or not), your family and how they raised you should be a big moral consideration before proceeding. 

2. Work. After gaining support in your personal life, you may feel acceptance toward coming out to coworkers. One time, my pentagram showed in front of a manager (I slipped it out due to pride and confidence) and they asked me misconcepting questions based on if I was a devil worshipper or not. People do talk. Personal baggage in the workplace is not fun nor appropriate to have to deal with. I learned the hard way. You'd have to consider if you could handle that kind of information being out at your job, and sadly what customers may think or say. Shit happens.

3. Friends. If you were raised going to church and you still have church friends, they may want to turn against you after hearing you're a Pagan. Or, this can happen with any types of backgrounds out of fear. It varies greatly.

4. Lose of Practice. If you still live at home and come out to Christian parents, they may (and probably will) ask you to not perform rituals or spells until you're out on your own. This is a tough sacrifice to run into: I did. Respecting their wishes would be the best (also mature) choice to make. 
These were all I kind think of at this moment. I'll definitely be going more in depth on the closet group situation soon. Keep watching and waiting for related posts! Good luck to you all, my friends.  No matter what, my heart says you'll be fine.