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thalassa
09 Oct 2010, 00:44
What is your story on letting others know you are Pagan? How has it effected you for better or worse? Has it changed your relationships with them? What challenges have you had to overcome?

SageGreene
09 Oct 2010, 09:31
I actually need some advice in this area. I found Wicca a few years ago and now pretty much everyone knows. I told my friends and now fianc

Rowanwood
09 Oct 2010, 11:41
I know I've told my story previously. I'm one of the rare few that was never in any sort of closet. My family is pretty open.

However, I never went out and blurted out at a family gathering "I'm a WITCH" because I didn't feel it was necessary. I don't hide who I am and what I believe, but outside of a discussion about religion, I usually don't go blathering on about it either. I never have.

I think maybe I understand the desire to get it out there; to tell people, but I really never thought my spirituality was up for debate, so I saw no point in discussing it with people who might not be appreciative.

Branflakes
09 Oct 2010, 18:52
I straight up told my brother, mother, and friends. My dad kinda just took context clues. One of my coworkers just asked me about my pentagram necklace today. Other than that, Im not in the broom closet or anything. I never was, I think.

KashakuTatsu
09 Oct 2010, 23:50
I am overly open if people ask, but I haven't gone out of my way to "come out of the broom closet" with my family. I find no need to hassle them with the blunt "I never believed in your God" kind of conversations. They are not open enough to hear that conversation and I like my life as least complicated as possible.

Dufonce
10 Oct 2010, 05:18
Sage: don't worry about it, they never asked and it never needed to be stated. If you lie about it its one thing, but like you were being respectful of their beliefs that is a good thing. you don't need to throw your beliefs in peoples faces. Just like how you wish your grandma would stop calling you about saving your soul. You believe your beliefs and they believe theirs. don't feel bad about it. If the topic came up, its then up to you. If it came up, tell her you always kept it quiet around her to respect her beliefs and her household. At that point the ball is in her court to be whatever person she wants to be about it.

As for me I haven't quite "come out of the broom closet" because I don't feel the need to. I've told people that I know share beliefs, and the one that doesn't share the beliefs with me likes to discuss/debate religions and such. he likes to pick apart religions with historical accuracies. I had once when I was younger asked my mom for a book I had found on "white magic" (yes I was VERY young... probably around 12 when I started.. so I wasn't very knowledgeable) and she responded with a "no! our family doesn't do that sort of thing! put that book back!" which was amazing because she was never a religious person, we never went to church, and religion is never really brought up. so its easy to not talk about it.

However I am waiting for the in-laws to come down... they say grace at dinner every day and are regular church-goers. last they knew we went to a church around here, before my wife converted away from Christianity... oh this is gonna be fun. lol. I'm actually glad the questions don't come up because I personally don't like explaining myself to people.

yukanaoe
10 Oct 2010, 05:44
when I first converted I had this overwhelming need to "Tell the world" but I think that was the christian still in me lol and I felt bad when people talked religion with me and i had to 'lie' but i have come accross the realization that when someone says 'god' and I respond with 'god' even tho we mean them in different ways I'm not really lieing to them cause i do believe in a god i jsut believe in a goddess to and so i'm not really lieing i'm just note telling them everythign. i dont respond with I'm not christian I'm wiccan. you knwo what I mean?

and yeah Dufonce I've been thinking about when my mom comes down.... that is certainly going be be fun. but she's pretty oblivious so we shouldnt have a problem... other than grace.....

SageGreene
10 Oct 2010, 13:00
... If it came up, tell her you always kept it quiet around her to respect her beliefs and her household. At that point the ball is in her court to be whatever person she wants to be about it.

Very valid point. Thanks for that!



Good luck with your inlaws.. that could be interesting.. I got blessed with mine. They've been more supportive than my blood! lol

Gardenia
10 Oct 2010, 13:13
My family and most of my friends know. I don't go out of my way to tell everyone, but I don't hide it either, so over the years those close to me found out one way or another. (One exception, I did bluntly come out and tell my fiance shortly after we first met. I just got out of a horrible relationship where religion was an issue, and thought it'd be better to clear that up sooner rather than later.)
Most of my family are not Christians - those who are, are open minded - so it was never an issue with the family. To be honest, I got more crap from them for being a pescatarian than a pagan. :P Friends have been another issue... some stuck with me, others cut off contact with me because of it (which hurt, but was for the best I guess). Some friends who were okay with it, well, their families were more of a problem at times, but usually it wasn't a problem - or they never knew. And, as I mentioned earlier, I was also in a relationship where it was a major problem. Majority of people though? Don't have an issue with it.

Caelia
10 Oct 2010, 14:52
I'm still in the broom closet with my grandparents. With my family there was no "coming out"; they figured it out pretty fast. I just wish they'd figure out I'm not Wiccan.

Hoho
11 Oct 2010, 01:29
Hrm. I first started as Wiccan I guess you would say, with a few friends of mine and I didn't try to hide if from my mom. She never commented about it, but in the end it wasn't for me at all. It was a good way to bring my friends together, but I was an immature child back then sad to say, and I don't think our intentions were all that good.

My dads side of the family (parents are divorced) are catholic, but I hardly ever spent time over there, only summers, so nothing ever clashed. I would say I conceal my beliefs from them since they aren't catholic, at least at the moment because I'm dependent on them. It's something I learned being gay too, to just be quiet about stuff until you don't *need* them to survive. Sure, they may accept it, but they may not and what do you do if they do disown you, or kick you out. I'm waiting until I'm dependent on my own, then they can have the two blows. Though the religion blow isn't so much as what I believe, as what I DON'T believe from catholicism(spelling? I keep getting the red squiggles!)They are very pigheaded about things ._.

As an effect of the need to remain secret, I've developed my own way of doing things. I'm mentally incapable of using material symbolism now I think, the thought is just so alien and I don't understand it, and other stuff that I don't know how to explain; sort of like how we mentally set our limits based on the world around us, ya know? I do miss my old friends though; I can say it was enjoyable being religious *with* people.

StellaMorganna
11 Oct 2010, 09:50
My mom, dad and brother have never been Christians. I mean if they are asked what is their religion, they would probably say Christianity, however they have never believed in it. Neither have I. I was baptized, but never had it in me. I did try though, to accept it, to embrace it, went to church every Sunday and used to pray every day (nobody forced me, this was the moment I felt there has to be something out there, I think I was about 16 then), still it was only me saying some words, meaning nothing really. I haven't told my parents and brother I am a pagan, but this is I guess only because we don't discuss religion. We have never had this conversation.

My husband is not very religious either. He even refuses to go into a church, but I haven't asked him why, I don't think he would answer and besides he probably has some very personal reason not to. He knows I am not a Christian, just I haven't really told him I am a pagan. He has accepted I have interests different to his and I read a lot of occult books and everything, just we seem to have no need to discuss it. He has always accepted me for who I am which is something I have to remind myself more often :) Especially when I am angry at him.

Anyway, his mom is very very religious. She is a good Christian and she knows I don't go to church, I don't pray and stuff, but she has no idea I am a pagan. For her, pagan is equal to magician, witch and she doesn't approve such people. I guess like most of the Christians she is scared, she is afraid of hexes and curses and witch=curse in her mind. I don't think I should tell her what I believe in, she is a very good person, I don't want to trouble her with such things. We are in good relations, so why hassle?

I never actually went out of the closet, as i never were in it for real. Most of my friends know I am a pagan, still we seem to avoid the subject.

yukanaoe
11 Oct 2010, 19:19
yeah stella my step-mom is like your mother in law. tho mine would disown me and prolly get the police involved on some way or another to get my child taken away from us.... i find that some pople jsut dont need to know... like they say Ignorance is bliss :) and (from our church) we had an entire sermen on "the devils symbols" which included the Penticle and the Goat head and whatnot. telling us that its evil and of the devil and all that shit so thats where some people get it cause some churches actually preach it and strengthen the steriotype that wicca/pagan's are evil...

volcaniclastic
11 Oct 2010, 19:50
I know I've told my story previously. I'm one of the rare few that was never in any sort of closet. My family is pretty open.

However, I never went out and blurted out at a family gathering "I'm a WITCH" because I didn't feel it was necessary. I don't hide who I am and what I believe, but outside of a discussion about religion, I usually don't go blathering on about it either. I never have.

I think maybe I understand the desire to get it out there; to tell people, but I really never thought my spirituality was up for debate, so I saw no point in discussing it with people who might not be appreciative.


Basically this.

I neither hide it, nor flaunt it. It just is, and it's always been that way. Over the years, friends and family have kinda figured it out.

TaiganPagan
11 Oct 2010, 21:51
Where I am from, only the true Catholics and illiterate people laugh at us Pagans, like Jehovah witnesses (not meant talking against them, but that's what they do).

Sunday Heathen Catholics like my parents do not care, as long as I do not paint the whole room black and draw an inverted pentacle.

So they know I am Pagan, and they do not care about it.

StellaMorganna
12 Oct 2010, 00:03
yeah stella my step-mom is like your mother in law. tho mine would disown me and prolly get the police involved on some way or another to get my child taken away from us.... i find that some pople jsut dont need to know... like they say Ignorance is bliss :) and (from our church) we had an entire sermen on "the devils symbols" which included the Penticle and the Goat head and whatnot. telling us that its evil and of the devil and all that shit so thats where some people get it cause some churches actually preach it and strengthen the steriotype that wicca/pagan's are evil...

I guess if my mother in law knew about my beliefs, she would be more worried about me, than anything else. She just wants everybody to be good and well, and she would probably give me some books and brochures to make me a good christian. :) Still, as I said, i wouldn't trouble her with my beliefs. I let her bring my child to the church, still she is not trying to make her believe anything and my kid enjoys the Sunday mass (mostly because the priest is quite a good singer :) )

Anyway, if you love somebody, you would try to make their life easier, therefore I wouldn't want to discuss anything that's going to break the peace.

Oshii
12 Oct 2010, 00:16
I don't really know if I'm in a so called "Broom Closet". I've always been kind of "meh" about this sort of thing (hence my status on the left).

I've always found that people will find something to be offended about when they are in the mood. At that point, it really doesn't matter what it is. They will nit-pick no matter what. "Religion" is just an easy target for most because no two people have exactly the same outlook.

I don't really have any true advice on those who are looking to come out of the broom closet. I guess the only thing I can really say on the subject is...Be sure you know what you want to do and stick to your guns. Remember that no one can take away your beliefs. Ever. Not family. Not friends. Not anyone. If they try, then you don't want to be around them, anyway. It's your life. Live it the way you want. :)

pihlaja
12 Oct 2010, 12:00
Well, I don't know if I'm in any type of broom closet. Basically if someone asks, I tell that I'm not Christian and I'm more like a "nature-believer" or pagan. And 'coz I don't have any exact terms or paths to explain things easily, usually that's the end of the conversation. I have several pagan friends who of course know what I am, my other friends know something but probably don't understand and with my boyfriend I talk quite much about religions but usually not about for example crystals, runes and such (he thinks it's rubbish and nonsense. :D). With tarot he's okay as I don't use them to divination but rather to understand myself and come up with new ideas and ways to understand things. Only with my family I don't talk about these things. I've always thought my mom's quite religious (Christian), but lately she's been showing growing interest to astrology and such so I'm not compeletely sure anymore. With dad or my brother we don't really discuss about anything "deep", so there's no time or place to "come out from the closet" anyway.

Lately I've been curious with the fact that my bf's family is deeply Christian (Born again christians or something like that). Quite fundamental, conservative etc. so I think we'll confront some interesting times sooner or later. :D Luckily my bf is something between atheist and agnostic with tendencies of believing in to some greater power which he just can't define. (And he even was interested in satanism, but moved away from that before we met.)

Lass
12 Oct 2010, 15:13
I've had mixed experience with this.

I was brought up a Catholic, but always found there were parts of the teaching I didn't agree with - for one I'm gay which is not allowed. However, before I fully realised that Wicca was the spiritual path for me, I went on pilgrimage to Lourdes with my college. I still go every year that I can, for the people and the truly spiritual experience I get out of it. I feel that I can never be truly open about my beliefs with some of the people I have met through my time in Lourdes - they feel very open-minded, but there is a limit and I suppose I'm not ready to deal with other people's prejudices.

I remember the day I told my mother that I was Wicca. She wanted me to come to Church with her and I had to "come clean" and say why I didn't want to go. She most definitely thought it was a "phase" and couldn't understand that I still wanted to go to Lourdes that year - but then again she's never been so she wouldn't know the social/spiritual side as well as the devout Catholic stuff that goes on.

I always wear a triple moon pendant and if anyone asks me what the symbol means I am completely open about it - most find it interesting when I tell them. I suppose the real test will be when someone I've met through Lourdes asks!

Coming out of the broom closet is a matter of judging the person/people you are speaking to - you have to be comfortable in yourself as well as with whatever reaction they may give. I suppose it's similar to coming out as gay; it's not something that needs to be done to every stranger, it's a case of telling people when the circumstances are right for you.

Apologisies for walltext, I got a little chatty as I was typing :)

LuciaStar
12 Oct 2010, 15:27
Mine was... quite easy. Me and my mom were having a conversation on religion, and I told her my beliefs and my religion (which was Wicca at the time) and what it was about... and she came home the next day with tons of books on Wicca and Paganism and gave them to me. She was completely cool with it; she grew up as a Christian (Pentecostal) so I was rather surprised at first. I never told my dad... however, I have got him to help me cut out a pentagram... so he might have an idea. Most of my friends know, or have an idea.

The only thing that annoys me today is that my mom still assumes I'm Wiccan.... which I'm not. :|

weareoceansaway
14 Oct 2010, 22:30
My parents were from two distinctly different religions based on the same faith....my mom was Roman Catholic and my dad was Mormon (not the many wives type). I thought it would be harder to talk to my mom about religion simply because RC is pretty structured, tight, and very unforgiving really. In all actuality, my mom was.....not really supportive, but not against it either. She simply said 'follow what you feel is right, not what I or anyone else tells you is right'. I think that was the kindest thing anyone had ever said to me. My dad, on the other hand, who is usually supportive, asked me to please rethink it over because he wanted me to join him in heaven instead of his firstborn going to hell. I had to kindly explain my Path to him and listen to his protests, but eventually he came to understand, at least a little. I felt bad; no one wants their parent to believe that they are going to suffer because of their spiritual differences. At least, I didn't. Now he just grunts whenever the subject of religion comes up. ^-^ Not that I go ahead and shout it out to the world either. It's sort of frowned upon in my workplace so I keep a lid on it when the subject comes up, only because the politics in the Navy are ridiculous. If they don't ask, I don't tell and when they do ask, I don't tell everything. Navy people are a suspicious lot (black cat = bad luck suspicious, I think I'm thinking of another word but can't quite think it. XD). Ah! Superstitous is what I meant!

thalassa
15 Oct 2010, 09:39
lol...I started this thread, and I still haven't answered in it...


I have considered myself pagan in one form or another since jr high--11/12 ish, when I learned that there was a name for things that made more sense to me than the standard Christian theology I'd grown up with...so I've been "coming our of the broom closet" one way or another for the past 17/18 years (yup...I'm about to hit the third decade for all you math geniuses :P).

Ummm...I broke my parents and family in gently...even though I *thought* they wouldn't care, it was sort of a combination of not wanting to make waves, and wanting to keep it too myself to see where it went kind of thing. By high school my friends knew, but they were into it too, so it was a collaborative effort for the most part. I fully admit, I was incredibly outspoken and thought *everyone* needed to know...looking back it was totally obnoxious (but it was good practice--when I need to pull it out, I have a rockin arsenal). I let my parents know in stages starting with, "I want to learn about other religions" (which my parents thought was a great idea...part of my confirmation class was actually going to a mosque, a synagogue and the Hindu temple in St Louis). By the time I left for college, my parents knew about "the pagan thing" and it was neither a shock or a big deal to them. My mom's main concern wast that I was careful about what groups I joined that I was sure they weren't fronting for some cult or something.

I've never had a problem being openly pagan, not even in the military--but I also am not openly pagan with everyone (like the inlaws--thats just drama I don't want) and I don't throw in peoples faces, and I worked my ass off. When I went thru bootcamp, I was assistant RPPO (weareoceansaway knows what that is ;))--and everyone in my division had their chance to have their say (since we had the traditional "evening prayers and reflection" quiet time). In Norfolk, where I was stationed for six years, there's a local drumcircle, several local pagan/occult/alternative spirituality shops, a local gather, public sabbats--the pagan community is out there, if you can't find it, you aren't looking...and alot of them are military. On both of my ships and at the hospital, I was not only known to be pagan, but quite often I was the pagan referral system ("Oh! New guy is pagan! Send him to HM3!). I've heard many people say its difficult to be Pagan in the military...but somehow I lucked out--in my last workspace, at one point in time, there were 6 Pagans of one flavor or another (that was basically 20% of the office).

Now...I'm only an asshole when I need to be (there aren't many people holding signs around here like there are in Va Beach--there might have been many pagans, but it was also the headquarters for Pat Robertson's ilk). I don't find it necessary to tell people...because people aren't in each others pockets in the civilian world they way they are in the Navy. A few people at work and school know, and my family knows...and really, no one cares.

Clive
15 Oct 2010, 09:48
My family believes in the God-Jesus paradigm but aren't very religious, they don't go to church or anything (except for my uncle), so that part was never an issue. As long as I don't worship the devil they don't care. Some of them just made fun of me for it...the term "witchy-poo" was brought up often. But, my family sucks and I hardly ever see them so it doesn't matter anyway.

Celest
15 Oct 2010, 11:11
* reads replies from her broom-closet ::)

Tylluan Penry
15 Oct 2010, 13:31
The trouble with my broom closet was that so many of my family were in there too.... it was like the elephant in the room. Everyone knew about it, but it was rarely discussed openly and even then NEVER in front of outsiders.

Nowadays I'm fairly open about my beliefs - in certain quarters. So although I've given talks and run workshops, I wouldn't necessarily shout to all and sundry in the local co-op about my beliefs. There's a time for every purpose as the psalmist says (that's funny, it's the second time I've written about psalms this evening)....;)

Evergreen
18 Oct 2010, 14:05
I'm so deep in the broom closet I can't find myself ~nervous laugh~. When I started exploring religion my mom gave me a funny look, but said nothing. When I started studying the bible with the neighbors, who are jehovah's witness, she got a little upset about it. I tried to calm her down and she finally excepted it; I think. That was a little over a year ago and since then I've discovered paganism and know that this is the path for me. I'm afraid to tell my neighbors. They are good people I've known all my life and I don't want to damage that relationship. At the same time I need to stop studying with them. I want to tell my mom but fear has reared it's head once again. My mom and I have never been good at talking to each other about personal stuff. Those conversations always turn into shouting matches. I don't know what I would say to either of them, Any advice or help, especially about the neighbors and study thing, would be most welcome.

Celest
18 Oct 2010, 16:18
I'm so deep in the broom closet I can't find myself ~nervous laugh~. When I started exploring religion my mom gave me a funny look, but said nothing. When I started studying the bible with the neighbors, who are jehovah's witness, she got a little upset about it. I tried to calm her down and she finally excepted it; I think. That was a little over a year ago and since then I've discovered paganism and know that this is the path for me. I'm afraid to tell my neighbors. They are good people I've known all my life and I don't want to damage that relationship. At the same time I need to stop studying with them. I want to tell my mom but fear has reared it's head once again. My mom and I have never been good at talking to each other about personal stuff. Those conversations always turn into shouting matches. I don't know what I would say to either of them, Any advice or help, especially about the neighbors and study thing, would be most welcome.


What if you wrote your Mom a letter and told her that you are exploring other religions. You don't have to get specific right away, especially if this is new to you. You have lots of time to figure out where your path is, and lots of time to tell your mom.
As for your neighbours, you could tell them that you have enjoyed the bible studies , but you would like to learn more about some other religions. They may not take it well; my grandmother was a jW and she was convinced that the rest of the family was all going to hell anyways. I never told her I was pagan.
Good Luck!

Shahaku
20 Oct 2010, 08:17
My mom found out I was "practicing magic" when I was in my early teen years. She freaked out and called my great-uncle to intervene. He'd been in a cult and had to run away from it when he was younger and since he was ordained to marry people she assumed he would talk me out of it. I think she thought he would tell me his horror story to make me fall in line. He told me that magic was in everything and that I should look at the world around me for it before practicing it without guidance, but not that I shouldn't practice at all. He even told me that he would teach me some things the next time I came to visit. Sadly, he passed away before I could take him up on this offer.

This was in a time when I was swinging between Christianity and Paganism and since my parents weren't religious(just fearful of magic) I only really had my friends in my own age group and church leaders to guide me. My mother also pulled me out of the church I was attending because I listened to religious music all the time and prayed constantly. She honestly believed they were brainwashing me, and I'm not to sure they weren't.

At the same time I went through that *first* love stage, and when my mom found out I was saying "I love you" to one of the guys from my school and thinking about dating, she told me I didn't know what love was and that I was too young to understand. I may have been too young to understand, but I had thought that my mother loved me and I loved her, so if I didn't know what love was, obviously what we felt for each other wasn't love. At least, that was my line of thought at the time.

This led to some bitterness which is slowly starting to dissipate, but all of this led to me hiding whatever I believed at the time from my parents and has continued into today. I tried to start a discussion on the subject, about how religions interested me and I was thinking of minoring in Religious Studies, but my mother was evasive, so I assume she's just not ready to hear it. My fiance's family is Catholic, though they don't all go to church, but they expect us to have a formal church wedding and for our children to be baptized and so on and so forth... I'm considering gathering up every pastor from every faith I can locate and taking them all to a park and saying, however you do this in your faith lets do it now, for all such events. Either way, I haven't really come out to family except for my fiance. All of my friends are aware, however.

Maulus
20 Oct 2010, 12:05
I don't think i have ever been in the broom cupboard per se, Before i went off to Uni, my Mom bought me a book on Runes and a set of Clay runes ( i can read runic script as a result) but i found using them for divination quite difficult. The following year she bought me a Tarot set ( which i found easier but still not amazingly Easy)
While at Uni, a friend bought me a Ryder Waite deck as a present which i immediately took to, in fact i still have that deck around the house, i bought a box for it which i still have, i now use that as a sort of portable altar :)

I remember doing a calendar reading for my mom with the Ryder waite deck and scared myself at how accurate it was (Predicting a holiday overseas in september that would lead to a love interest)
My mom, at least has always known that i am, or at least had pagan leanings, we never talk about it, but my mom is quite spiritual too.

My Wife proudly tells people that i am Pagan, especially to our friends that are also Pagan. Personally i don't tell people unless they ask me. I consider my path quite a personal one and have learned my lessons from my bible bashing days, not everyone cares about your religion. :)

M

SunSpireFire
27 Oct 2010, 16:35
While my immediate family was never very religious when I was growing up, in recent years my mother has banded together with her sister and her family and become quite religious. I don't see them often enough to know if it's all the time (I'm on the opposite side of the country), so most of the the time it seems to be only when it's convenient for her ... which is mean to say, but that's the way I see it. Like around Christmas, and the week long christian musical festival the whole family goes to in august each year. I give my mum more credit than that tho, at least I'd HOPE she wasn't that hypocritical.... anyway.. getting off topic.

Currently most of my family identifies with Christianity, and half of them are VERY religious. So, the only people who I've told that I don't believe in the christian god, are my mother and my sister, and honestly.... since it's not a prominent issue I doubt either of them even remember me telling them so. When I told them, at the time I wasn't sure if I believed in any sort of supreme being of any sort.

I would, however, never say anything to my aunt's husband (I word it like that because I have two uncles... my mother's brother, and her sister's husband). He love's debate, his brother is a minister... and he's been known to get too involved and try to bash you in the face with his religious beliefs. As an unspoken rule we generally stay away from talking about religion in such a way that would provoke a debate..

this is getting lengthy, apologies. Outside the need to come out to my family and close friends as an asexual, (aside from truth, also in part to stop the 'babiez-havzingz' lectures) I've never found the need to shout it out what I believe, unless it's come up in friendly conversation, and until very recently I didn't think I'd ever have a label for it anyway.

Veronica
02 Nov 2010, 05:37
Oh my goodness I don't think I can imagine telling most of my family about my religious leanings. Friends and family both pretty much knows what I'm NOT, they just don't know what I am!

Where I live people that are not Christian are harassed. A little girl my daughter went to preschool with had an older sister that literally had children throwing dirt clods at her because her parents are Atheist. I cannot subject my child to that kind of treatment so I will refrain from admitting anything to anyone, including my daughter. If she asks questions I usually answer in a vague sort of way, but I always tell the truth. When she asks if I believe in God or Jesus I tell her that I do believe in things, but I see them differently from most people we know. I don't want her to have the burden of keeping a "secret" or feeling that being pagan is something to be ashamed of. I am NOT ashamed. If someone were to ask me something point blank I would of course tell them the truth. But in all honesty, who's business is it but my own anyway!?

As far as family goes it's not like it's going to ruin our relationships, but it would really upset them, so I don't see it as a necessary thing to tell them. It's not really something I think they need to worry about, and my spirituality is a personal thing so it's not really a big deal or something that I think about.

If anyone asks why I don't go to church I just say that we do our own "worshiping" at home and that I've had bad experiences with churches. All true! :)

LiadanWillows
09 Nov 2010, 20:47
I told my family and friends about my religious choice a long time ago and for the most part they are okay with it. My boyfriend chooses to not believe in a higher power but is not judgmental on my faith of choice. However I found it kind of hilarious the other day when I was having dinner with my family. I was wearing this ring (the only difference is mine is silver)

http://imgs.tootoo.com/b5/81/b58162588569d6bbd72cf55a6de4c782.jpg

So anyway my mom sees it and asks... "Is that.. a... are you wearing a... hmm... I guess I don't know what to call it, and I don't want to offend you dear. But is that a witchy ring?" I laughed so hard that spaghetti came out of my nose. ::)

magusjinx
09 Nov 2010, 23:01
I have the same ring ... But mine is silver with a gold star ... Also the edges cut into my fat finger so I had a jeweler put a sterling plate on the inside to flatten and smooth the inside of the band ... Fits right nice now ...

newgirl24
11 Nov 2010, 12:18
I am not out yet. I have brought the subject up with the two people that I'm most close to: my mom and my boyfriend. With Mom, I asked her, "What if I told you that I was a witch?" (she wouldn't recongnize the words Pagan or Wiccan, I'm pretty sure) and she told me that she wouldn't want to know. She said that if I choose to believe that sort of thing it would be better for the whole family if I kept it to myself. :( So that is what I plan to do with the family.

I may tell my brother some day, since he is pretty cool. But not yet.

My boyfriend is cool with it so far, but I haven't really told him fully. I just told him that I was looking into it.

I'm a work in progress!

thalassa
11 Nov 2010, 12:35
I am not out yet. I have brought the subject up with the two people that I'm most close to: my mom and my boyfriend. With Mom, I asked her, "What if I told you that I was a witch?" (she wouldn't recongnize the words Pagan or Wiccan, I'm pretty sure) and she told me that she wouldn't want to know. She said that if I choose to believe that sort of thing it would be better for the whole family if I kept it to myself. :( So that is what I plan to do with the family.



I'm going to make the suggestion that it *might* have been easier (in the long run) to explain in brief Paganism than to use the (often more highly charged and negatively connotated) term "witch". TBH, most people don't know what Pagan or Wiccan as words mean, unless they know someone that is, or have a religious outlook that is very negative or very liberal.

For example...my mom knows I'm Pagan--to her, that means I call God by a different name, I leave Jesus out of the equation, and my holidays are a little bit different. If I told my mom I practiced witchcraft, she's probably think I needed a shrink...but if I say I use a ritual, prayer, meditation and such to accomplish my goals in both a spiritual and physical sense, she gets that without too many issues.

newgirl24
11 Nov 2010, 12:46
Good point! I may bring it up again some day. Time will tell.

Lis
11 Nov 2010, 13:42
On that note, a hillarious recent conversation between a family member of mine and an outsider:
other person: are you christian?
family member: no
other person: :o are you jewish?
family member: no
other person: :o :o do you believe in god?
family member: yes
other person: :o :o :o???
end of conversation

Anyhoo, I am more of a pagan-new ageish mix, so usually when people ask me about my faith my reply is that I am "spiritual, but not religious" unless I know enough about the person to discuss it in depth. I don't consider spellworking to be part of my religion so to speak since I really don't have one... its just me and the universe and its just something that is part of my way of life. When we learned Reiki though, that really did create quite a stir... and there are some people that just don't come around this way anymore, lol! Its really an eye opener when you discover who really loves and accepts you for who you are and who doesn't... its a blessing really.

magusjinx
11 Nov 2010, 17:54
I'm a work in progress!
I have been a work in progress for over 40 years ... 55 if you count my youth ...

Amelia-Mary
12 Nov 2010, 08:13
I've never really been in the closet about my faith, but it was awkward first telling people at school and not knowing how to answer all their questions. Even when i did answer their questions, they still didn't believe me XD oh well... :P

tigergypsy
13 Nov 2010, 10:16
I'm still in it. At least with my family and most of my friends. One of my friends has an idea, and my husband knows that I am looking into different religions (mainly Paganism in some form). He's not a very religious man, believes in the Christian God but doesn't go to church and believes the Bible is "just a book". My mother-in-law is not very religious but she did ask me if I believe in God and I said "yes, I believe there is a God", then she asked "Do you believe Jesus died on the cross?", my response " yes". That was the extent of the conversion. I guess she was satisfied with that.

My mother, on the other hand, is not religious, but believes in the Christian God and is a big believer in angels and guardian angels, but I can't tell her. She is not easy to talk to and not supportive AT ALL! Example: When I told her that my husband and I were (still are) planning on having a baby, (good thing, right, wrong) her response was (and I quote) "I hope it never happens!" Yes we are on speaking terms now, we just don't talk about babies, until it happens. So telling her about my beliefs, well, our relationship is not that good now, I think it would be over if I told her. And she's my mom (bitchy or not) I still love her. So in the closet I will stay. Besides, it's my beliefs, my business. :D

CttCJim
14 Nov 2010, 02:38
If my grandmother is around, I'm so far in the broom closet I'm playing Quiddich in Narnia. To everyone else, it's just a fact of life. If anyone asks, they'll get the truth. If religion comes up in conversation, well, I'm knowledgeable about a lot of faiths. If someone is in my living room, there's a small shrine atop my desk complete with two tiny Sekhmets and a blood fountain (water plus red and a little blue food dye, and just a dash of actual fake blood). It's a little hard to hide that.
Oh yeah and I wear a great big pendant with Her likeness above my clothing, even at work. I'm sure lots of people have guessed from that.

Funny though, it doesn't really come up much.

Monk
19 Nov 2010, 09:06
My friend outed me to my wife when he invited us to this years witch's ball. It turned out OK and she had fun.

littlenova
19 Nov 2010, 09:15
Well...my mom has always kinda known. I asked for alot of books when I was younger. It's really not discussed though. Not yet. Yesterday she caught me reading a book on Sabbats, she hasn't said anything yet.

My dad died last summer, and he never knew. I guess I assumed he'd always make a joke of it. I guess now I'll never know.

My step family will never know. They're not religious, but very judgemental, and they already think of me as strange, this will knock them right over the edge.

My SO shares my beliefs and let me tell you, it feels SO to be with someone I don't have to hide myself from.

Dez
19 Nov 2010, 10:49
If my grandmother is around, I'm so far in the broom closet I'm playing Quiddich in Narnia.


You just earned some serious Deseret points for saying that.

I know the feeling...but have never expressed it so humorously.

B. de Corbin
19 Nov 2010, 11:02
My friend outed me to my wife when he invited us to this years witch's ball. It turned out OK and she had fun.


Your friend probably still feels bad about that. But look at the bright side - you're too big to fit comfortably in a broom closet anyway...

DanieMarie
19 Nov 2010, 11:33
I'm pretty lucky. My mom is unitarian and my dad isn't religious and my brother is atheist, so it wasn't really an issue with them. My dad's only worry is that having a religion will be distracting in my career, but I think it's not such a big deal anymore now that it's pretty clear that I'm not spending hours every week doing rituals.

I talk about it less with my friends...not because anyone really has a problem with it but because everyone has different views on these things. Some are atheists and a couple of those don't get religion in general so I just avoid talking about anything like that with them at all because they just don't really understand and think it's kind of illogical, some friends are liberal Christians, and a few have various other spiritual beliefs (Buddhism, general spiritualism, etc). I don't think there's anyone anymore that doesn't know I'm a pagan though.

CttCJim
20 Nov 2010, 02:35
You just earned some serious Deseret points for saying that.

I know the feeling...but have never expressed it so humorously.


teehee thanks. feel free to use it.
if we can't make light of our situations, what use are we?

harvest.dog
23 Nov 2010, 04:48
my hardest issue with admitting i'm pagan (to anyone really) is that they either assume i'm a satan worshipper (which of course i expect to get from the fundamentalists) or people assume i'm wiccan (which i'm not, seriously, i carry 'zero' wiccan beliefs) - just gets frustrating i guess when people can't understand that you follow a religion most people believe to be dead.

Tiger-Lily
13 Dec 2010, 21:30
What is your story on letting others know you are Pagan? How has it effected you for better or worse? Has it changed your relationships with them? What challenges have you had to overcome?


I don't ever make a point of my spiritual persuasions. Why would I? Unless someone asks me, or I make an off-hand remark without knowing it, but I am most certainly NOT going to jump up and down going: "Wooooh! I'm a PAGAN baby!" I once woopsy posted a link to a pagan-oriented site about a topic on my FB. Nobody said nothing. They know I'm no Christian anyway.

Bjorn
13 Dec 2010, 23:01
I guess I'm sort of in the closet and sort of not. Its like I was never in there to begin with, I just was never OUT with my potions everywhere and asking them if they wanted Tarot readings.

Mostly, in my family, its a moot point. On both sides I am the only one who isn't Christian, but I have definitely led the most wild life of any of them, even if that life hasn't led me to jail like some of the others (because I would call that stupid, not wild). So when I stopped going to church it was a pretty good indication that I wasn't a Christian. I've spoken with my mother a bit about what I believe and she is ridiculously open about it, listening and asking questions, and generally being the most awesome Christian mother of a Pagan. My dad and I don't really talk much so we definitely won't talk about my faith. Or his.

The rest of my family, well, I guess to be honest I couldn't give a shit if they know. Its a waste of my breath and I know it will result in insults, jeers, a screaming match, and feelings hurt all around. They know I'm not Christian. To them, that's all they need. They're also smart enough to let me well alone about it after a few attempts to save me from hell. I don't bring my beliefs to them. They do their best to keep theirs from me, and frankly, I'm not worried or bothered by prayer, crosses, Jesus, or any other elements of Christian mythology. I just don't buy it.

So they just shake their heads and silently disapprove and equate every mistake I've ever made (that they know about) to it. Because, yanno, all those cousins of mine who gave their hearts to the Lord who have kids out of wedlock and spend time in jail are definitely the example of mistakes made in the Lord... so its ok... ?

yukanaoe
14 Dec 2010, 04:07
lol I guess i'll update on my status.
Everyone on my interent cites knows i'm pagan. and everyone on my fb if they care to ever look would know i'm pagain. one day duf and i jsut changed our religion to pagan. lol I got nothing from it. so i'm assuming they dont care.

my RL is pretty much the same tho very few people know of my beliefs and the ones that do either dont care or have the same beliefs.

my step-mom however is and always will be in the dark.... *shudder* on the day that she finds out....

Freyja
14 Dec 2010, 04:20
I don't ever make a point of my spiritual persuasions. Why would I? Unless someone asks me, or I make an off-hand remark without knowing it, but I am most certainly NOT going to jump up and down going: "Wooooh! I'm a PAGAN baby!" I once woopsy posted a link to a pagan-oriented site about a topic on my FB. Nobody said nothing. They know I'm no Christian anyway.


But that's just how you let me know you were Pagan ;).

Tiger-Lily
14 Dec 2010, 10:56
But that's just how you let me know you were Pagan ;).


Awwww, cute kitty! And I did not. :P

Freyja
14 Dec 2010, 11:28
Awwww, cute kitty! And I did not. :P


;D

Monk
03 Jan 2011, 19:48
Your friend probably still feels bad about that. But look at the bright side - you're too big to fit comfortably in a broom closet anyway...

Sorry I just found this. It's OK I was pretty tired of dancing around the issue anyways. Like I said the kids had it figured out for the most part.
So no Sweet bro.

PharaohKatt
18 Jan 2011, 06:56
Well, my parents found my twitter. The posts were locked, but my bio is available. Long story short, they know I'm Pagan now. I knew it woukd come out eventually, but I'm not sure I'm ready for it yet :S I'm having dinner with them on Thursday. So nervous!

MistressVarda
18 Jan 2011, 08:55
I told my parents I was wiccan in high school, after I left catholism. My dad was upset and called me a devil worshiper but my mom was ok with it. I think it sparked an interest in her, because now we both call ourselves pagan. My dad is ok with it now, but every once in a while he'll call me an atheist, just teasing me. My siblings are more spiritual so it doesn't bother them either. Its my extended family that has a problem. I have a lot of born again Christians on my dad's side and they're constantly trying to "Save" me. One of my cousin's even tricked me into going to his church for 2 hours (it was his wedding day, he told us the ceremony was at 9....the wedding didn't start till 11. sitting thru 2 hours of that sermon was painful!) Their opinion is moot to me though. My friends are all fine with my paganism, my roommates even celebrate Sabbats with me.

The only place I'm in the closet is at work. I work with very Catholic people. I mean, the only reason I have the job is because I listed my previous job working with the catechism at my old church. I don't think I'd be fired, but I think it would make working here uncomfortable, so I just keep my mouth shut.

Amelia-Mary
18 Jan 2011, 12:31
but I'm not sure I'm ready for it yet :S I'm having dinner with them on Thursday. So nervous!


You'll be fine, Good luck :) x

LiadanWillows
18 Jan 2011, 17:54
Talked to my mom and had a deeper discussion about what I believe in. Then through out the discussion she found out that maybe she needs to do some research because she thought that just because she believed in God that made her Christian. She doesn't believe in Christ or the Bible. Just that there is a higher power then us. She actually said by the end of the discussion "maybe I am kind of pagan too..."

yukanaoe
18 Jan 2011, 18:08
lol i figured it was time to update... i'm pretty much out of the closet except for the "parents' EVERYONE else knows. and i talk freely to everyone.. but i still watch what i say to the parents (minus my father who is athiest/agnostic... something i dont even know) he was the first i told ^.^

haha and my step mom saw my pentacle a while ago and said it was "pretty! what is it?" i replied "i dunno jsut a star i liked the look" :) HA she thought it looked like the star of david LOL and what makes the really funny is cause our old church had a bible study where they gave us a paper on all the "devils signs" and the penticle was on it... along with the goats head and things lol she OBVIOUSLY doesnt remember... or chooses not to acknowlage it so she can stay in her little bubble... cause i was the "only child' (out of a total of 5) she has that ever went to church of my own free will even after i left home... lol she'd be so distraught if she ever found out..

PharaohKatt
19 Jan 2011, 02:53
You'll be fine, Good luck :) x


Thanks. I'm hoping and praying.

Amelia-Mary
19 Jan 2011, 03:40
I'll light a candle for you aswell :)

PharaohKatt
19 Jan 2011, 04:43
Thank you, I really appreciate it. I'll let everyone know how it goes.

Anu
01 Feb 2011, 15:59
Sorry this is kinda long...

So, I've been some form of pagan since I was eleven, and for those counting: it's been ten years, nearly half of my life, and never once have I mentioned this to my family. My friends know (kind of), but when it comes to conversations with family, especially my parents, I don't say I don't believe in God, but I don't say I do either. I avoid the topic like the plague. It's worked, mostly.

But my life is different now. I got "sick," I was hospitalized, and it's been two months since and I still don't feel the same as I did, and I'm damn tired of skirting the subject and hiding. It takes too much effort to avoid these things. I'm moving in with my mother, my (Catholic) uncle (my mother's brother, for the record) and his two daughters soon, and I want an alter, I want to wear my pagan symbols without skirting the issue when asked about them. I want my family to know, because it means something to me, and I want to be part of their lives with the first time in my life.

My problem is I don't know where to begin. My father will probably freak out, but I won't be living with him anymore next week anyway. My mother probably won't care, but I don't want my uncle to think I'm going to be a bad influence of his kids. I don't want to have, like, some epic sit-down conversation, but I don't know if suddenly having an alter and just answering religious questions truthfully will be better or worse. It's stressing me out, a little.

Also: Therapists/psychaitrists/case-workers like to ask about what religion you are, and I'm switching to a new program next week. Normally when they ask me about religion I say I have none, but I feel like maybe I should be truthful? Does it MATTER? I'm scared that my therapist won't understand I have legit beliefs and this isn't some outcry/manifestation of my being mentally ill. I mean, you say you belief in one God, and therapists sign you up for fifty-thousand Church-basement groups, but I feel like mentioning that I have, like, spirit guides and what-not will just get me more medication and questions about whether this is me acting out for attention because I have this-personality-disorder-or-another. I know I probably SHOULDN'T worry, but the mental health system is a strange and backwards place (and often involves church basements).

Caelia
02 Feb 2011, 14:14
I'm happy to see you are well enough to get out of the hospital. I hope you have recovered or are recovering well.




My problem is I don't know where to begin. My father will probably freak out, but I won't be living with him anymore next week anyway. My mother probably won't care, but I don't want my uncle to think I'm going to be a bad influence of his kids. I don't want to have, like, some epic sit-down conversation, but I don't know if suddenly having an alter and just answering religious questions truthfully will be better or worse. It's stressing me out, a little.

Without knowing your family it's hard to say. Even then things are still dicey. My family was ok with my religious views and my dad even defended my views. That was, until I performed rituals. Then they got uncomfortable. You have to consider how often they asked you about your religious views. They may have had an inkling years before you realize.



Also: Therapists/psychaitrists/case-workers like to ask about what religion you are, and I'm switching to a new program next week. Normally when they ask me about religion I say I have none, but I feel like maybe I should be truthful? Does it MATTER? I'm scared that my therapist won't understand I have legit beliefs and this isn't some outcry/manifestation of my being mentally ill. I mean, you say you belief in one God, and therapists sign you up for fifty-thousand Church-basement groups, but I feel like mentioning that I have, like, spirit guides and what-not will just get me more medication and questions about whether this is me acting out for attention because I have this-personality-disorder-or-another. I know I probably SHOULDN'T worry, but the mental health system is a strange and backwards place (and often involves church basements).
I've never had an experience with a therapist save speech therapists, but for what it's worth I know a couple and those who have gone to one...or many. The therapist is allegedly asking to rule out certain conditions (do they have a belief that anyone can speak to God, or do they think God's divine plan is for them to start a hamster circus?) Also sometimes having a like-viewed group (at least in religious views) can help some people.

This article seems helpful on the topic:
http://ag.org/wim/1005/1005_how_to_find_a.cfm

Wanted to add this one too:
http://www.depression-guide.com/therapist.htm

shadow1982
03 Feb 2011, 09:01
I'm not really in the broom closet but I am not really out of it either. When I first started out I was 17 and still living at home so I told my parents almost straight away. It was more of a 'this is what I've been reading and I think I might be really interested in exploring it more' than anything else. My parents have always been great believers in letting their kids find their own paths in life so other than a discussion about not getting involved in any dangerous cults they were fine with it.
I also went through that almost typical newbie stage of wanting to tell everyone who sat still for too long but found most people really weren't that interested.

Now I don't really discuss it at all. If people ask I am happy to tell them I am currently trying to work it out but have definite Pagan leanings. The thing is, most people just don't ask. The only aside to that is when it comes to relationships, I have just started seeing someone new who is not, and I quote, 'a fan of religion' so it is difficult to know when and if it should be brought up.

Anu
03 Feb 2011, 09:21
I'm happy to see you are well enough to get out of the hospital. I hope you have recovered or are recovering well.

I've never had an experience with a therapist save speech therapists, but for what it's worth I know a couple and those who have gone to one...or many. The therapist is allegedly asking to rule out certain conditions (do they have a belief that anyone can speak to God, or do they think God's divine plan is for them to start a hamster circus?) Also sometimes having a like-viewed group (at least in religious views) can help some people.

This article seems helpful on the topic:
http://ag.org/wim/1005/1005_how_to_find_a.cfm

Wanted to add this one too:
http://www.depression-guide.com/therapist.htm

Oh, I am well-versed on finding a therapist. I'm on my third or fourth one in three months? Third psychiatrist. Third case-worker. And this isn't even counting the doctors I had while in the hospital (I was in the psych ward, for the record). I think my primary worry come from the fact a lot of therapists don't know what to do with me to begin with. It's one thing if I just had depression, but because I'm borderline, too, almost everything I say or do gets questioned (often with good reason, mind), and while I've been pagan for many years before my diagnosis, it's hard to judge a therapist's response to something they aren't used to. My new therapist is a wonderful man, and actually helped me while in the hospital/in various programs, despite not being one of his patients. That's part of the reasons I'm switching to him. But I still have that worry that while he seems adept at dealing with the rest of my problems, the mental health facilities here are still very Christian/Jewish-centered, and he'll have an adverse response.

ravenferret
04 Feb 2011, 14:26
Firstly, I just want to say Anu, I wish you all the best with what's going on. I've been dealing with the mental health hoops for 11 years now (you and I are about the same age, if my math is right) and it's never easy. Congrats on being well enough to be out of the hospital and I hope things are looking up for you. As far as therapists go, since I've been Pagan I've only had two and both were very open to the idea, though a little surprised. They are poor therapists if they can't work with someone and put the effort into helping them just because of a difference in religion. If you're worried about some of your Pagan practices coming across as mental illness (I worry about this sometimes myself), leave them out, at least until you know your therapist better and are more comfortable sharing with them. Nothing wrong with saying "Pagan," and leaving it at that or giving them a brief, cut-and-dried description of the umbrella term "Pagan" or "Neo-Paganism." I very openly say it, but I also don't go into details of meditations in which I talk to deities and spirit guides or that I do spellwork,etc. ... Just my two cents.

But on the topic of my own coming out of the broom closet...I've been some form of Pagan since I was 16 and I've always been open with my friends about it. My family is another story (all Christians), but I've tried telling my mother. She knew I was looking into Christo-Paganism for awhile (long ago) and that I had Paganish ideas about deity being both male and female. I think she saw it as a phase, much like the one she went through right after high school where she said she "dabbled" in witchcraft. No clue to this day what she meant by that. After that we never really talked about religion.

So here's where it gets weird...*does the please please pleeeeeeeeease can I vent dance*...

The past few weeks I've been dropping hints about being Pagan to my Christian mother. They started out as very subtle hints and then got bigger and bigger, but I was still erring on the side of caution in case she had a major blowup about it. I've told her I'm lucid dreaming quite often now. We talk about spirits and meditation and mythology a lot. Two weeks ago we had an argument 'cause I couldn't get her to understand why "Paganism" is more of an umbrella term for lots of beliefs than one single religion. I've specifically mentioned awful dreams I've had in the last year where I've told my biological father that "I'm not a Christian" and he tries to kill me. I use the word Pagan in every day conversation, like the other day when I pondered aloud to her about whether or not the PAGAN holiday of Imbolc had any significant connections to Groundhog's day. Yesterday, after reading the Kemetic forums here, I told her all about the Egyptian afterlife for half an hour (but then started talking about wolpertingers in Germany, so maybe she thought I was on some mythology kick?). I really don't know many more ways to fit Pagan topics into every day conversation without feeling like some fanatic who is beating her over the head with an I'M PAGAN LOOK AT ME! hammer.

*sigh* So today we were in the car talking about religion and religious extremes and religious tolerance...I told her about this one time downtown where I live, when these guys were handing out mini New Testament Bibles. I told my mom how I told them I already had several copies of the Bible (true) and that they should give it to someone who could really appreciate it. "I didn't want to be like, 'I'm not a Christian, I don't want one,' because I was trying to be polite," I said to her. She keeps talking for another 2-3 minutes, stops dead after her last sentence and says, "So you've decided you're not a Christian anymore?" *face palm* "I told you that, Mom. This has been kind of an ongoing thing..." Then five minutes of awkward silence, which I eventually called her out on, and she said she wasn't trying to be awkward and then started talking about what movies we were going to rent.

So now I'm sorta out to my mom and have no idea where to go with this...ugh. Keep in mind (I've picked this up in conversations with her) that my mother's idea of "real Paganism" is what she saw in Mists of Avalon.

PharaohKatt
05 Feb 2011, 19:59
Just wanted to give you an update of my situation: I saw my parents, and though they kept trying to get me alone, I didn't let them. Ultimately the subject wasn't brought up *big sigh*. It seems they are going to ignore it and hope it goes away, which is fine with me.

Hawkfeathers
05 Feb 2011, 20:23
I recently de-friended some Christian cultists on fb, boy were they weird. Intolerant, cruel, harassing, etc. Jesus would smack them upside the head. LOL

calfhill
05 Feb 2011, 21:24
Reminds me of the old bumper sticker that said something like, " God protect us from your followers."

Hawkfeathers
06 Feb 2011, 13:40
Reminds me of the old bumper sticker that said something like, " God protect us from your followers."

Exactly. It's one thing to have house rules for your own house, but these folks wanted to impose them on everyone's house.

OpenHands
06 Feb 2011, 19:46
I'm not secretive about my religion, but I'm not very chatty about it either. There are certain people I refuse to discuss the topic with because it just causes pointless aggravation. My mother is a good example of this- about eight years ago she found out that I had been researching pagan religions and threw a crying fit. Not so much because she's religious and feared for my soul, but because paganism isn't respectable and we are a respectable family, darnit. It wasn't pretty and since then she's chosen a state of denial, which suits me fine. I ignore her denial and everybody gets along during the holidays, yay.

Most people I don't bring it up unless asked and even then I keep my answers short and simple. I like people to get to know me as the fairly normal person I am first since I'm aware of the snap judgements that can be made when words like "pagan" come into the picture. The most challenging relationship issues I've had stem from my hubby who is deeply uncomfortable with religion and is very big on fitting in now that we live in his small, childhood community.

ravenferret
07 Feb 2011, 08:33
UPDATE: I LOVE MY MOMMY!!!! My aunt and I had an argument this week, my mom got drawn into the whole thing, and in some roundabout way it came back to my religious beliefs. I told my mom that I had honestly been surrpised she didn't know I was Pagan because I thought it was obvious, but that I was really impressed she'd been so open-minded and hadn't freaked out about it.

"When I asked you if you weren't a Christian anymore and then there was that awkward silence," she said, "I wasn't trying to make you feel bad. I was just processing it! Your choices are yours to make. I knew you were looking into all this stuff, but I didn't know you'd made any kind of decision about it. I looked at other stuff...you know I dabbled. And I'm not saying that's what you're doing...I realize that's not what you're doing [that's the part that made me really happy--she accepts that it's not a phase!] but yeah, I looked at other things too. That's your decision."

LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. I feel so blessed to have her for a mother. So have we talked about what I believe? No. Is she okay that it's different from what she believes? Yes. I'm absolutely fine with that. If she wants to know, I'll tell her, and if she'd rather not know, then at least I know she's tolerant.

Sorry, had to gush. Done now. :)

magusjinx
07 Feb 2011, 18:38
Woo hoo ... ^

Hawkfeathers
07 Feb 2011, 20:03
Ravenferret, that's wonderful!

CttCJim
07 Feb 2011, 20:05
Awesome. Mothers sometimes have a way of surprising you. My mom reacted with some incredulity when I came out, but once she was convinced I was serious, she surprised me by not only being totally supporting AND borrowing my books to learn more, but also sewing me two beautiful robes.

PharaohKatt
11 Feb 2011, 22:46
Oh yay Raven that's wonderful!! :D

FantasyWitch
12 Feb 2011, 05:39
I recently de-friended some Christian cultists on fb, boy were they weird. Intolerant, cruel, harassing, etc. Jesus would smack them upside the head. LOL

Why would you accept them in the first place? X

Hawkfeathers
12 Feb 2011, 13:20
Why would you accept them in the first place? X

Well, what happened was this: Near where I live is an Abbey, complete with monks. I found their page on FB and "liked" it. (Neat looking place, etc.) So this woman friended me, and she didn't live too far, had been to the Abbey, etc. We chit chat about a few things but the next thing I knew every day was another argument about abortion rights, women's roles, their religion being the ONLY way, etc. I finally had enough - I fought all those fights in the 70's, I won, I'm done. LOL So I just got rid of the lot of them.
I find it sadly amusing that those who are the most vocal about their faith drive others away from it at breakneck speed.

minou
17 Feb 2011, 12:45
We (my mother and I) have a dont ask dont tell policy.

Lady Lotus
17 Jun 2011, 06:13
I knew it would break their hearts and freak some of them out so I was waiting til my instinct said it was time. I had been practicing for a bit over a year when my sis came to visit and we started talking about stuff and I let her know a bit about the change.

She then decided to be a butthead and spread the word around the family for me without telling me. So the next thing I know Im getting an email from my sister going off on me and asking all sorts of questions(which she never did reply to) and then my mom went into her silent mode, the one she goes into when she's sorely disappointed and just going to not acknowledge anything because it might go away if she does it that way(just how she is).
My grandma begged me to give up my "witchy" ways and come back to the Lord so that I could be with my family after we died cuz she didnt want me going to hell and not being with them.
My mother defended me, kind of, at that particular discussion because grandma was getting overly excited and I had lots going on in my life at the time. This was last year so it took a while for it to even be mentioned cuz I had changed paths in early 2007 and they found out in late 2008.

Overall, Id have to say things are calm but its mostly cuz my beliefs are not talked about. They dont bring them up nor ask questions and I dont either cuz I know how my family is LOL. I also know that deep within they fear for my immortal soul and believe Im going to hell in a handbasket cuz I know precisely how their beliefs go.

Dufonce
21 Jun 2011, 07:26
My grandma begged me to give up my "witchy" ways and come back to the Lord so that I could be with my family after we died cuz she didnt want me going to hell and not being with them.


she apparently doesn't realize that according to the Christian ways you dont carry on your memories of this life, all you do in heaven is worship. and you are filled with happiness cause thats all you want to do. Sorry, I'll stay here thanks, even if i just keep coming back.

Dez
21 Jun 2011, 10:52
she apparently doesn't realize that according to the Christian ways you dont carry on your memories of this life, all you do in heaven is worship. and you are filled with happiness cause thats all you want to do. Sorry, I'll stay here thanks, even if i just keep coming back.

Sorry, Dufonce, but that's not accurate. Lady Lotus is another former member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, like myself.

Mormons believe that after this life there are three "tiers" of heaven, as well as a place that people go who have denied the truth of the gospel (hell/Outer Darkness). Only those who have gone through baptism, temple endowment, and temple sealing (a marriage ceremony) are eligible for the highest level of heaven, being allowed to both stay in contact with their families in the next life, and become like god.

Because of this, for a Mormon parent or grandparent, nothing is sadder then "losing" a child by having them choose another path...it is not considered to be a temporary choice, but a permanent, eternal one, and therefore often leads to attempts at "tough love" or shunning the offender out of the family.

LKN
21 Jun 2011, 12:43
I'm still working on this one... I have been slowly but surely coming out to my live-in boyfriend.

He's been surprisingly supportive and understanding!

I think that I just don't give people enough credit; as if I'm the only one in my life who has an open mind, or something!

I'm still not sure when/if I will ever come out to my parents. Dad probably wouldn't care (we're not close) but Mom...? She would flip out. I tried to bring it up gently once awhile ago ("Would you be okay if I told you that I was Pagan?") and she straight-up told me that she would rather not know. So I think that I will respect her wishes for now, and remain "agnostic" to her.

I'm solitary anyway, so it really doesn't affect my loved ones.

I do plan to tell my brother soon.

Lady Lotus
01 Jul 2011, 10:11
Sorry, Dufonce, but that's not accurate. Lady Lotus is another former member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, like myself.

Mormons believe that after this life there are three "tiers" of heaven, as well as a place that people go who have denied the truth of the gospel (hell/Outer Darkness). Only those who have gone through baptism, temple endowment, and temple sealing (a marriage ceremony) are eligible for the highest level of heaven, being allowed to both stay in contact with their families in the next life, and become like god.

Because of this, for a Mormon parent or grandparent, nothing is sadder then "losing" a child by having them choose another path...it is not considered to be a temporary choice, but a permanent, eternal one, and therefore often leads to attempts at "tough love" or shunning the offender out of the family.

Yes, sadly this is the case. My family hasnt outright rejected me but they have taken on the "if we dont say anything maybe she'll give up her hellbound ways and come back to where she belongs. This is just a phase" type of attitude.

Its definately not a phase and I have no desire to live in their version of the hereafter. Took me 2 yrs after leaving the church to not feel guilt and fear everyday...not going back to that!

Dez
01 Jul 2011, 10:24
Yes, sadly this is the case. My family hasnt outright rejected me but they have taken on the "if we dont say anything maybe she'll give up her hellbound ways and come back to where she belongs. This is just a phase" type of attitude.

Its definately not a phase and I have no desire to live in their version of the hereafter. Took me 2 yrs after leaving the church to not feel guilt and fear everyday...not going back to that!

I hear that. I'm no longer on speaking terms with my own family because of choices I made, but to the in-law's? I'm out. That's more then enough information, and still a source of drama.

LiadanWillows
07 Jul 2011, 02:48
Well a couple of weeks ago my grandmother outed me in front of the entire family. When I say entire family I mean it. Not just my parents (who already know)... but my brother, his girlfriend, their parents, my boyfriends parents, my 3 uncles, 2 aunts, and 5 cousins, and a few other random relatives and friends. To top it all off it was my cousins wedding reception. This is what happened:

The best man and maid of honor both made speeches before dinner (I was also in the bridal party). After their speeches the groom led a prayer before the meal. In the middle of his beautiful prayer my grandmother yells out "Autum why the hell are you pretending to pray, you are a witch." She continues to rant and rave until my grandfather and uncle kindly escort her out of the room. Of course everyone is staring at me though the groom continued his prayer as if nothing happened. I was rather grateful.

Ugh... I hate my grandma. Btw this is the same grandma that gave me a bible for Christmas to "save my soul".

ladywhitewolf
03 Aug 2011, 18:15
My parents and my boyfriend know that I am a Pagan. They are open minded and have no problem with it. I am sort of in and out the broom closet.

MaskedOne
04 Aug 2011, 04:42
Hiding my faith in a closet is impossible. I share closet space with too many people, I keep it in a storage locker, a couple miles from home. Being serious, my family knows that I read up on a crapload of things. They also know that my approach to religion is occasionally eccentric. They also choose largely not to ask further in most cases and I don't make a point of elaborating. Pretty much comes out to, no one is insane enough to believe that they can stop me from studying anything of interest and I'm not impractical enough to actually nail down my beliefs for the family at large.

Shelby_Rexrode
16 Sep 2011, 00:55
I need to tell my parents soon... I am 19, and have been Pagan since I was 14. I was raised non-denominational Christian, and they are not going to take the news very well. I have waited this long to tell them out of fear of judgement and disappointment, but I can't wait forever, and I just want to be myself. Now that I am an adult, I want them to respect my decision. Any advice on how to make this easier?

thalassa
16 Sep 2011, 03:31
I recommend easing them into it...it takes more time, but is ultimately easier in terms of not freaking them out and (assuming that you want your relationship with them to be as minimally affected as possible) letting you figure out better where their actual comfort zone ends. TBH, my inlaws think we are Unitarian Universalist (http://www.uua.org/beliefs/)(we are, and we do attend a UU congregation), but we are also Pagan. My mother on the other hand knows that we are Pagan, and to her that just means we believe in divinity differently than she does and without Jesus as a part of our worship, and that we have slightly different holidays.

It took me several years until I was totally "out" with my parents--first I "wasn't sure I agreed with our church" having reflected upon X, Y and Z (though I had the luck of being raised in a super liberal Christian denomination to begin with where questioning was encouraged), then I was "looking at other religious options", then I had "decided that God is larger than Christianity" (all of these things being technically true, even though my position was settled), etc...and then eventually they somehow knew I was Pagan without there being a big OMG discussion about it.

Its also been my experience and observation that a lot of it depends on how you explain it, what words you use, etc (for example, if I say I use a ritual, prayer, meditation and such to accomplish my goals in both a spiritual and physical sense, it comes out better than saying I use spells and practice witchcraft). While this blog (http://hecatedemeter.wordpress.com/2011/08/27/framing-pagan-pride/)is more geared towards public announcements, there is some very helpful advice on how to frame your position. Another think to think about is practicing--find a friend to practice on. Tell them what you want to tell your parents, heck...make a list and figure out how to word different things, or where potential pitfalls might occur.

babyfyrefly
04 Oct 2011, 12:28
Coming out of the broom closet was never really hard for me, but it did result in a lot of varying reactions. When I was twelve, I informed my parents that I knew absolutely that I was not Christian, and that I felt Wicca was a religion that was most in tune with beliefs I already held (strongly). My stepfather was outraged, but thought it was 'just a phase', so let me be. My mom knew I was serious and sincere, but subtly expressed her dissatisfaction. I have always been forthcoming about my beliefs, but I have learned over the years to be cautious, too. Especially, since I am in the Bible Belt (Georgia). I attended a Mormon church with a friend when I was 15 and 16, but everyone there knew I was pagan. They were surprisingly accepting of me.

The worst experience I ever had with my personal views being revealed came when I came out about being molested by my stepfather and that he was the father of my daughter. When the social worker came to investigate, he showed her all of my books on Wicca, many of which of course said 'witchcraft' on the cover, she came to me and said she was closing the case (and actually told me it was because he showed her this and she no longer believed me!) But I had a chance to show her how her prejudice almost et him get away when I showed her his conviction a year later!

Anyway, the best experience I've ever had with coming out of the broom closet was while I was pressing charges against my stepfather (kinda ironic it happened within the same year...the best and the worst). I met a guy who was a friend of my brother. He was well aware of the situation I was in and started hanging out with me. We talked about beliefs, and he was thrilled that I was pagan because he was too. That was the only time someone was absolutely thrilled when I told them I was pagan! And we've been married for 8 years now. (Not to mention he helped me survive one of the most stressful years of my life!)

For those who want to know the best way to come out of the closet: be honest, open, patient, and considerate. The person you tell may not be able to absorb and process, at first, what you tell them. Sometimes, they cannot come to grips with it. Some will not understand, but will accept it as reality. Others may be more inquisitive and want you to share your ideas. Some may attack your beliefs. Whatever the reaction, always try to remember that everyone has different perspectives and that everyone has a right to their own opinion.

---------- Post added at 04:28 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:49 PM ----------

I agree very much that terminology affects how people receive you! I suppose I'm so used to replacing terms with socially acceptable words that I wouldn't have thought of giving this bit of advice. I'll certainly keep it in mind in the future, thanks!

magusjinx
16 Oct 2011, 18:01
I know of a few that waited until they were out on their own before informing the family members, especially parents ... That way there is no "You are under my roof so you do as I say" confrontations ...

Raphaeline
17 Oct 2011, 01:33
I know of a few that waited until they were out on their own before informing the family members, especially parents ... That way there is no "You are under my roof so you do as I say" confrontations ...

That caused a lot of friction at my house when I was a teenager - I told my mother I was a Wiccan when I was thirteen. She fought with me about it at first, but over time realized it wasn't a phase. Now, though I respect her feelings by not bringing it up, we can discuss it when we need to (like when I was getting married and she and my grandmother asked me how Pagan it would be). I don't know what it would have been like if I'd waited - she got used to the idea over several years and now everyone seems to have accepted it as far as I can tell.

Bjorn
17 Oct 2011, 07:48
I have mixed feelings about this one. I know I've posted on here before, but I've got some new thoughts and figured I would share.

Firstly, I agree with

I know of a few that waited until they were out on their own before informing the family members, especially parents ... That way there is no "You are under my roof so you do as I say" confrontations ...
more than I can possibly say. Some parents will simply not accept this. I know for a fact that my beliefs scare my dad because he believes with all his heart that I am going to Hell. He doesn't talk to me about it, but he hates it. I can FEEL his discomfort with my altars and my sacred items. My mom isn't so bad, but living with them again while I go to school has put a serious damper on my spirituality because I can't express it as freely.

That said, I came out of the closet. Told them I wasn't a Christian back when I was searching for something that would let my spirit sing. It became obvious to me that no matter what I told them, none of them would be happy for me, understand, or be comfortable talking about anything other than the Christian path that I had so terribly deviated from. So there was no need to inform them of any spiritual landmarks along the way to find my path - what would be the point?

So sure, I could have shoved it in all of their faces and could STILL do that. Instead, I simply do not partake in their religious lifestyle, and they do not partake in mine. I have my altars up and use them as needed, and am not hiding what I am... I am simply not sharing. There is nothing to gain but headache and heartache from trying to make them understand. I am a solitary anyway, and if my biological family is not interested in becoming a part of my SPIRITUAL family, then that's all right with me.

His Three Calls to Cormac
21 Dec 2011, 09:10
I only really came out of the broom closet formally to my mum. My family is not very religious and she was aware that Paganism is not Satanism so it wasn't really an issue, she just asked me not to preform ceremonies in my room, a request I have respected. My friends had all known for a while that I was interested in Paganism and it wasn't a shock when I formally told them. The only one that could have gone better was my dad, he heard me talking about it in my room as he walked past and mentioned it the next time he saw me. He occasionally makes jokes but nothing serious, he's just like that. :)

My opinions on the subject are mostly if you don't think the reaction will be bad, just come out with it, there's no point in keeping it hidden for no reason and it will make any later conversations about Pagan subjects considerably easier. If it is likely that you will get a serious reaction, I think waiting until you leave home is probably the better option, possibly dropping subtle little hints to lessen the blow when you finally do emerge from the broom closet. Lets be honest, there's no point in causing undue negative feelings, especially if you all have to live together.

Those are just my feelings though,
BB
...
/|\

ThatKrazy
18 Feb 2012, 11:38
I've identified as pagan for about 4 years now. I still haven't told my family that I no longer consider myself Christian. I decided that I didn't want to cause a fight, and that if they ever asked me, I would answer truthfully. They know I don't go to church. They know I am fascinated by alternative faiths, and my mom even went to Voodoo shops with me when we went to New Orleans in the fall. My parents are comfortable with it. The rest of my family is a little less comfortable with it. My most conservative aunt is really making me want to come out because she keeps pushing the issues.

I've been posting on facebook a lot lately about birth control. Twice now, she's posted things like "You're Protestant. :) So am I. :) But it's okay Catholics are here too." Totally weird. I'm actually more comfortable with Catholics than Protestants in a lot of ways (except that they deny me birth control). I just want to post "I'M NOT PROTESTANT! I'M NOT CHRISTIAN, YOU FOOL!" But I know that *that's* the wrong way to come out. For now I'm just ignoring her. I don't know how much longer I'll keep it up though.

Dufonce
18 Feb 2012, 13:24
I've identified as pagan for about 4 years now. I still haven't told my family that I no longer consider myself Christian. I decided that I didn't want to cause a fight, and that if they ever asked me, I would answer truthfully. They know I don't go to church. They know I am fascinated by alternative faiths, and my mom even went to Voodoo shops with me when we went to New Orleans in the fall. My parents are comfortable with it. The rest of my family is a little less comfortable with it. My most conservative aunt is really making me want to come out because she keeps pushing the issues.

I've been posting on facebook a lot lately about birth control. Twice now, she's posted things like "You're Protestant. :) So am I. :) But it's okay Catholics are here too." Totally weird. I'm actually more comfortable with Catholics than Protestants in a lot of ways (except that they deny me birth control). I just want to post "I'M NOT PROTESTANT! I'M NOT CHRISTIAN, YOU FOOL!" But I know that *that's* the wrong way to come out. For now I'm just ignoring her. I don't know how much longer I'll keep it up though.

dont make it a big deal and hopefully they wont either... I havent told my family, because it doesnt come up. I did however change the religion on my facebook to pagan. its there if they look.

anunitu
18 Feb 2012, 13:49
I am usually pretty open about my path,at least around close Family. They know my beliefs,and it isn't a big deal. I seldom talk about it around strangers,because I have had BAD reactions from strangers from time to time. Some people would start crossing themselves,reciting prayers,Looking at me strange. That's when you know,its time to leave.(before the pitchforks come out)

habbalah
18 Feb 2012, 18:13
My mother knows. She thinks it's weird, but doesn't really care all that much. My brother probably has an idea; we don't really discuss religion. Most, if not all, of my friends know. Talking about it with my friends has proved very interesting; I've learned a lot about them that I didn't know, and I've learned some about myself too through their observations. My extended family is very Catholic, so I'm not out to them. And quite frankly, I don't care if they ever find out. I'm not that close to them for a lot of reasons.

Avior
19 Feb 2012, 07:03
A few friends know vaguely about my religious beliefs, but my family don't. They're aware I'm interested in Paganism but I'm pretty sure that's as far as they think it goes. None of my family are Christian, they're all atheists. Religion is seen as something to be laughed at in my family. I will have to approach the subject at some point, but I'm not sure when... or how to go about it.

Ozymandias
13 Jul 2012, 10:36
I've let my mom know and that turned out alright. She seems to be a lot more accepting of things that aren't necessarily physically apparent. I haven't told my Dad much though. He knows that I believe something radically different than what I used to but I don't think he's strong enough right now to delve into that portion of my life.
Most of my friends don't know the extent of how true I am with what I believe. I'm not joking when I say I believe whole-heartedly in souls, love being the purpose of life, my responsibility being that of a God. I have the power to change the world and with that power comes responsibility to do my utmost to change it for the better.....no I don't think any of them get that yet. It's partly why I'm on this site as well as stretching out socially. I need to find more people to fit in my life that understand this way of life. That understand spirituality as more than just an ancient confusion for the complexities of the mind. It's what I've been fed my entire life. Science can explain everything....Follow your logic and mind......Work through your emotions.....but what ever became of who we are? Our souls, our spirit?

Well there's my rant. Hopefully I'll find some kindred spirits here and make some friends. :)

Zephyranth
15 Jul 2012, 20:55
My mother is a very strong believer in people choosing their own religious paths. She basically told me that as long as I'm not harming myself or anyone else, anything is okay with her. She doesn't know that I officially consider myself Pagan, but she knows I'm certainly not Christian. The more I've talked to her about it, the more I really she isn't really either. My brother and sister know, and I don't feel the need to tell the rest of my family. Most of my friends are aware too. Coming out of the broom closet just makes the most sense to me, when I'm close to people. But I don't advertise it...

Ula
16 Jul 2012, 05:13
I recently came out as non-Christian but haven't given any real info on my current practice. I am try to put up an altar in the kitchen, I am still debating where/what to put on it. That will kinda put me out to anyone who comes over.

Serene
24 Jul 2012, 17:00
My boyfriend knows that I have some "strange" views on things and he freaks out about a pentacle so I am guessing when I put up an alter he might ask questions. The thing is I know that he wants me to hide this from his family and I am not ok with that. How does one approach this topic without a fight?

Ophidia
24 Jul 2012, 18:28
Wow, I can't believe I've never replied to this thread. Maybe I did on the 'old' PF, but not here.

I'm one of those people who never had to come out of a broom closet because I was never exactly in one (maybe that's why I never replied, lol).

For me, it wasn't a matter of changing religions or living in Christian households & having to hide anything. It was more of a realization that what I was and what I was doing spiritually had a name.

I do want to say that all of you who have either come out or been outed that even though I will never completely understand some of the experiences you have gone through, you are all incredibly brave and I appreciate the effort and struggle you've gone through to be yourselves.

craigmartyn
30 Dec 2012, 18:15
it was pretty easy for me sincet my mum had to out of the broom closet to me, i just tell everyone what i am, i dont care what people think of it, it what believe and im proud of it, if someone doesnt like it,they aint worth my time in that matter

cerulean
31 Dec 2012, 10:47
I'm on round two of coming out (round one- friends in college). My husband's always known I have pagan tendencies, but it's getting more and more annoying to hide it. I haven't minded because it's not like it's the central fact of my life, but it sucks not being able to be fully open about it with someone I love. For example, I have a bunch of tarot decks that I love the artwork on, and I'd love to display them but he's Catholic and superstitious and would rather not have them around. So I keep them, but I don't pull them out around him. Lately I've been reading more about Asatru and have had PF open and he'll ask about it, I try to be nonchalant about it and it seems to be alright. I just really don't want to start a holy war. He's not much of the evangelizing type but still it doesn't seem like anything we need to be arguing about.

JackofPens
28 Jan 2013, 08:34
I honestly don't know if I'll ever come out to them. I know that's sad, but I know they'll mistaken Wicca for "Satan Worshiping" and basically disown me. There's also the problem of not wanting to tell certain friends, because it might get back to my mom and grandma. The only friend who knows is my best friend who is also Wiccan, so at least I'm not alone in this.

Annwn
26 Feb 2013, 13:45
I have never had a problem with letting people know my faith, I have never gone out my way to tell anyone, but I don't deny what I am either. There is not a lot left of my family, but what I do have don't seem to mind, and I really do not see them enough to worry about it if they did.

Dufonce
26 Feb 2013, 19:05
ok so my friends always knew, I never really hid it from people but never really announced it either... well with the whole Faux news thing that went on I decided to do a nice long facebook note stating what I believe in and all that jazz... basically coming out of the broom closet to even my family, right out there on the web.

Nothing happened.

Not one like.

Not one comment.

Not even a private message.

-.-

jcaternolo
27 Feb 2013, 08:01
I've told my mom but haven't told my stepfather yet. I live in a group home and I had to go to a circle meeting, and when I told them I wanted to join a coven after they asked me what I wanted to do out in the community, the staff there seemed shocked xD

volcaniclastic
27 Feb 2013, 08:04
ok so my friends always knew, I never really hid it from people but never really announced it either... well with the whole Faux news thing that went on I decided to do a nice long facebook note stating what I believe in and all that jazz... basically coming out of the broom closet to even my family, right out there on the web.

Nothing happened.

Not one like.

Not one comment.

Not even a private message.

-.-

Honestly, my guess is that nobody cares. :\

Dufonce
27 Feb 2013, 13:01
Honestly, my guess is that nobody cares. :\

honestly I think its cause I posted it at night before bed and most likely the way it posts notes nobody probably saw it... theres generally a minimum of a certain 3 people that like just about anything I post. lol.

yes, you are probably right though.

Ula
28 Feb 2013, 07:24
ok so my friends always knew, I never really hid it from people but never really announced it either... well with the whole Faux news thing that went on I decided to do a nice long facebook note stating what I believe in and all that jazz... basically coming out of the broom closet to even my family, right out there on the web.

Nothing happened.

Not one like.

Not one comment.

Not even a private message.

-.-

I had the same experience. I just decide last year to post what I was doing for Yule. Twelve posts over twelve days. Not a single thing said. Know how many Christian posts I read by friend and family and I even comment on some. I was glad I didn't' get flak but I was kinda bummed too.

wisp
09 Apr 2013, 21:48
I straight out told my family. My father was mildly interested, my sister and brother-in-law consider this a phase. My mother thinks I'm doing evil things and that my soul is endangered. None of them know anything besides the "I don't consider myself Christian anymore, I'm pagan." None of them wanted to know.
My husband is very supportive, my mother-in-law doesn't actually believe me. Annd, other than some random people, no one knows. I totally relate to the 'no one says anything' posts.

iskander
10 Apr 2013, 03:08
My father was mildly interested, my sister and brother-in-law consider this a phase.

lol yeah the whole 'it's just a phase' reaction always makes me smile...like you've just discovered a new flavour of ice cream or potato chips lol.

The other day a family relative and I were watching a news item about a Hindu religious festival. There were quite a few Westerners taking part. He said he was sure that their participation - in the festival and, on a larger scale, polytheism - was just a fad, a phase.

I said (politely and good-naturedly) that strict monotheism hasn't been around all that long and that who knows...in time, it might just be the Abrahamic traditions that prove to be a blip on the scale, a 'phase'...

;)

wisp
10 Apr 2013, 07:46
lol yeah the whole 'it's just a phase' reaction always makes me smile...like you've just discovered a new flavour of ice cream or potato chips lol.
Heh, So true. And it's been 'just a phase' for me for just over a year now, with my interest and curiosity reaching much, much further back than that, so maybe they'll come around to accepting that it's part of who I am, even if that's all they accept.
I wonder if part of the 'fad' reaction is that people in general are resistant to change, so to feel safe and protected they label anything that challenges their personal status quo as a 'fad'. But this is just me throwing guesses out.

chris1987
24 Apr 2013, 14:21
Well, I'm semi out of the broom closet. Yesterday I was feeling so frustrated about an argument with my dad and I ended up doing some heavy hinting that I'm Pagan. First I told him that I will not be going to the church meetings unless he really needed my help getting there and I told him I didn't want any of the brothers or sisters their pestering me and preaching at me. Oddly enough he said that he understood and he would make sure no one bothers me. So than I started saying to him "Ya know that one of the definitions of Pagan is country dweller? and you know I love nature and the outdoors and the country! so I guess technically I'm a Pagan!" He gave me a "what are you talking about" look and I gave him a look back and said "I am Pagan". He gave me a kind of sad look at first and then he smiled a little bit and gave me another look that told me he knew what I meant, but he also knows that there would be problems if any body at his KingdomHall or our family found out. So his response was, "what you do is between you and God and I will always be there for you":shy: I know he hasn't given up the idea that I might return to being a Witness again and I know if I don't want to cause any grief for him or myself I will stay quite about being Pagan around family and his friends (or anyone I think might snitch) but it felt good to say it out loud to my dad, to anyone really that I am Pagan:D

SeanRave
24 Apr 2013, 14:46
At least he responded in a postive way. I'm so glad for you! Mine just thinks I'm an evil devil worshipper.

chris1987
24 Apr 2013, 14:59
At least he responded in a postive way. I'm so glad for you! Mine just thinks I'm an evil devil worshipper.
I'm sorry your dad thinks that way. I'm actually surprised by my dad's reaction, I thought he would have been upset or freaked out. I didn't really get into specifics with him but I told him that I don't worship satan or anything and to help put his mind at rest I told him that anything that has to do with magic will stay in my room or go outside when possible (witchcraft is what bothers him the most about this so I wanted to respect that)

InspiringRaine
24 Apr 2013, 15:39
I maintain a "Don't ask, Don't tell" concept with my family. I will say what I like and what I don't, and if they don't ask then I won't explain. I do my magick when I have the privacy, and I don't flaunt my differences from them. I guess I just feel that I don't need to tell them about it. My personal beliefs are just that, personal. No use debating it or being rebellious over it. So...

I guess you could say I'm not technically out of the broom closet, but I am pretty sure my family knows I am not christian. Though, I do actually wear a cross. But because it has sentimental meaning to me, not for religious purposes. Sound's silly, but I'd never give up my special cross.

wisp
24 Apr 2013, 15:45
Grats on coming out, Chris :) I feel you on the keeping quiet around family thing. It's getting harder to do lately, especially since there's been a recent splurge of friends/family posting how there is no life without the Christian God all over facebook that makes me sort've go :/ A rebellious side of me want to start posting all the things I've been discovering and deciding for myself lately.

chris1987
24 Apr 2013, 15:47
I maintain a "Don't ask, Don't tell" concept with my family. I will say what I like and what I don't, and if they don't ask then I won't explain. I do my magick when I have the privacy, and I don't flaunt my differences from them. I guess I just feel that I don't need to tell them about it. My personal beliefs are just that, personal. No use debating it or being rebellious over it. So...

I guess you could say I'm not technically out of the broom closet, but I am pretty sure my family knows I am not christian. Though, I do actually wear a cross. But because it has sentimental meaning to me, not for religious purposes. Sound's silly, but I'd never give up my special cross.
That's exactly what I feel. I will tell my family what I am interested in or like to an extent but I will not go into details with them. I actually do wear a necklace with Chalice with a Pentagram on it (it makes me feel calm to have it on me even though it's a little risky). Sometimes I hide it under my shirt just out of paranoia that someone from my dad's church may see it. Thank you wisp! and I get that with the whole Christian God thing. I respect their beliefs and I want them to believe what they want, I just don't like it when they try to push it on me:=S:

InspiringRaine
24 Apr 2013, 15:54
Yeah, I don't really describe stuff to them. I will say "I really like candles. Can I buy some?" And they will just think it's a natural thing, or they'll forget I even asked after I get them to my room. I use my candles for my magick. I even got it so they'd let me set up an altar, but I didn't lie about anything. I said I'd be using it for meditation purposes, which was the truth. I don't like working magick at my altar. I feel like it gets rid of the special quality.

They only pagan-y necklace I own, is an Anhk.

callmeclemens
24 Apr 2013, 16:34
I like to keep my spirituality as mysterious as its contents.

Nerá
07 May 2013, 07:23
Some family members know that I USED to be pagan. I let my spirituality fall by the wayside, I guess. As far as they know, it was just "a phase." I caught a lot of crap from people and got a lot of strange looks when people knew.

Now, the only person that I've come out to is my boyfriend. I also set it as my religious preference on Facebook but set it to where only I can see....just testing the water to see how it feels. I feel like I'm almost there.

Loki
08 May 2013, 13:58
lol, I've found that most people that have asked me about it have been round my house and seen my bookshelves....it's quite obvious!
Most people are curious, and I've never had any hostility :)

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lol, I've found that most people that have asked me about it have been round my house and seen my bookshelves....it's quite obvious!
Most people are curious, and I've never had any hostility :)

Oden_son
14 May 2013, 05:07
My coming out was pretty uneventful. My grandparents are open minded catholics and i was kind of halfway raised christian. What i mean by that is I was baptized and went to sunday school like i was supposed to but i really don't think my parents believe any of it. So when i found my path there wasn't much of a coming out it was more like i found who i was supposed to be and kept it in the open from the beginning. Only a few extended family members have any kind of problem with my choice.

Plenilunium
17 May 2013, 07:39
My coming out wasn't too big of a deal. My grandmother says she's still praying for me (She's very Christian). Other then that most people don't care.

fatal222316
24 May 2013, 16:30
None of my family knows but my father is psychic and very open minded don't think he would like it but he knows my interests in pagan culture he just does not want me to open a portal of some kind haha its true.

Volniy
13 Jun 2013, 00:53
Never be afraid to be yourself. When you have very few years, you're still young - as a rule, if your family is religious and adheres to religious traditions, in particular, this is especially true of Christianity, Islam - the parents starayutsya child to follow these traditions. On the one hand - it seems to be right, but on the other hand - the child impose what he does not understand. The fact that he can not understand.
Usually, people that they do not understand - this fear. Because of their ignorance, or ignorance, religious fanaticism, they can not make an objective assessment of areas such as paganism, shamanism, witchcraft. They are suspicious of those who call themselves Pagans, witches, shamans.
Why do you explain that a person who has a negative attitude will advance to ensure that you believe?
Most importantly - never impose my views to anyone, including religious ones. And do not settle out of courtesy, if you try harass someone else to impose their religion or point of view. It is better in this situation, silently leave. Without quarrels and scandals.
To argue with a fool, ignorant man, or a religious fanatic, you're goin 'down to his level.

Volniy
13 Jun 2013, 01:01
Never give up, even if you're alone. Engaging in self-development and self-improvement - you will realize that you do not need anyone. Someone might not agree with my point of view, but it usually happens that the people who usually are seriously engaged in shamanism, magic, witchcraft - almost always alone. Those people who accidentally come into their lives - do not stay there for long.

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LadyDorothy
14 Jun 2013, 08:06
I came out of the broom closet two days ago during a road trip with my mother, we started discussing religion and I decided that it was about time that I told her that I'm not a Christian.

Not only am I not a Christian, I'm pagan. One of those people she hate more than gays. That was fun explaining.

It was interesting.... she's thoroughly convinced that me being pagan means that I don't believe in God, a fact that I find funny because were polytheistic.

However, I'm surprised that she didn't freak, the most she does now is make little snide comments about how I can't pray, something about the goddess, ect.

It's better than I expected, but its still kinda painful.

Chessa
28 Jun 2013, 00:44
I've told everyone in my extended family that I know will accept me. Now I just have to tell my mother and fundamentalist/Tea party Republican father.

Heka
28 Jun 2013, 02:11
I've never been in the broom closet really, when people ask I tell them. But for some reason I always feel weird admitting it, like its wrong, or I should be ashamed... I'm not, but I feel weird saying it every time.

Starlight
04 Aug 2013, 07:19
I generally keep myself to myself, but I don't try to hide what I believe either. I suppose based on where I live and what I look like people automatically assume I am either a christian or an atheist, and people that get to know me figure out pretty quickly that I'm no christian. I would imagine most of my friends think I'm some kind of atheist, but that's mainly because I see no need to correct them and think it's pretty funny. I've had varied reactions from those who flat-out asked, like "Wait, so you like believe in trees?" and "Oh, so you worship many gods." Nobody's been hostile to me yet, but we'll see. If someone rejects you because you choose to follow your own path though, you probably don't want to spend time with them anyway.

Starless
17 Aug 2013, 10:28
My family still doesn't know. I see no reason to tell them. I'd tell the truth if they asked, but I'm not going to go up to my mother and say, "hey, btw, I'm not the good Christian you assume I am." That would probably get me dragged into church. ;P

Quin7900
17 Aug 2013, 14:06
My sister snitched on me. I was so pissed.

Vigdisdotter
17 Aug 2013, 18:55
There was no coming out of the closet for me, because there was never a closet to begin with. I Had a pretty open relationship with my family and they knew exactly what books I was reading, what websites I was surfing and what groups I was attending.

Personally, I think the whole concept of the "broom closet" is a dreadful one that makes people think their only options are "in" or "out". This is not the case. Rather one's level of openness vs. Discretion is entirely dependent on who you are with. Most people just don't have a right to know all the aspects of your life. So it's perfectly alright to NOT tell them the reason you're unavailable on Saturday is because you're going to a Mabon ritual. Doing that doesn't put you in the broom closet.

Wickedjr89
19 Sep 2013, 12:17
Some close friends know but my family is all conservative christians who think any pagan is a satan worhshipping devil that should rot you know where. I think some of my family might just be upset and disappointed but not disown me, others...i'll be shocked if they don't disown me. So far i'm still in the broom closet to all my family. I hate it, I hate "pretending" even though I haven't lied as I haven't needed to so far, I just never brought it up. They know i'm a liberal in terms of politics, some of them are ok with that, some like my dad never stop with the drama and arguments that go no where...it doesn't matter if you're calm and polite and show a lot of evidence for something, they won't hear it.

I am sick of it though. My fiance is okay with it and all as are some close friends, my best friend is also Wiccan. I have friends of all beliefs though and they are all fine with it. We all respect each others beliefs. My family is another story though.
I have decided (like recently) that I will stop pretending. I'm not going to shout it to the heavens or anything like that but if it gets brought up, I will calmly admit i'm Wiccan. I'll answer any questions i'm sure they will have. I will use every ounce of patience in me if need be to not get angry with them because that won't help anything, no matter what they do. If some disown me, so be it. I can't live in a closet anymore!

I'm also bisexual, which to my family is worse than being gay or any other non-straight sexuality. I tried to come out to them when I was 13 on that. My mom cried and they all said it was a "phase" i'd get over....i'm 24 now...it's not a "phase". They say bisexuals are confused and greedy and selfish etc. I ended up with a man, though I lean towards women, so i'm not sure there is any reason to tell them that i'm bisexual, though I refuse to lie anymore if it ever comes up but I doubt that will. Sorry that's a bit off topic I guess.

Malflick
19 Sep 2013, 13:37
Some close friends know but my family is all conservative christians who think any pagan is a satan worhshipping devil that should rot you know where. I think some of my family might just be upset and disappointed but not disown me, others...i'll be shocked if they don't disown me. So far i'm still in the broom closet to all my family. I hate it, I hate "pretending" even though I haven't lied as I haven't needed to so far, I just never brought it up. They know i'm a liberal in terms of politics, some of them are ok with that, some like my dad never stop with the drama and arguments that go no where...it doesn't matter if you're calm and polite and show a lot of evidence for something, they won't hear it.

I am sick of it though. My fiance is okay with it and all as are some close friends, my best friend is also Wiccan. I have friends of all beliefs though and they are all fine with it. We all respect each others beliefs. My family is another story though.
I have decided (like recently) that I will stop pretending. I'm not going to shout it to the heavens or anything like that but if it gets brought up, I will calmly admit i'm Wiccan. I'll answer any questions i'm sure they will have. I will use every ounce of patience in me if need be to not get angry with them because that won't help anything, no matter what they do. If some disown me, so be it. I can't live in a closet anymore!

I'm also bisexual, which to my family is worse than being gay or any other non-straight sexuality. I tried to come out to them when I was 13 on that. My mom cried and they all said it was a "phase" i'd get over....i'm 24 now...it's not a "phase". They say bisexuals are confused and greedy and selfish etc. I ended up with a man, though I lean towards women, so i'm not sure there is any reason to tell them that i'm bisexual, though I refuse to lie anymore if it ever comes up but I doubt that will. Sorry that's a bit off topic I guess.
:/ I'm super sorry your family isn't understanding of all of that. I don't think its off topic-- Its all part of the broad topic of trying to have people understand you and them not doing it.

I wish you lots of luck... Living with a mask like that is hard, so I hope you can live freer and more open eventually <3

GardenOfShadows
23 Sep 2013, 17:09
My family is primarily Southern Baptist with some Pentecostal and Non-Denominational thrown in the mix. The biggest discussion of religion I had with my parents included the sentence "I respect their right to be wrong". Until I'm financially independent, there is no way in hell I'm telling my family that I'm no longer a Christian.

Black Moon Wolf
08 Oct 2013, 11:11
When i told my mom i was Wiccan at 14 she started crying and then told everyone i was a "Satan worshiper" and i was just trying to rebel. lol. So it didn't go so great. Everyone just thought i was trying to get attention because my mom is a pretty big christian. And she's kind of one of the crazy ones who believes listening to Ozzy can bring "Satan" in your home... So after i moved out my dad and step-mom were fine with it, my step-mom even leaned to being Wiccan although to me she doesn't act like one. My dad is atheist big time so he was fine but he would tease me a little bit. After i told my family though i wasn't scared to tell anyone. If someone is going to judge my because i believe i "godS" and not "God" i don't need them. A persons faith and belief is there own, not for everyone else so everyone in my life knows what my religion is. If someone asks about it i love to tell them but now if i'm ever around my mom and she asks why there is a pentacle hanging from my rear view mirror or a bag of stones in my car, i just tell her "you don't want to know" to avoid a fight over "Satan worship". I will say when i told my fiance (who is very non religious, i have no idea if he is atheist or agnostic) he kinda thought i was like a witch from the movies that could turn him into a frog.... he seriously was kinda nervous when i talked about casting... and it took him a long time to be okay with me having an alter... lol I did a tarot reading once for him and he got kinda freaked out (i have no idea what he was asking i just read the cards) and then i read for his brother and his brother actually got so freaked out with whatever answer he got he didn't really talk the rest of the night. So i just do my own thing but i mostly had negativity when i told people, i just didn't let it affect me.

Chris the Bold
08 Oct 2013, 11:40
Just told my mother yesterday that I was Heathen. She was trying to get me to go to church and take communion. She's very Christian, though not like a zealot or hypocritical, she actually follows that teachings of Christ and his disciples. I just said "mom, lets talk about religion, I'm not a Christian anymore. Haven't been for awhile." and she just ignored me and changed the subject. I was a bit hurt, but I suppose I can understand, she's always been a very protective mother and a bit of control freak, but I know she still loves me just the same.

On that note, I think my father could care less lol.

anubisa
14 Oct 2013, 09:39
I think it is hard to come out to your family. I still haven't come out to my grandmother because she is a major catholic. Luckily, my mom is an accepting person and I have already come out to her and she knows that I am a wiccan. I hope that everyone has an easy time like I did.

SeaTurtleSwims
01 Nov 2013, 17:11
I am a "closet" pagan. It's true. Not with certain friends, but with others. And at work. And in class (As a wildlife biology major it's hardly credible.) Not at work, don't want to scare off my pet parents, I work on commission teaching Fido how to heel! And not back home either. I just transferred schools- I am now an official resident of the Bible Belt, USA. Not a single metaphysical shop for hours, not even a palmist. The last student led pagan group? Hasn't been active since 2006. It's completely awful. I have many pagan/wiccan/strega friends at my old university (too bad I graduated!) But I don't mind any of this- school is temporary, no one should ever bring their religion to work and I expect friends to have different views! We complement ourselves in our differences.

What bothers me is that I, pagan with highly shamanistic tendencies can not talk about my faith to my parents. I grew up at a Christian school where the good ole guys like Rush and O Riley and Pat Robinson are the only truth in this world, and certainly the only thing my father plays on TV. My mom is a very warm person, but it would hurt her if she knew. I guess now that I'm getting older, I'm starting to hear a pesky little whisper in my ear "you can't hide forever". Had to lie about what I did on Halloween/Samhain... again! Have you ever heard the song "the christians and the pagans" by dar williams? In a perfect world :)

I can't believe I have literally measured an eastern timber rattle snake during my last internship and can't even face my own parents! I'd rather take on another venemous snake....

What has been your "coming out" story? Advice?

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Sorry, still new and realized there's a lengthy thread like this already. When I figure out how to delete, I will.

Ljubezen
01 Nov 2013, 17:28
You can't delete. :)

If it helps at all, I never 'came out' to my parents. Mostly because I can't realistically call them "parents." For the time being, I have to have contact with them on a regular basis due to my financial situation. But if they were the actual loving, supportive, unconditionally accepting parents that I hear all about... I would think that they would want to know what makes their child feel whole.

Unfortunately life is more complicated than that, but I've heard different methods ranging from testing the waters with choice statements to having a sit-down and laying it out for them all at once. More often than not, the end result (that I've heard of anyway) ends better than most people fear it will. :)

Malflick
01 Nov 2013, 17:32
I have heard the song "the Christians and the Pagans" and it can be like that :)! But sadly, some people just wont open their hearts up to accepting people who are different from themselves. I'm sorry you're afraid to tell your parents, and sadly you probably have good reason to be :(....

I hope you can be open about it to other people in your life....

alternatingSelves
01 Nov 2013, 17:51
I guess I still am? coming out as gay was shitty enough. don't plan to redo the process if I can avoid it

MaskedOne
01 Nov 2013, 18:08
Sorry, still new and realized there's a lengthy thread like this already. When I figure out how to delete, I will.

Not a problem, merged your thread with an older one.

Soger
03 Nov 2013, 16:04
I am a "closet" pagan. It's true. Not with certain friends, but with others. And at work. And in class (As a wildlife biology major it's hardly credible.) Not at work, don't want to scare off my pet parents, I work on commission teaching Fido how to heel! And not back home either. I just transferred schools- I am now an official resident of the Bible Belt, USA. Not a single metaphysical shop for hours, not even a palmist. The last student led pagan group? Hasn't been active since 2006. It's completely awful. I have many pagan/wiccan/strega friends at my old university (too bad I graduated!) But I don't mind any of this- school is temporary, no one should ever bring their religion to work and I expect friends to have different views! We complement ourselves in our differences.

What bothers me is that I, pagan with highly shamanistic tendencies can not talk about my faith to my parents. I grew up at a Christian school where the good ole guys like Rush and O Riley and Pat Robinson are the only truth in this world, and certainly the only thing my father plays on TV. My mom is a very warm person, but it would hurt her if she knew. I guess now that I'm getting older, I'm starting to hear a pesky little whisper in my ear "you can't hide forever". Had to lie about what I did on Halloween/Samhain... again! Have you ever heard the song "the christians and the pagans" by dar williams? In a perfect world :)

I can't believe I have literally measured an eastern timber rattle snake during my last internship and can't even face my own parents! I'd rather take on another venemous snake....

What has been your "coming out" story? Advice?

- - - Updated - - -

Sorry, still new and realized there's a lengthy thread like this already. When I figure out how to delete, I will.

For what its worth here is what I did. To give you some background My family is VERY Catholic. In fact I almost never existed. My mom had joined a convent for a while. Luckily for me she did not stay. Never the less her faith is a BIG part of her and her life. I had a weekly debate for 6 months about my wife and I's decision to NOT baptize our daughter. I spent 3 months arguing that I was NOT going to have a Catholic priest at my wedding. I kept my religion to myself, my wife and the close friends I knew would not care.

Well the time came that I got tired of "hiding" I got tired of the feeling that I was not able to just be who I am. Not just with spirituality but with life in general. I made a decision that I was no longer going to be the robot I was expected to be and start being true to myself. I was done with spending so much time and energy with "going along to get along". I was compromising too much of who I was just to not "make waves".

Now to the point. I was talking with my mom one day and she asked how i was doing. I told her how I felt and how I was not happy with myself. She told me that I needed to do what felt right to me. That opened a door for me. I told her that I wanted to talk about religion with her but I needed to do it my way. I asked her if she would be willing to listen. Of course she said yes (probably thinking I was just going to talk about god) I made ground rules with her that the first few conversations would be through e-mail. We would not talk about it in person or on the phone right away. I set these ground rules because I figured that would be the best way for both of us to be able to communicate our side. I wanted the first communications to be heard and thought about. I wanted to be able to chose my words with respect and not have to back track with a bunch of "well that's not what I ment" because she had the ability to interrupt with emotion right away. I then sent my first e-mail. My email consisted of explaining my struggle with trying to feel Christianity. I explained how I was having issues, turned to the bible and found more questions then answers. I told her how I tried and tried and found no fulfillment. I told her about how I came across my current faith and how it makes me feel. Now I think this next part is important. I acknowledged the faith I was raised in and the good points about it. I outlined how it has made me who I am today and that she was a big part of it. I then scoured the interwebz to locate the best/closest to my belief non christian bashing web page I could find and sent her the link. In my opinion, the best way to deal with this is to show respect to their faith and them. Choose your words carefully its hard to argue with " that doesn't feel right to me" or "I cant understand that concept". If by the end of the conversation the words "stupid", "dumb" "how could you believe....." or anything of that nature were used, you did it wrong. Now, you either need to rebuild that line of communication or abandon it all together. I looked at this way, I'm not going to convert my mom. She's not going to convert me. Her belief of an all powerful sky god making the world in 7 days sounds just as silly to me, as a giant, a massive block of salt and cosmic cow sound to her. But as long as we can respect each other we can get along just fine Theologically.

With that said, you need to do what will allow you to be YOU. If your family cares about you, one of 2 things will happen. They will have a million questions and once they have come to terms with the fact that you are not going to run off and join a suicide cult, things will be fine. Or, they say okay and that's the end of that.Back to business as usual. Another bit of advice, if its worth anything. Stand firm and communicate with conviction. If they don't think your decision was a well thought out planned one, you will be in for the "convert back" speeches. And once you tell them what your faith is. YOU are the example of that faith. They will look at your actions and think that is how all (insert your faith here) are.

Good luck with whatever you choose. And let us know how things go.

Nightingale
03 Nov 2013, 16:36
I told my mom a week before Christmas, and my dad on Christmas morning. They told me they would support me in anything I wanted to do, and that they love me no matter what, but since then they have not treated me the same way- Dad frowns when I bring up my religion, and Mom keeps subtly trying to get me to convert back to Christianity. Once, in an attempt to understand what it was that I believed, Mom said "I don't really care who your gods are, there are multiple paths to salvation... but you don't actually worship Thor, do you? Because you know he is a fictional character right?" So I don't know what to do about that.
I came out to my friends and the rest of campus a few months later, and for the most part they have been really supportive, so I am very glad of that. Now I am open to anyone, I don't even care what they think of me. The one exception to this is my extended family. Especially my grandma, and my oldest aunt and uncle (Dad's family). I still am not sure if I'll ever tell them.

anubisa
08 Nov 2013, 12:54
I have heard the song "the Christians and the Pagans" and it can be like that :)! But sadly, some people just wont open their hearts up to accepting people who are different from themselves. I'm sorry you're afraid to tell your parents, and sadly you probably have good reason to be :(....

I hope you can be open about it to other people in your life....

I totally agree. Some people just won't be accepting.

Chris
14 Jan 2014, 22:12
a way back

Rowanwood posted

I think maybe I understand the desire to get it out there; to tell people, but I really never thought my spirituality was up for debate, so I saw no point in discussing it with people who might not be appreciative.

i have to agree with that one...

what I am I am...it matters to me and no-one else....it rarely comes up in conversation but when it does I will not shrink back and stay quiet or go with the flow

if others have issue it's their problem, not mine

be true to yourself

Hoho
14 Jan 2014, 22:24
in my experience, one gains nothing telling anyone. it was bad enough telling them in gay and dont worship their god. it's been like, 3 years? since and nothings changed. my family were always the badgering type, and if anything theyre more badgering now. i'd take it back if i could.

Yorin
14 Jan 2014, 22:40
my family were always the badgering type, and if anything theyre more badgering now. i'd take it back if i could.

I can't say I blame you there. For years I used to brush it off as a kind of "I know I know" kind of answer, or "we'll see" sort of thing but finally I got fed up of hiding everything and started hoping they (my mothers side really) would just respect my wishes and choices to which they took it as an excuse to just redouble their efforts to the point of sending me pamphlets about how I needed to accept Jesus or I was going to hell on a monthly to weekly basis until I told them "stop, or I'm effectively disowning you and never speaking to any of you again" (which is a lot more of a threat considering I'm my mothers only daughter and she passed away-but that just brings up a whole other new set of issues with that side of the family)

Gleb
31 Mar 2014, 08:03
Perhaps it depends on the people one is revealing his being pagan to. Sometimes a bad outcome is predictable and sometimes it's worth to try.
I am still in the process of determination. Last time I weared one of my Kemetic necklaces (of Anubis) is public, everything was pretty good.

Hekla
31 Mar 2014, 11:39
With my family, I dislike whenever religion pops up in discussion. But I know one day it will come out eventually to at least my parents and sibling. My closest friends know the path I walk, and they're totally fine with it.

My dad used to not like church very much, but as of 6 years ago (conveniently the time I lost faith in Christianity), he started going to service and participating in small group discussions and activities. I like that it gave him more of a social life, but he's really "gung-ho about God" now. I don't think he'd accept it at all if I told him my beliefs. He already hates that I play metal music and moving to Europe. Telling him I'm pagan completes his Trifecta of Doom. My mom is uber-Christian and doesn't understand anything other than her own religion. My sister recently got a cross tattooed on her permanently, so you can guess her beliefs. The uncle on my mom's side is probably the closest to me in terms of "let's just not talk about religion." He's the only one I could probably safely reveal my beliefs to AND be accepting of them.

LunarHarvest
06 Apr 2014, 17:29
I have told two of my closest friends about my paganism, and I was not expecting them to be so open to it. Both are Christians and neither had any issue with my beliefs, and don't treat me any different from before. In fact they have been quite supportive of me. :)

Most of my immediate family only knows that I am no longer a Christian, and that I was looking at everything including Eastern polytheistic religions, but I have not really told any of my family that I am a pagan. Outside of my immediate family they don't even know that I am no longer a Christian let alone a pagan, and I do not think that changing this perception would be beneficial to myself, as they would more than likely equate paganism with being 'demonic'.

Gleb
13 Apr 2014, 03:10
Yesterday I was talking with my father about my being Kemetic. He wanted to know more about it. Despite the fact that he is sincerely loyal to Judaism and has the "there is only 1 god" thing, he accepted it as it is. Of course he probably wasn't happy too much about it, but left it to me to decide. I really appreciate it. :)

Ektor
13 Apr 2014, 17:44
My father still does not believe I am not a Christian at all. He has repeatedly said "you're a Christian, you just don't know it" or "this kind of silly questioning is common of people your age". Holy fuck this irritates me so much.

Hekla
14 Apr 2014, 04:49
I hate the phase argument.

LunarHarvest
15 Apr 2014, 02:02
I hate that argument too. Its up their with the 'you're too young to understand politics or economics' that I got from a lot of people. One of my parents was like that in saying that 'I was simply seeking, and that I would properly find God again later', in learning I had become agnostic.

neráida
16 Apr 2014, 05:47
At work, or in public when the topic comes up (usually in reference to holiday plans), I usually say "We're not Christian". Sometimes people ask, in which case I explain that we are Pagan. I work with fairly progressive and intelligent people, so its usally not a big deal there. Even at the kid's schools, being in an urban area with decent diversity, most people that I encounter just don't care. Also, it probably helps that we aren't anti-Christian.

Ektor
17 Apr 2014, 21:07
I've been hearing all the time that my blend of syncretic soft polytheistic pantheism is not a real religion and I have made it up. I literally want to punch faces when people say this, but I try to stay calm.

Gleb
17 Apr 2014, 21:49
I've been hearing all the time that my blend of syncretic soft polytheistic pantheism is not a real religion and I have made it up. I literally want to punch faces when people say this, but I try to stay calm.
I am so familiar with this situation....

satanic witch
17 Apr 2014, 22:18
I've been hearing all the time that my blend of syncretic soft polytheistic pantheism is not a real religion and I have made it up. I literally want to punch faces when people say this, but I try to stay calm.

thats the same with me and my blend of syncretic wicca with theistic satanism , and staying calm is the best idea

Amunet
20 Apr 2014, 01:52
I am just new to the Pagan thing. Just this month I did a little informal prayer to dedicate myself to learning. I know my views are clearly Pagan, I'm just still figuring out big questions and small things too.
My husband and I are going on the same discovery path, but different spiritual path ... both under the Pagan umbrella. Other than each other, only my Mother, Sister and Cousin know ... my cousin being the one that practiced Wicca in the first place a while ago (she has since gone back to Christianity).

I was raised Mormon (LDS) and most (all?) of my father's side is Mormon and my mother's side either are some part of Christian or just not really anything at all (but she is slowly sharing her faith by example).

So, I think I'm still in the Broom Closet and I really don't know how to tell my father. But he's been very supportive. My mother found out during a rather confusing time last month ... I am going through things and she found out about OTHER things too at that time.
Lol so telling my mother was more like verbal vomit :rolleyes:

treetopfolk
11 Jun 2014, 11:36
I have been in debate with myself for a couple months now about coming out of the broom closet.
It started when I wore a pentacle necklace to family lunch and my mom (recognizing it from the books they threw out when I was a teen) said, "what's that mean. It's not that Wicca thing again, huh? " and I lied... kind of.
I told her it was a symbol of protection, which is not necessarily a lie, but I know it's there to represent my Pagan path.
I say this has been a debate but really it's me wanting to, but talking myself out of it by thinking of their reactions.
I really don't believe that they would disown me, but my mom has said in the past "if my girls didn't believe in God I don't know how I'd live".
Now please keep in mind my parents are very kind and loving people, but they are also very set in their Southern Baptist Christian ways and beliefs. The main concern is I know my tendency to dwell on things comes from my mother and I know her constant thought will be, 'my baby won't be with us in Heaven'.
This breaks my heart and terrifies me because my mom already deals with depression at times and I don't want to make it worse.

I know there is always the option to just not tell them, but I dont like being dishonest when things come up like the necklace.
That particular situation bothers me because I'm lying to my parents, but also because I feel like I'm hurting my gods by lying about my belief in them. I think this fear comes from my history of being raised Christian and when Peter denied Jesus, etc.

I am actually becoming kind of depressed myself with this debate.
My boyfriend and friends know about my path and have no issues (that I know of) but I just don't know what to do.
I've never had a mentor or guidance with the Pagan path and don't know any others in my area with this kind of background so I just feel very lost right now..

Roknrol
11 Jun 2014, 12:10
Your religion doesn't have to be public. If you're afraid of the unreasonable repercussions, it's nobody's business but yours. You have a community here that you can be open and honest with.

Five years ago I would have advocated sprinting out of the closet naked and screaming covered in whipped cream to announce that you were "out", but as I've gotten older I guess I've recognized the value of keeping silent.

If you tell your devoutly Christian parents that you have rejected God (after all, they only believe in the one), it is very likely to cause them undue distress. Distress that will cause them to want to convince or coerce you into changing your religion again - uncomfortable for everyone involved. Or they may decide to let it "run it's course", figuring it's a fad. You can bet in a couple of years when you haven't converted that they'll be even more upset when they realize that it wasn't.

Or they may respect your decision to take your soul into your own hands and make your own decisions on the matter. Does that sound like them? If not, well, then I wouldn't expect it.

And ultimately your religion is for you, not for anyone else.

As far as the jewelry and trappings go, that's a bit more challenging. It's been awhile so I'm a bit rusty on the details, but I'm thinking you're going to want to set up an altar and either haven't done so or have it hidden. That includes knives and goblets, things that Christian parents often don't approve of, especially when you're asking for privacy. Then there are the books, which are a definite giveaway.

Telling them that your religion is private is not dishonest.

If you don't mind my asking, how old are you? If you are nearing the end of your schooling or are planning to be on your own soon that will make things vastly easier. It's far easier to just wait until you have your own space and don't have to answer questions that people don't want to hear the answers to. But of course, that's your choice.

I know that when you're younger (I'm nearly 40) it feels like when you encounter something new you just have to announce it to the world and be proud to have discovered such a wonderful _____________ (in this case, path). But really, there's lots and lots of time for discovery. There is a lot of time to experience new things and to explore your personal self. And you will learn (if you don't already know - I don't know how old you are), that once you get older your parents opinions stop being quite so critical (usually) to your happiness and...you know...then you can just "live" and not have to seek askance.

All of that being said.

If you really really really MUST come out to your parents, a few suggestions:
1) Make sure they aren't busy with other shit. Ask them for a time to sit down and discuss it, to minimize distractions. Also, you don't want outside drama skewing their perception when they are just learning...first impressions and all.
2) I would suggest that you reinforce the moral/ethical concerns near the beginning of the discussion. I don't know why, but it seems that many Christians seem to think that they only reason they behave like civilized human beings is because they're afraid of Hell. That in and of itself is kind of scary, but you may need to ease their minds on this note.
3) Don't push it. If they tell you they don't want to hear it or they try to walk away, let them. Then hide it. You shouldn't need to go through great pains for this - put the pendant behind your neck when your folks are around, or tuck it into a shirt. If you push, and they push back, you will lose (especially if you depend on them). Let it go. Sometimes ignorance IS bliss, and sometimes the best thing that we can do for our loved ones is not tell them what we really think.
4) Do not escalate. Do not be a child. Do not throw a tantrum. Do not interrupt. In order for you to convince your parents that what you are doing is not "wrong", you will have to be above reproach in all other respects, especially during the discussion. If you whine or gripe or have a thoughtless moment, that will indicate to them a lack of maturity that will give them every reason to treat you like a child. If they are *looking* for a reason, that will be it. So be mature. If they don't want to discuss it or they start getting angry, sit there and wait for it to blow out. Don't raise your voice. Don't give "a look". Just be patient. For some people the conversion of their child comes as quite a large shock.
5) Sometimes TMI is TMI. They don't need to know the history of the sacrifice. While most of us here know that the body and blood of Christ during Catholic ceremonies is nothing more than symbolized cannibalism, most Christians do not see it that way. They do not understand their own history well enough to see the comparisons. Telling your folks that you need a "sacrifice" is not going to go over well. Sometimes more generic information is better.

I do have to quantify all of this by saying that after being a Pagan for 10 years I became an Atheist, so that is certainly skewing my perspective. Temper your judgment with that information in mind ;) Good luck!

Roknrol
11 Jun 2014, 14:13
Sorry, the one thing that that all boils down to (that I *didn't* mention) - You have the RIGHT to be private about your religion, even if the circumstances under which you live (parents, country, whatever) tells you otherwise. If they press you, you are allowed to lie, because it's under duress. It's the equivalent of signing a confession *before* they start on the second hand, it holds zero implications about your morals or your ethics.

treetopfolk
11 Jun 2014, 15:26
Sorry, I should've been more clear, I'm 22 years old and live on my own/stay at my S.O.'s most of the time. I don't really have the space to have an altar yet, I've never really been an active practitioner. I've been stuck in books for 7 years and am kind of nervous since, again, I've had no guidance so I'm not sure how things work or where to begin.
I am trying to find a mentor in my area, but I'm pretty shy around people I don't know so a coven is kind of out of the question for now.

I am definitely keeping it low key when it comes to the general public (customers, etc) as I live in the buckle of the Bible Belt (OK) and have found being discreet is usually the better option here.

Heka
12 Jun 2014, 00:18
Sorry, I should've been more clear, I'm 22 years old and live on my own/stay at my S.O.'s most of the time. I don't really have the space to have an altar yet, I've never really been an active practitioner. I've been stuck in books for 7 years and am kind of nervous since, again, I've had no guidance so I'm not sure how things work or where to begin.
I am trying to find a mentor in my area, but I'm pretty shy around people I don't know so a coven is kind of out of the question for now.

I am definitely keeping it low key when it comes to the general public (customers, etc) as I live in the buckle of the Bible Belt (OK) and have found being discreet is usually the better option here.

Just a reminder that an altar doesnt have to be big. It can be small, or even in a boz and portable, to be set up when you need it.

As for starting places, set up your altar and do some meditation, read something new or old, obserbe the seasons. Keep it simple :)

The only benefit to having your altar permanent is it can invite questions. By this I mean someone may ask what that statue is for, or those flowers, or whatever, and youll have had time to think of a response that may get them thinking, without inviting too much conversation, such as "oh its just for protection" or "just observing the seasons, isnt summer beautiful this year".

treetopfolk
12 Jun 2014, 19:39
I see what you mean, and also to build on that I think writing (typing) my problem out kind of helped me answer my own question. I appreciate everyone's input.

Heka
13 Jun 2014, 01:04
I see what you mean, and also to build on that I think writing (typing) my problem out kind of helped me answer my own question. I appreciate everyone's input.

Sometimes getting it out there is all it takes.

My shrinks told me I need to do that...

Aurelia
13 Jul 2014, 23:00
My fiancé is the only one who knows of my faith. He wants to have a pagan wedding which is all good for me! About a handful of my friends know and frankly, I'd prefer it that way.

I could care less if my relatives found out despite some of them being devout Christians. However, my parents don't know. I like to imagine my father would be cool with it. He's Catholic but the large reason why I sought my current path. He's a historian and as long as I can remember, him and I have had lengthy discussions about our Italian ancestors--going way back to Rome. And of course, we talk about a multitude of other groups like the vikings, the Mongols, Celts, etc.

My mother, on the other hand, as much as I love her know it'd break her heart. And she really wouldn't be cool with it. She fell out of Catholicism and is now into the charismatic movement. I have no issue with her being a Christian at all. It brings her peace and she loves Jesus. Its what her friends say at church which is really holding me back from saying anything. They hear these horrific stories involving witchcraft and even before she got involved with the charismatic movement, I was warned to stay away from magic. Sooner or later she'll find out but for now I prefer not to blow it out of proportion. As different as our religious beliefs are, we're very close.

I'm thankful for discovering paganism well into my 20s. I'm not saying if you explore it earlier you're not wise but I took it up it in high school, I'd have this impulse to tell everyone without thinking of the consequences.

But, yeah, still very much in the closet :D.

Moral of the story: If you feel the need to come out of the broom closet, seriously think on it first. You'll have people disagree and sometimes it'll transition into a fight. But keep in mind you're a window into your faith. Its not to magically convert them, that's not the point. Its for them to see how this path has helped, not morph you into this bitter rebel person. Take all the time you need to learn.

If you don't want to tell anyone, that's fine too. Its what you feel most comfortable with in the long run.

moonixir
19 Jul 2014, 09:40
I'm mixed with this. I've told some people that I am pagan, but only two family members that I am. Mostly because one side of the family is devout Southern Baptist, and the other is devout Catholic. They aren't too open minded about things, but that is alright with me. The people that matter most to me know about it, and fully support me. I told my now boyfriend a few years back that I was a pagan, and he was alright with that. I told my sister, and she accepted me with open arms because she's pagan too. I only then told one of my cousins who is a bit more open minded about things than most. Then I have a handful of friends, and all of them support me. When I first told them though, I was scarred that I would be judged or not have them in my life, but if came to it? I would be okay if they didn't want to be an active part of my life. I wish I could tell my family, but unfortunately, I can't because I need them in my life.

Bjorn
19 Jul 2014, 09:45
I think my parents are going to have a harder time accepting my atheism than my paganism. With paganism is felt like another costume for the same idea. Now that I don't buy any of it I think they worry more.

It's damned annoying but I love the hell out of them.

Gleb
19 Jul 2014, 09:58
Sorry, the one thing that that all boils down to (that I *didn't* mention) - You have the RIGHT to be private about your religion, even if the circumstances under which you live (parents, country, whatever) tells you otherwise. If they press you, you are allowed to lie, because it's under duress. It's the equivalent of signing a confession *before* they start on the second hand, it holds zero implications about your morals or your ethics.
By the end of the next school year, I will have to pass an interview in the army department. On one hand I believe firmly in the "I mustn't lie" purification, on the other hand my parents keep telling me that I must tell the psychologist that I believe in Judaism. I simply can't tolerate saying something like that.
What should I do in this case, then?

Aurelia
21 Jul 2014, 05:35
By the end of the next school year, I will have to pass an interview in the army department. On one hand I believe firmly in the "I mustn't lie" purification, on the other hand my parents keep telling me that I must tell the psychologist that I believe in Judaism. I simply can't tolerate saying something like that.
What should I do in this case, then?
Israel (never been there) always struck me as a secular place--but again I know its not true for all families and locations. You must correct me if I'm wrong but if you're an Israeli citizen but are not of the Jewish faith, do you skip the army process? Or is it the same for all citizens?

I can imagine your parents suggestion also stems from worry aside from tradition. Its not everyday you meet a Kemetic pagan. I totally understand you not wanting to lie but if its going to stir up trouble, I'd avoid professing your true faith. It sucks but that's just me. But, do what you think is best! Only my 2˘.

Roknrol
21 Jul 2014, 11:16
By the end of the next school year, I will have to pass an interview in the army department. On one hand I believe firmly in the "I mustn't lie" purification, on the other hand my parents keep telling me that I must tell the psychologist that I believe in Judaism. I simply can't tolerate saying something like that.
What should I do in this case, then?

I could have SWORN that I answered this already.

The short version is this: The United States Government is bound by the United States Constitution, which states (as it's first rule) that your right to religion will not be infringed. The Military recognizes Wicca as a legitimate religion and generally is used to encompass most other Pagan religions (I think Norse faiths are considered to be their own as well, but considering the connections to White Supremacy (including in the military) I wouldn't suggest using that.

If they mistreat you because of your religion you can sue them for millions of dollars to start your own church and then you get to live tax free for the rest of your life. Not the worst thing that could happen to you. :D

Gleb
21 Jul 2014, 11:21
I could have SWORN that I answered this already.

The short version is this: The United States Government is bound by the United States Constitution, which states (as it's first rule) that your right to religion will not be infringed. The Military recognizes Wicca as a legitimate religion and generally is used to encompass most other Pagan religions (I think Norse faiths are considered to be their own as well, but considering the connections to White Supremacy (including in the military) I wouldn't suggest using that.

If they mistreat you because of your religion you can sue them for millions of dollars to start your own church and then you get to live tax free for the rest of your life. Not the worst thing that could happen to you. :D
Yes, you HAVE answered it. Sorry, it's just a bit sensitive point of mine. Thanks again. ;)

Roknrol
21 Jul 2014, 11:24
Yes, you HAVE answered it. Sorry, it's just a bit sensitive point of mine. Thanks again. ;)

Hehe...no problem, I thought I was losing my mind there is all :)

Gleb
21 Jul 2014, 11:25
Israel (never been there) always struck me as a secular place--but again I know its not true for all families and locations. You must correct me if I'm wrong but if you're an Israeli citizen but are not of the Jewish faith, do you skip the army process? Or is it the same for all citizens?

I can imagine your parents suggestion also stems from worry aside from tradition. Its not everyday you meet a Kemetic pagan. I totally understand you not wanting to lie but if its going to stir up trouble, I'd avoid professing your true faith. It sucks but that's just me. But, do what you think is best! Only my 2˘.

I have Israeli citizenship. But an Israeli citizen must go to army, no matter what his religion is. Actually, there is a special section there for Jewish-Orthodox soldiers.
In order to skip army in Israel, one must be one of these:
1. Be handicapped;
2. Be married;
3. Be at least... I think it's 35 or 40 years old;
4. Die before 18.

We will see, I have one more year to think about this. Thank you. :)

Roknrol
21 Jul 2014, 11:29
Are you not in the US? My bad if that's the case...that was my assumption gone wrong...

Gleb
21 Jul 2014, 11:33
As far as I remember, I'm not. It's ok. :) In some ways, the US and Israeli armies are a bit the same. I hope that what your suggestion will be true for the Israeli army as well.

Bjorn
21 Jul 2014, 11:38
Are you not in the US? My bad if that's the case...that was my assumption gone wrong...

He lives in Israel.

Roknrol
21 Jul 2014, 14:35
Doh - I'm really sorry...I know better than to assume that, especially here.

I have no idea how the Israeli military feels about it :( I've never had any experience in that regard.

I do know that throughout history people have hidden their religion due to fears of overreaction, and that after the fact those people were never thought ill of. I don't blame anyone for hiding what will get them killed when it's matters of opinion.

Hippie at Heart
24 Aug 2014, 07:48
I just told everyone. Most have been pretty supportive. My daughter was a pain for a while but she has learned to deal with it after deciding to change her previous religious beliefs. Some things you just have to learn on your own. ;)

Smokerider
24 Aug 2014, 10:34
I mostly hang out with the wife who is fully aware of my pagan interests. A pagan I used to work with knows I had an interest in these things but the rest of my family and friends have no clue. It's not important that the rest of my social network learn of my occult interests. It's unlikely they would want to know or understand what I do anyway. :-)

But it 'would' be fun to say, "I'm casting for you" on Facebook when everyone else is saying, "I'm praying for you..." but people would just think I was being a smart alec.

miss_mc
06 Sep 2014, 18:45
My two best friends and my girlfriend know, but the family is oblivious. They think I'm just really into incense ha ha. I don't think I'd tell my family. Not like they'd be angry or mean but they'd think it was stupid and pick at me all the time and I just don't wanna deal with that level of snark all the time about my beliefs. A dumb hobby, sure, but not my beliefs. My friends we're pretty cool about it, if a little confused about what it entails. At the end of the day its a little like coming out of the regular closet; tell the people you trust to stay or are prepared to lose.

Doc_Holliday
06 Sep 2014, 18:47
The whole world knows for me, I've never had too many problems 'round here.

satanic witch
06 Sep 2014, 18:51
Well I've never really been in the broom closet , I simply practiced my religion and people found out in their own time , plus me being gay coming out of one closet was more then enough for me lol

Gleb
07 Sep 2014, 03:53
Finally my father found out that I am pagan. And he definitely doesn't like the idea.... I don't care much about that. Partly because it's my own choice of religion.