There are several positive aspects to being out as a Pagan or Wiccan. For starters, it allows you the freedom of not hiding your true self. When youâve shared who you are with others, it makes it that much easier to be honest and open about other things.
When it comes to controversial issues, Wiccans and Pagans are often at the forefront of writing letters to congress people, marching in parades, and organizing protests. By making your presence as a Pagan known, it allows like-minded people to find you when they need your assistance. Likewise, if you need them, youâll be able to find them if theyâre out.
Finally, thereâs a sense of liberation that comes with being out. Even if youâre not one of those in-your-face Pagans, and are simply out to friends and family, thereâs a freedom born of openness. Once youâre out, you donât have to worry that other people are going to find out -- because youâve already made it known, on your own terms.
For some people, the idea of coming out as Pagan or Wiccan is terrifying. They may feel that theyâll be persecuted by local fundamentalist groups, or that they will be in danger of losing jobs, children, etc. If this is of concern to you, be sure to read the section on Your Rights as a Pagan.
Some Pagans choose not to come out because of fears related to past history. There is sometimes a concern that outing oneself as Pagan or Wiccan could lead to a repeat of the Burning Times that existed during the Middle Ages.
Another thing to bear in mind is that once youâre out, itâs a one-way street. You canât suddenly take back that youâre Wiccan or Pagan, because people wonât forget. This is why itâs not a bad idea to come out gradually -- rather than waking up one morning and wearing your brand new âIâm a Witch, Deal With It!â shirt, it may be better to first let family know, then friends, and finally become open with others. Regardless, itâs something you can do at the pace that feels best to you.
Ultimately, the decision to come out is one that takes some thought and possibly some clever planning as well, depending on how you believe you will be received. You may be pleasantly surprised to find support and friendship in places that you didnât expect it -- itâs possible that dear old mom and dad will embrace your newfound spirituality rather than chastising you for it. Talk to people who are out of the broom closet and ask them for advice on how to talk to their families and friends about who they are.
Finally, be sure to never, EVER, out someone else without their permission. Itâs a personal choice, and while youâre more than welcome to tell people what you believe -- without proselytizing, of course -- youâre not welcome to announce that other people are Pagan or Wiccan, unless they are already out.
Religion and spirituality is a private and personal thing, no matter who you are. Coming out of the broom closet is a choice that only you can make for yourself. Itâs something that you can choose to do when the time is right for you -- or not.
If you decide to come out, here are some important tips on how to do so: How to Come Out of the Broom Closet