The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum (Archive Board)
May 29, 2020, 11:54:04 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: This is our Read Only Archive Board (closed to posting July 2011). Join our new vBulletin board!
 
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
May 29, 2020, 11:54:04 am

Login with username, password and session length
Donate!
The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.
TC Staff
Important Information about this Archive Board
This message board is The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's SMF Archive Board. It is closed to new memberships and to posting, but there are over 250,000 messages here that you can still search and read -- many full of interesting and useful information. (This board was open from February 2007 through June 2011).

Our new vBulletin discussion board is located at http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/ -- if you would like to participate in discussions like those you see here, please visit our new vBulletin message board, register an account and join in our discussions. We hope you will find the information in this message archive useful and will consider joining us on our new board.
Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
Author Topic: Broomclosets and coming and being  (Read 6088 times)
Purplewitch
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:August 03, 2009, 02:04:40 pm
Canada Canada

Religion: kitchenWitch with Celtic Condiments
Posts: 1621


Blog entries (2)

WWW

Ignore
« Topic Start: May 12, 2007, 01:31:03 pm »




I think, strictly speaking, "coming out" as an action is specifically doing the, "Sit the person down and explain to them that one's whatever"; that's what it means.

If one is living one's life without being closeted at all, obviously that sort of 'please update your reality regarding me' conversation is unnecessary.  And, for most interactions, the decision to be closeted or no is irrelevant; the subject doesn't come up.  "Coming out" has always struck me as primarily a correction process for relationships where there has been active concealment or deception, where that information would have been available if it were not for the closeted state.

Being out doesn't entail actually doing much of anything. :}

Darkhawk was quite right that being out and coming out are two different things, and my incoherency aside, I've been thinking about it. The strange thing is that in all honesty, I don't remember ever coming out, but at the same time I know I haven't always been out, certainly not to the degree that I am nowadays. I know it was a relatively gradual process, (but then so was the one that led me into paganism as a whole, ) maybe made easier by always being known for being a little 'eccentric'.

I won't name names obviously, but I know someone who likened her coming out to not only coming out the closet, but blowing the damn door off the thing.... but both of us reached a certain point when we made the decision that we were going to stop pretending not to be who and what we were just because other people didn't like it or couldn't handle it.

I also know that in years past, a certain person was very afraid of me 'coming out' as he saw it, because of how it would reflect on him. That's history. Luckily for me I now have someone who has had no problem learning to live with a witch, and who accepts it when told 'you don't want to know' Wink

Where I am now and the people I'm among now, I've always been out, they've always known, and I don't remember telling them, it just seems as though this is the way it's always been. None of us go around broadcasting it to the general populace (mostly lol)- if it comes up, it comes up, if not, then it's nobody's business, kind of thing.

I guess I'm just curious about other people's experiences since I don't think I had a coming out moment... now I almost feel deprived Huh


Logged

Welcome, Guest!
You will need to register and/or login to participate in our discussions.

Read our Rules and Policies and the Quoting Guidelines.

Help Fund Our Server? Donate to Lyricfox's Cancer Fund?

Purplewitch
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:August 03, 2009, 02:04:40 pm
Canada Canada

Religion: kitchenWitch with Celtic Condiments
Posts: 1621


Blog entries (2)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1: May 12, 2007, 01:47:00 pm »


I guess I'm just curious about other people's experiences since I don't think I had a coming out moment... now I almost feel deprived Huh

And purely for your entertainment, both my daughters have at various times been known to happily go around telling people their mom is a witch - teenager's best friend christened me Hippywitch which lasted a good couple of years. Gotta love teenagers   Cool
Logged

Finn
High Adept Member
******
*
Last Login:December 22, 2013, 02:30:14 pm
United States United States

Religion: An Seanchas Fior
TCN ID: Finn
Posts: 2754


The world is quiet here.

Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #2: May 12, 2007, 09:37:35 pm »

I guess I'm just curious about other people's experiences since I don't think I had a coming out moment... now I almost feel deprived Huh

Heh.  I almost feel deprived now--I've never had one either, nor do I see one in the foreseeable future. 

My friends don't care if I'm polytheistic, and I've mentioned it in passing to only a few (when in conversation about things like that), but really they probably don't even remember it.

My family, however, would definitely care if I told them I'm polytheistic, and I know they would never forget it if I mentioned it in passing.  Hence, I have never, nor do I see any reason to, "come out" to them.

Still, I'm curious... how do people usually approach it?  Do they really sit them down?  Or do they just say, "I've got something to tell you" while standing at the crosswalk? 
Logged

Fight evil: read books.

My Spiritual Blog: An Seanchas Fior
My Personal Blog: An Seanchas Finn
Darkhawk
Chief Mux Wizard
Staff
Adept Member
***
*
Last Login:January 20, 2020, 08:24:45 pm
United States United States

Religion: Kemetic Feri Discordian
Posts: 2485

Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #3: May 12, 2007, 11:15:38 pm »

Still, I'm curious... how do people usually approach it?  Do they really sit them down?  Or do they just say, "I've got something to tell you" while standing at the crosswalk?

I can't speak to coming out as pagan, because I never did; however, I can speak to my general coming-out advice.

The first and most important thing is to be clear on why one is doing it.  Just handing people information without any context tends to lead to them spinning wildly trying to fit it into their universe, and leads to the question, spoken or not, "Why are you telling me this?"

So, for example, when I came out to my father, I framed it as how I valued my relationship with him and wanted to be able to include him in this part of my life.  Thus, he didn't have 'Why are you telling me this?' problems, because he knew already, and he could go straight to assimilating the data.

The other major thing is that one's reasons for coming out may be one's own, but the actual coming-out process is about whoever one is talking to.  It's the person coming out's job to answer their questions, allay their fears, and otherwise be available to them (or give them resources) to help them deal with the situation.  So no, doing the, "Hey, I got something to tell you" at a crosswalk strikes me as being, for most circumstances, a really horrible idea: it doesn't provide a venue for actually responding to the person's concerns or providing them with resources.  Unless, of course, the thing is so trivial to that relationship that calling it a 'coming out' is probably a scale error.
Logged

Marilyn (ABSENTMINDED)
Assistant Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
High Adept Member
****
Last Login:February 06, 2013, 08:12:28 pm
Canada Canada

Religion: free-flowing animist, Dudeist Priest
TCN ID: Absentminded
Posts: 2725


Blog entries (11)


« Reply #4: May 12, 2007, 11:37:27 pm »



I don't think I've ever actually been 'in' the closet. 

One parent Christian, one not, my choice how my religion developed.
Strange birth, strange history, strange family 'expectations'.
One of my town's three, possibly four 'well-known' Professional Psychics (TM), and unfortunately the one most in the newspapers.
Decended from a local line of medecine workers, though not one myself.

I think my brother and the one of my sisters who decided to follow my father's religion were more 'in the closet' than I've ever been. Cheesy

Absent
Logged

"There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure."
- Jack E. Leonard

Blessed are the cracked, for it is they who let in the light.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

L Cohen
Aasha
Journeyman
***
Last Login:October 26, 2009, 02:14:45 pm
United States United States

Religion: Canaanite Reconstructionist
Posts: 213


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #5: May 13, 2007, 12:12:40 am »

Still, I'm curious... how do people usually approach it?  Do they really sit them down?  Or do they just say, "I've got something to tell you" while standing at the crosswalk? 

I decided to include my family in the research.  As I learned, I shared my knowledge with them (in bits and pieces when they would actually listen to me).  It was so gradual that my shift from research to practice wasn't much of a shock for them.  I don't feel a need to share my religious beliefs with anyone else.  If asked, I give either a general description of Neopagansim, or say that I am agnostic (depending on the person).
Logged
Aster Breo
SIG Coordinator
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:January 29, 2013, 09:32:22 pm
United States United States

Religion: Feral Brighideach
TCN ID: Aster Breo
Posts: 5260


Avatar byJuni & Dania

Blog entries (0)


« Reply #6: May 13, 2007, 12:24:19 am »


I guess I'm just curious about other people's experiences since I don't think I had a coming out moment... now I almost feel deprived Huh

I've never had what I would consider a major "coming out" event.  My parents have known for...let's see...30 years (sheesh, has it really been that long??) that I'm not Christian and that I'm interested in other religions, at least from an academic perspective.  But then, I'm sure they rationalize that because I'm interested in LOTS of stuff from an academic perspective.   Wink

I'm sort of the religious black sheep in my family.  My older brother (only sibling) AND my SIL are both Methodist ministers -- highly placed, politically speaking, in their district.  My parents have always been very, very active in their church -- on various church boards and committees, etc.  I was active in the the youth group until I got slammed for asking too many questions.  Then I quit and started looking elsewhere.

So, my parents know I'm not Christian, but they don't know -- and, honestly, I don't think they *want* to know -- the details of my beliefs.  If they ever asked, I'd tell them.  I think my mom might be genuinely interested.  But I don't bring it up, running on the assumption that she doesn't ask because she's happier not knowing for sure.  My dad probably wouldn't care.

My husband and kids know I'm pagan, and specifically Celtic recon-ish, and even more specifically that there's something to do with Brighid.  But that's about it.  Again, if they asked, I'd tell them anything they wanted to know.  (Actually, I'd probably point them to TC threads, and just let them read about it.  That'd be easier.   Wink  )  But they don't ask.  I keep thinking that one of these days -- maybe on a road trip when we're all stuck in the car for a long period of time, I'll bring up religion and just see what happens.

As for friends, my closest friends know I'm not Christian.  But that's it.  If they asked, I'd answer any questions honestly.  But I don't think I'd just up and say, oh, by the way, I'm pagan.

Most of my kids' friends know I'm pagan.  I'm the cool mom.   Wink   They love it when I read tarot to practice on them, or send them special crystals or things before exams, or little things like that.  But as far as I know, none of their *parents* know I'm pagan.  I've never told them to keep it secret or anything.  They just don't seem to think it's something they need to share with their parents.

So, all this is to say that I've never sat anyone down and had that little talk.  Maybe I will someday with my mom.  She was pretty cool about my daughter's tattoo last week.   Cheesy
Logged

"The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place."  ~ George Bernard Shaw
Mandi
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:June 03, 2011, 01:52:13 am
United States United States

Religion: ergghhhmmmmnnnnn....
Posts: 1997


Did the big meanies break yer speshulness

Blog entries (48)



Ignore
« Reply #7: May 13, 2007, 09:21:51 am »


I guess I'm just curious about other people's experiences since I don't think I had a coming out moment... now I almost feel deprived Huh


I did the coming out thing my freshman year in high school.  One of the worst social miscalculations ever, perhaps of Richter scale proportion.  Living near a predominantly African American town in the evangelical areas of Pennsylvania, where you have hard core Amish to one side for miles, Southern Baptist scattered in between and the nearest town that has public transportation and high schools being reliant upon a steel mill for commerce and employment...  I can't even begin to describe the degrees of bad idea that coming out in this environment was. 

Psychologists, death threats, physical confrontations, screamed harassments.  Been there done that.  Survived it, and could still look any one of the people in the eye and be like dude.  Sucks to live in your tiny mind.  With this I got my first lesson in letting go.  Had I had my hand on the doorknob to that broom closet I would have lost an arm when it came flying off the hinges.  Then I would have been beaten with it by the angry mob on the other side of the door.

Granted, I didn't really have a grasp of what pagan meant at that point.  Because of the lack of resource material, and information I was under the belief that if you disagreed with Christianity you were in fact a Satanist (according to my 14yo reasoning, and most of the school)

After a few years of this, I moved to Ca.  where I stayed in the closet quite nicely for quite a few years.  Yeah, there were other kids who were pagan at the school I was at, but they struck me as playgans, and who had never gone through anything, in the pursuit of their so called paths.  They were the most watered down version of socially pagan I could imagine at that point.  I was sort of lapsed in practice, although still reading and researching, did a couple open circles, but because of the move wasn't really 'feelin it'  Ca seemed like a giant concrete parking lot in many places, so I had to get past that before I could find any kind of spiritual connection.

Which in time I did.  The beach, and the mountains, hubbs had a little cabin up in the Santa Cruz mountains when we were dating, and it really brought my practice back to life.  'Coming out' to hubbs was a slow process.  In little bits and blurbs he found out more about my pagany self.  He pretty much knew I wasn't Christian from day one, but I didn't really bring the practices clear for him till years later.
Logged

I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir
Mandi
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:June 03, 2011, 01:52:13 am
United States United States

Religion: ergghhhmmmmnnnnn....
Posts: 1997


Did the big meanies break yer speshulness

Blog entries (48)



Ignore
« Reply #8: May 13, 2007, 09:34:20 am »



My parents were intimately involved in the first coming out, actually leading the angry mob; they did a full scale shake down of my room, I've whined about this before, but years later I still have moments where my brain rattles like googlie eyes at the the ignorance and fear that they were acting out of.  I'm amazed that my mellowed out, aging for the most part almost too open minded parents were these people all those years ago.

For those who haven't been subjected to my protracted *wah* they tossed out anything that could be mistaken for pagan, gothic, negative, unchristian, fantasy, escapism etc.  Music, books, posters, clothing, jewelry...  I still have a (ridiculously gaudy) wand pendant that I managed to save.  Some books I was able to hide, others I buried and forgot where.

Ironically, after all these years, both my mother, my sister, and my aunts (2) on my mothers side are pagan.  I'm the gal to call when you find something new and interesting and want info.

Makes all that strife seem pretty pointless in retrospect.  For them to go through all that effort, only to later go erg... ahem... wellll.....  so you actually weren't insane, but lets not talk about that.

My dad glossed it over a couple years ago when I asked him what was up with all that, and he answered "we always knew you'd be okay.  One way or the other you would have turned out alright."

I laughed at him, and said come on already, you've got to be kidding me.  and he said no, not kidding.  Still, an utter non answer.
Logged

I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir
Juni
Adept Member
*****
*
*
Last Login:May 18, 2015, 04:18:28 pm
United States United States

Religion: Misticism
TCN ID: Juni
Posts: 2302


Strive to be happy.

Blog entries (2)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #9: May 13, 2007, 10:47:11 am »

I guess I'm just curious about other people's experiences since I don't think I had a coming out moment... now I almost feel deprived Huh

I started studying paganism in general when I was 8, so my mother was very aware of what I was doing (since we didn't have a computer, I had to borrow things from the library, etcetera). My mother and I have always been very close, so there was never a "coming out" experience with her. She did help me inform (ish) my stepdad, who was raised a Christian (whether he still is or not is open to debate) and wanted me to be raised Christian as well. We made sure to avoid the word religion, and made heavy use of the words spirituality and nature. Part of that was because we knew he doesn't respond well to things that aren't mainstream, and part was because he is manic-depressive and he moves between the two at alarming rates. So we had to be careful. Dad was informed because, well, even if he doesn't want to know something, if he finds it out on his own and hasn't been told he gets very, very angry. So it was a bit of self-preservation.

With my mom's side of the family, it was very non-issue. Religion isn't something we talk about really, so everyone was like "oh, that's nice sweetie". My aunt is the only I-go-to-church Christian in the family (she married in) and she asked me a few actual questions about my beliefs, and then that was it. It only came up because my aunt had asked if I wanted to be included in my cousin's baptism- sort of as a godmother, sort of not- and I had to explain that I didn't know if I could. (That was never technically answered for me, but I think not, as the priest in most Christian denominations asks you about your baptism and such, and I wasn't baptized.)

With my stepdad's side of the family...yeah. That came up because my grandmother was trying to convert me to Christianity behind my mother's back. (My mom and biological father agreed before I was born that I wouldn't be raised in any particular faith so I could decide for myself- Mom stuck with that even after she got remarried, and Grandma did NOT like having a non-Christian daughter-in-law, never mind a non-Christian granddaughter.) The conversation went something along the lines of:
     "Grandma, I'm not Christian, you know," after she tried to read me another story for the millionth time.
     "Oh, you are, sweetie, just your mother won't let you realize it."
     "No, Grandma, I'm really not."
     "Yes, sweetie, you ar-"
     "Grandma, I'm pagan." Arguing and yelling ensues- mostly with my mother for letting me endanger my soul like this (I was 10? I think.)
     "Katrina (my real name), you're going to burn in hell just like your mother if you don't come to church with me. You're going to burn forever and ever. Do you want that?" And then Mom told her to f off and took me home.

The rest of that side of the family took it much better.

And then: school. My best friend (and, well, only real friend) knew I was pagan already- I don't remember how that came up, I think her parents asked if I wanted to come to church with them after a sleepover. Enter: school trip to Salem, MA. We were learning about the witch trials in school, so it was an "educational" trip. (This is middle school- 8th grade). At one of the gift shops, I bought my first deck of tarot cards, and my friend and I were looking at the pictures on the bus when the boy in front of me (that I did not get along with) told me the tarot cards were against "our" religion. I told him they might be against his, but they weren't against mine. Which led to me explaining I was pagan.

Cut to our destination, which was a big patch of grass where we had to draw whatever we saw for Art class. All the "cool" kids were sitting down by the water, so all they'd have to draw was water and the sky and some clouds. I spent the afternoon getting three kids coming to ask me if I was going to put a hex on the kid ("no"), if I worshiped Satan ("no"), if I could turn person x into a toad (laugh "no"). And then they'd return to the group and three more would come. That happened on the first day of a 2 day trip- by the time we got back to school, it wasn't a big deal anymore, until the rest of the 8th grade found out. And then I did it all over again, and then again in high school, every year. By the time I was a sophomore, I had kids coming to ask me if I could help them with a spell, or if I'd be the high priestess for their coven, or some such. Despite it all, the kids in my grade were very cool about it. I think a lot of it was that I didn't make a big deal out of it- I'd answer and then go back to whatever I was doing. I didn't look like everyone else, or do the stuff they did either, so they were already used to me being odd.

I've had a few other interesting experiences too- when my coworkers found out at Waldenbooks, when my coworkers found out at Toys'R'Us (both weren't my fault! Honest! Undecided), when a few of my newer friends found out... At this point, I live "out". I mean, I don't go telling everyone I come across, and I don't bring it up at work (except when explicitly asked, like at the two I mentioned), and I also don't wear any jewelry that makes people go "Oh, you're pagan/Wiccan/etc?".

Hmm. Maybe I don't live as "out" as I thought. But I don't go hiding it, either. If it comes up, it comes up, and then I go back to  whatever I was doing. Smiley
Logged


.: Eleven-Pm.org .:. updated 30 June :.

"I don't go anywhere without my mutated anthrax! 'Fer duck huntin." - Futurama
Tirah
Senior Apprentice
**
Last Login:November 04, 2008, 08:46:29 pm
United States United States

Religion: Eclectic Pagan
Posts: 62


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #10: May 13, 2007, 02:02:50 pm »

I guess I'm just curious about other people's experiences since I don't think I had a coming out moment... now I almost feel deprived Huh

Like several here, I didn't really have a big "coming out" moment, just a bunch of little bitty ones as the occasions arose.  I too started studying the occult and witchcraft when I was very young and it grew from there.  I guess my most pivotal moment was with my mother when I asked her to drive me to the mall so I can purchase my first official book on practicing witchcraft.  All she asked was "are you sure?" when I said yes, she drove me.  However she seemed to have known that this would be my path long before I did.  For instance I'm the only one in my family who has never been baptized.  When one day I asked my mom why she said that for some reason she felt that she wasn't supposed to (bare in mind my mother and father were devoutly Baptist when I was born).  She then named me after the water fairy, Sabrina, from Milton's poem (no, not the Movie or Bewitched [referring to a common misperception about the names- they were Samantha and Serena, no Sabrina], and please no "Teenaged Witch" jokes!).  When I was 13, my mother tried to find me a black kitten so she could name it Shaharazahd.  When I asked why she said she read a book where a witch had a black cat by that name.  My brothers discovered it on their own as they noticed the changes in me, and one of my brothers was in fact very interested about it and we would have long talks during our 8 hour drive back and forth from college. In fact even the pastor of the Methodist church my step-father dragged me to told me not to go through the "born-again", joining-of-the-church ceremony because even he could tell that Christianity was not where my beliefs lie.

However my Mother-in-law is a different story.  Once again, she knows due to years of our not trying to hide it from her, however the one time my husband tried to explain what it was all about she refused to acknowledge it.  She kept insisting that we were Christian.  When my husband insisted that we weren't Christians she asked "Do you believe in God" my husband said "yes we believe in many of them".  She then pressed "but you believe that there is a god?".  He repeated yes and she said "then you're a Christian".  So we realized that she just wanted to delude herself and we left it at that.

As far as with friends, things just tend to work their way out.  Although I never really "come out" to them, when conversations work their way to religion I don't try to hide or deceive them about it.  My best friend and I came to the path together.  I became close with some friends in college due to my noticing their loaning each other a book on Wicca.  Other friends just figured it out through idle conversations.

At work I have never had the need to reveal my religion (besides personal life should be left out of professional life whether you are Pagan, Christian or Buddhist).  I've always been able to get my holidays off by simply requesting a personal day.  The only time I ever outed myself to anyone relating to my job was when I was working as a receptionist at a photography developing lab.  The assistant of one of our clients discovered Wicca and came out with a bang.  I had noticed her pentacle necklace and complimented her on it.  Boy was she defensive!  She began lecturing me on the legitimacy of the religion and how I shouldn't judge her on something I knew nothing about.  I just stood there smiling.  After about 10 minutes of this she obviously misinterpreted my amusement and started to storm out.  However as she got to the door I called out to her that if she felt this insecure and self-conscious about her new path then maybe she should re-examine why she chose to follow it in the first place.  Because if she kept acting like this every time someone asked her about it then her behavior will reflect badly on the rest of us.  She stared at me in horror for about a minute.  She finally found her voice and asked "you?".  I smiled and nodded.  She asked me "for how long".  When I told her 15 years her face went white and she rushed out of there.  From then on she never came back always sending someone else to drop off the orders, thus giving me the impression that she was all talk and drama and was either too embarrassed or scared to face a real Pagan.
Logged

Why conform to society when you can reform society?
---Tirah Dragonsong

Discovering My Path: http://tirah.livejournal.com
SunflowerP
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:April 16, 2020, 07:39:55 pm
Canada Canada

Religion: Eclectic Wicca-compatible religious Witch (Libertarian Witchcraft)
TCN ID: SunflowerP
Posts: 5485


Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #11: May 14, 2007, 01:27:59 am »

I guess I'm just curious about other people's experiences since I don't think I had a coming out moment... now I almost feel deprived Huh
My closets don't have doors.  That's not a brag, just an observation about how I do things, often without really thinking about it until after the fact.  "In or out" isn't a useful way to talk about me, because it'd almost always entail a bunch of refining explanation - might as well go straight to the "how inclined am I to discuss it, and with whom?" stuff, because it'll go there anyway.

I do have a Pagan "coming-out moment" of sorts.  Not that I was "in the broomcloset" before that, exactly.  In my military reserve days, I was "quietly out", quite comfortable mentioning it if the conversation went that way and I was reasonably sure the other person(s) wouldn't be unduly distressed by it (it was much more about their potential distress, than about me).  My siblings had all known for years, more because of poking around in my library for interesting things to read (mainly SF/F, but the "witchy books" were right there to see) than because I'd explicitly told them.  My parents, though, really only knew that I was not really a churchgoer any more (very liberal Protestant denomination, which helps), and that I was interested in reading about "weird stuff".  (My description, not theirs - this interest was never an issue; they generally take a "there may be something in it" stance about parapsychology and such, and were quite open about this stance while I was growing up.)

The local newspaper (there are actually two, but the other one is a sensationalist tabloid and doesn't count) had published a story on (Eclectic) Wicca that was sufficiently accurate that its inaccuracies (mainly, too much emphasis on the "women's spirituality" angle) could be effectively addressed in a letter to the editor, and the folks I was practicing with at the time (or about to practice with - this was the first working circle I was part of, in its formative stages) decided we ought to do just that.  While this is just the sort of circumstance in which the paper would allow "name withheld", I wasn't comfortable with doing that:  either I have the courage of my convictions, or I don't and shouldn't be opening my yap in the first place.  It did mean, though, that it was time for The Conversation - seeing my name at the bottom of a letter to the editor would be an unfair and hurtful way for Mom and Dad to be confronted directly with my religious POV.

It wasn't too bad.  I talked to them each separately.  Mom, devout adherent of said liberal denomination, would have liked to express her dismay more openly, but her values wouldn't permit it (more on that in a moment); she contented herself with "Be careful with the candles."  Dad, passive Christian agnostic ("I don't know Who's turning this wheel, I'm pleased He doesn't stop, speculation beyond that is of no interest" with the "Who" being mainly envisioned as the New Testament monodeity), didn't make much distinction between my leanings, and My Brother the Theologian's decision to study theology - both were equally "odd thing to want to do" from his POV, so the main difference was that the latter could be talked about more openly with the extended family.

I've got other identities that are often associated with closets.  I haven't mentioned my bisexuality to either of my brothers, but I did make a point of telling my sister (I don't count that as a coming-out moment; it simply came up naturally in a phone convo), who said, "I wondered when you were going to tell me."  I expect that telling her I'm polyamorous will work about the same way - she had a bachelor's in Psych, and intends, once her kids are older, to get her master's and probably doctorate, and go into GLBT lifestyle counselling (that was the phone convo, she was telling me about this long-term goal - talk about a golden opportunity!).  I didn't have to explain that "bi" didn't mean "undecided" and wasn't code for "lesbian"; she knew that perfectly well.  I'll be very surprised if I have to explain what polyamory is - she may not know a lot about it, and be interested to hear details, but I'm confident she'll at least have heard of it, and not be tangled in the misconceptions.

It may be that, someday, I'll need to have The Conversation with my parents about being bi, being poly, or both.  I'm more concerned about the latter; the family non-heterosexual ground was broken by a couple of cousins quite a few years ago (one of whom my sister was really close to when they were growing up, hence her interest) so the concept isn't new, and I know pretty accurately what my parents' general attitude is (uncomfortable, but accepting).  I can't, at least at this point, imagine having a need to have The Conversation as regards my kink inclinations; they take place on a level where they're no more the business of other people than what my favorite positions are (I guarantee that my parents would agree that they have no need to know any details of what turns me on, and not just because of the "eww" factor; it's just natural privacy).

With extended family, it mainly works out that the more someone might have problems with any of my "closetish things", the less likely it is that they'd discover it by accident.  This is a convenient accident, rather than planning, a side effect of the extent to which I live most of my non-family life in the subcultures.  Hmm, and now that I think of it, a side effect of multiple names - I have a con name (Mama Maureen) because con names are fun, and use my public Craft name of Sunflower everywhere online partly because it's more "me" in context of where I go and partly because using my full legal name all over the 'Net would be rash, but that also means someone who knows me outside the subcultures would have to know those names to connect me to them.  (My mom doesn't even dust the 'puter, but if my dad wanted to, he could discover all sorts of shocking things about me quite easily - but there's that "natural privacy" thing again.)

I'm not closeted about any of this in those subcultures.  Some things don't come up as much as others, which is partly a matter of how likely I am to follow that conversational direction, but much more a matter of how likely others are to be talking about it.  (F'ex, detailed discussion of kinkiness generally comes up at SF cons mainly among those who are, in some way, interested in the subject.  The reverse, I'm pretty sure, is also true:  at kink-scene munches, SF is discussed mainly by folks who read/watch SF.)  It's not unlike the "quietly out of the broomcloset" of my military years; I'm still more focused on how uncomfortable others will be with the topic, than on whether and how I will be affected by the convo.

Returning to my mom's - both my parents' - values, that's the foundation underpinning everything else.  The #1 value with which I was raised, and to which both my parents are deeply dedicated, is the right of individual conscience and choice.  Mom literally couldn't say the things she was feeling about my Paganism, because it would be too much like trying to tell me what I should and shouldn't believe.  (I kinda wish she'd been able to; she'd have felt better, and I'd have known perfectly well that it was just expression of her own emotional response.)  My upbringing was very much a process of gradually getting more and more freedom of choice; for my parents, that's what raising children is about, is helping them gain the tools to make their own choices, then giving them scope to use the tools/choices, including learning from bad ones.  They weren't interested in giving me a rigid template for "right" choices, but in equipping me to make responsible ones.  I'm not saying I had the perfect childhood, by any means - my parents are human and flawed, in some ways very flawed, and I could make an even longer post than this one about all the things that were flat-out fucked up.  But underneath it all, running through everything, was the idea that even a child has a right to privacy, a right to have input into what affects hir, a right to think hir own thoughts and reach hir own conclusions.  It's a precious gift, and - as I think my post explicates - one that profoundly affects my "coming and being".  (And a lovely thing to get to post about while it's still Mother's Day in my time zone - happy coincidence.)

Sunflower
Logged

Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs!
I do so have a life.  I just live part of it online.
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others
to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
My blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough", at Dreamwidth and LJ
juniperrr
Master Member
****
Last Login:December 01, 2008, 03:35:10 pm
United States United States

Posts: 264

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #12: May 16, 2007, 06:35:24 pm »

I guess I'm just curious about other people's experiences since I don't think I had a coming out moment... now I almost feel deprived Huh

I really did not have any sort of coming out either. It was more I found a name for what I was already. We are going way back to the early 70's here, I had moved to California and was living in a lovely cottage in the redwoods. I had an organic herb garden, was raising dairy goats, leading herb walks for gathering wild herbs with Rosemary Gladstar, was in the habit of thanking the four directions, the sun and the moon for things, an avid reader of mythology and had already investigated most world religions. The environmental movement promoting the concept of honoring the earth was in full swing, I was very involved locally in creating recycling (brand new at the time) and 'free' boxes where people could just exchange items instead of continuing compulsive consumerism.

I found Starhawk's Spiral Dance in the local natural food store and understood other folks were thinking as I was. Very little of my actions or myself personally changed, I simply had names for what I had been doing. No big deal as far as the rest of the world goes, I was very happy and excited about not being alone and began to attend public events etc, but no announcement required  as nothing was really that different.

My dad had died years earlier and my Mom lived 2,800 miles away at the time so again, no need to announce anything. I had not been a Christian of any sort for years, so my Mom accepted without question the fact I didn't go to church when she would visit.

The biggest struggle was when my babies where born and I refused baptism, saying I would allow my kids their own choices when old enough. My Mom was in a panic they would die and not be able to get into heaven, but finally accepted that her God could not be so mean as to bar such perfect people as her grandkids because of a good dunking, so finally let it go. We had a sort of 'don't ask don't tell thing' about religion which worked for us both.
Logged
guineith
Journeyman
***
Last Login:February 21, 2008, 09:42:24 am
Australia Australia

Religion: druidic pantheist
Posts: 136


It is possible if you think it is possible

Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #13: May 31, 2007, 11:20:05 am »

I decided to include my family in the research.  As I learned, I shared my knowledge with them (in bits and pieces when they would actually listen to me).  It was so gradual that my shift from research to practice wasn't much of a shock for them. 

Yes I understand that. I'm going through a similar process with my mother at present. She has known for years that I have esoteric interests and that I am just a very...different...person. She's used to that. The week before last I explained to her the esoteric meaning of the pentancle, explaining that it was one of the oldest religious symbols on earth and held the same meaning across multiple cultures, she just nodded interestedly. I also said that I didn't think I would buy one as it would be too much of a shock for everyone else and she agreed with me here too. Anyway, I feel a closer affinity with the Celtic cross as a symbol and if I wear one, it is not likely to raise so much ire. My Christian relatives whom I love dearly, will see it as a symbol of religious devotion and so will I.

The death of my husband and soulmate Archie was the trigger for my return to my roots.  I started to learn astrology and tarot to help me make better decisions and gradually went back to what I had always been interested in-Pagan spirituality, which for me means the core archetypical religion of the World, the belief in a Sky Father and an Earth Mother, together with a belief that all is one and that all is God (in other words-animism/pantheism/panentheism). I realised that this was what I really believed about the Universe and God and it was this train of thought that led me to my personal coming out moment-when I came out to myself and acknowledged what I really believe, to myself.

I was building a dog fence in my front yard and musing on the animistic, shamanistic, nature of All when the Jehovah's Witnesses came walking down my driveway Wink Cheesy. Normally I tell these people that I'm not interested, but I was feeling particularly spiritual that day, and strong, so I sat down and had a talk to them. I told them that I was an animist, they didn't know what that meant, then I tried shaman, they didn't know that one either Tongue. Finally I tried Druidess and they clicked-(their thoughts..."Oh, one of those Pagan people...She definitely needs Saving then..."). Funny, I wouldn't have called myself Pagan, then. Druidic, yes, Pagan, no. Old taboos die hard.

We sat and talked for about an hour, it became evident to them that I would never become a JW and it became evident to me that they had been reading How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I had just finished reading the same book, and I could hear the patterns in their speech like they had come straight off the page! Well, after the third attempt to convince, (so much according to the book that it made me smile Grin) they left, and I realised that they had indeed set me on a spiritual path, but it wasn't to Kingdom Hall. I realised or remembered the call that was on my life to be a shaman, and since I was a Celt, this meant that I was to be a Druidess. This was a powerful realisation within myself and will probably stand as a personal landmark for a long, long time to come.
Logged

The wind was a raging torrent
Rushing through the trees
The Moon was a ghostly galleon
Tossed upon stormy seas
The road was a silver ribbon
Across the Purple moor
And the Highwayman came riding, riding,
riding
The Highwayman came riding
Up to the old inn door...
Alfred Noyes "The Highwayman"
gayars
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:January 27, 2009, 02:40:16 pm
United States United States

Religion: Christian Witch
Posts: 1083


My baby :)

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #14: June 18, 2007, 12:26:43 am »

I decided to include my family in the research.  As I learned, I shared my knowledge with them (in bits and pieces when they would actually listen to me).  It was so gradual that my shift from research to practice wasn't much of a shock for them.  I don't feel a need to share my religious beliefs with anyone else. 

Well, I think that sort of fits me.  I havent told my mother and grandmother about the "witch" part.
I just couch what I am really doing in terms that they can understand, that dont scare the heck out of them.   Grin  Well, actually my grandmother totally doesnt have a clue.  But then she has stage 6 alzheimers so I dont feel the need to tell her.  My mother already knows I am an astrologer, which she goes along with, knows I do healings, which she also goes along with, and that I do other things, but I will say pray for instead of do spell for.... I am sending energy, not doing a spell, etc.  I just use words she can accept.  I have always been the weird one in the family anyway.  Unfortunately, she can accept what I do, if I use the right terms, but thinks witchcraft itself is blasphemy.  Wink  No way will I explain why I asked for candles for Christmas! LOL

Gina
Logged

Chihuahuas are like Napoleon, small and think they can rule the world.  If in doubt, just ask them.  They will tell ya Smiley

Donor Ad: Become a Silver or Gold Donor to get your ad here.

Tags:
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

* Share this topic...
In a forum
(BBCode)
In a site/blog
(HTML)


Related Topics
Subject Started by Replies Views Last post
Beltane is coming
Cooking SIG
Purplewitch 0 1245 Last post April 10, 2007, 01:35:42 pm
by Purplewitch
Coming big news! Ritual?
Teen Pagans SIG
Kasmira 6 2482 Last post April 11, 2007, 09:51:39 am
by Kasmira
When the up-and-coming up and came. « 1 2 3 »
Music, Television, and Film
WarHorse 30 6640 Last post February 08, 2008, 10:27:07 pm
by Lorrie Indigo
The Coming Out Topic « 1 2 3 4 5 »
Social Discussion Boards
Ghost Queen 70 15850 Last post October 20, 2009, 11:19:40 pm
by Luna Spirytwater
The Pagans are coming! The Pagans are coming! « 1 2 »
Political Discussions
LyricFox 26 6604 Last post June 10, 2009, 12:40:53 pm
by Owl
EU Cookie Notice: This site uses cookies. By using this site you consent to their use.


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.075 seconds with 55 queries.