Coming “out of the broom closet” as a Pagan is a big issue for a lot of people.
It’s hard to decide whether you want to remain under the radar as a Pagan, or if you want to be out of the broom closet.
Consider where you live
One of the things to consider is the type of community you live in. For example, I used to be very much “out” when I lived in a big city a few years ago. But since moving to a small rural community (in another country), I have decided to remain pretty much in the closet about my beliefs.
People who know me well can often guess what I believe, but I don’t talk openly about my spiritual side, I don’t wear a pentacle openly, and I keep my faith pretty much to myself. The community in which I live now is very conservative, and I think my family and I are better of remaining quiet about being “different”.
Overall, my experience has been that the larger the city or community is, the more open it is to new ideas and alternative viewpoints. You might want to think about this, and consider what sort of community you are a part of, before deciding whether you wish to be open about your faith or not.
Consider your family
Think about how coming out may affect your family. Are you partnered to someone in a high profile career, whose interests, however unfairly, might be damaged by your coming out?
I’m not saying this is fair. It’s not. But we do have to be aware of how our actions and beliefs are accepted or rejected in our community, and how our beliefs affect others who are related to us.
Are your children enrolled in a Christian school? Likewise, your coming out may affect their prospects at school, or their prospects of enrollment. People can be cruel bigots.
Consider your career
How will your openness affect your career? In some careers (such as politics and law), presenting a conservative image is really important. You may need to think about this.
Coming out to a partner
Deciding whether or not to come out to a new partner can be a difficult decision. Are they open-minded? Will they support you? Do they understand your beliefs? Do they practice another religion or set of beliefs?
It’s often really hard to know whether a partner will be supportive or not. But if they’re the kind of person who is open-minded and open to new ideas, they’ll generally be okay.
Sharing your beliefs is, in the end, a matter of trust. Do you trust others to respect your beliefs, and to continue to value you as a person no matter whether they agree with you or not? Do you trust them to be willing to take the time to understand? Are you willing to share such an important part of yourself with others?
Do what you feel is right. If you have any doubts about sharing your beliefs with someone, or being open in your community about who and what you are, take your time. There is no rush. Come out about paganism only when you are absolutely certain it is right for you. Some people come out the moment they start their pagan path. Others remain in the closet their entire lives. Both choices – and everything in between – are valid.