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Author Topic: The Coming Out Topic  (Read 14735 times)
orthanach
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« Reply #45: January 21, 2009, 05:17:58 pm »

1. Have you told your family what you believe? Why or why not? How much have you told them?

2. If you have "come out," how did you tell your family? How did they react?

3. If you haven't "come out" do you think you ever will? Why or why not?

1 - No, my family does not know, nor will they. It is none of their business and considering most of them are strict, Bible-thumping Christians which may be a bit harsh and I love them dearly, but their beliefs are just not compatible with mine, and having a discussion or debate would just add stress to our relationship and could possibly result in some words that should never be said...

2 - Not applicable. Wink

3 - No, I will not. As a matter of fact, I only tell very few of my friends.
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« Reply #46: January 21, 2009, 08:57:04 pm »

No, but unfortunately it still occurs.

Doesn't surprise me, really. But it's still screwed up.
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« Reply #47: February 04, 2009, 06:25:25 pm »

1. Have you told your family what you believe? Why or why not? How much have you told them?

I have told them.  I've told them that I believe in a God and Goddess and that I consider myself a pagan.  I did so because they were always on my case about church and Jesus this and that.  I got sick of it.

2. If you have "come out," how did you tell your family? How did they react?

I told them over the phone and the internet.  I live 900 miles away from them so I couldn't do it in person.  My mom was very accepting of it as was my sister.  My father thought I was an atheist (and probably still does) and my born-again brother told me I was going to Hell and the devil was waiting for me.
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« Reply #48: February 05, 2009, 08:17:41 pm »

I am guessing most of us here were not born into Pagan families, so most of us have had to face the question of whether or not to tell our families and friends, and if so, how.

Everyone who knows me, knows (except maybe for certain family members I've had nothing to do with for most of my life now, I don't know what they do or don't know, don't care either). I make it a policy in general to always be honestly myself (whatever my current understanding of that is) and to not hide anything in order to win favor. I'm not aggressively "out" waving it in everyone's faces when they didn't ask and don't care, but if I'm asked I won't lie (subject comes up often enough where I'm currently living), and if it comes up in the natural course of the conversation I won't steer it away.

I understand the other side of the issue, and I don't recommend my course as the one everyone should take, there are consequences to such things. But I've spent my whole life as the weirdo outcast for one stupid reason or another, fitting in is not and has never been an option for me, and I've long since stopped giving a damn what anyone thinks of me.

My immediate family knows because when I started researching Paganism I was still living with them and I didn't see any reason not to mention it. Most of my relatives that I talk to are atheist or agnostic, or spiritual but not tied to any particular religion or belief system; they were all fine with the idea (might not get it, but they're fine). My mother is a liberal Catholic and she had some mild concerns at first, mostly because it was something she had never heard of; she still doesn't get it really, but she knows enough to know it isn't a dangerous cult.

Most of my friends are Pagan, which isn't something I planned but religion has become a very important part of my life so I guess that's just something that happens. Some of them aren't, and yes they are also aware. Honestly, I wouldn't keep friends that I *have* to lie to about anything, if your friendship is dependent upon you not knowing X, Y or Z about me, I don't want you in my life in the first place.

I haven't yet come across any real negative reactions from people who have found out. Most of them are either kind of interested and want to hear more, or they don't care one way or the other and the subject is dropped for all time. Never had anyone freak out over it, must be doing something right (even if its just being careful who I associate with).  Cheesy
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« Reply #49: February 06, 2009, 01:22:59 pm »

I am guessing most of us here were not born into Pagan families, so most of us have had to face the question of whether or not to tell our families and friends, and if so, how. So, a few questions:

1. Have you told your family what you believe? Why or why not? How much have you told them?

2. If you have "come out," how did you tell your family? How did they react?

3. If you haven't "come out" do you think you ever will? Why or why not?

 I've directly told some of my family, and don't bring it up with others, but it's not a secret, so everyone knows a little bit.

I don't advertise that I'm a witch, but I don't try to hide it either. I'm sure I have one of the less dramatic familial stories of conversion (for lack of a better word) from being raised in a Non-Denominational Christian church to Paganism, and I'm grateful for that.

What I tell members of my family depends largely on what they ask. My sister knows, is still coming to terms with her own choices, and is fully supportive. My brother and his longtime girlfriend know everything (in laymans terms) and can care less. My mom and dad know I haven't been to a christian church in years, and that I'm "exploring" religion in itself (as Mom likes to put it).

Since my spirituality is Not a secret, my husband's side of the family all think I'm a little crazy and going to hell, but they still love me and don't try to change me (anymore).

As for the original *telling* about my spiritual choices, there really wasn't one. Someone would notice a moon phase calendar - an inscribed candle - a piece of jewelry - something, and ask questions. Depending on who was doing the asking my answers were/are sometimes edited, but my family has known my husband's family for 23 of the 26 years I've been alive, so things get around.

I have very few people who I term (true) friends, but those who are know I practice. I have many aquaintances, some who know and some who don't. However, New Orleans is a pretty much a magic/paranormal friendly city, so there's not too much for me to worry about socially even if everyone I know found out I'm a witch.

I have no desire to hide who and what I am from those I love, and could honestly care less what people have to say about my spirituality. I do know that's probably easier for me to say than for some others because for the most part my family's been pretty understanding. And I've rambled long enough......

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« Reply #50: February 19, 2009, 11:59:11 pm »

1. Have you told your family what you believe? Why or why not? How much have you told them?

Only one member of my family knows because she has similar beliefs.

2. If you have "come out," how did you tell your family? How did they react?

Not applicable.

3. If you haven't "come out" do you think you ever will? Why or why not?

No, I highly doubt I ever will. My family is quite close-minded and I actually have no desire to disclose my beliefs to them. Just to add, I only have disclosed my path information to at least two or three people. I'm just not a big fan on telling anyone who I don't trust.
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« Reply #51: March 09, 2009, 12:22:51 am »


1. Have you told your family what you believe? Why or why not? How much have you told them?

2. If you have "come out," how did you tell your family? How did they react?



1 - I kept it to myself for about a year or so after I began looking at Pagan religions, and then sort of casually mentioned it to my parents, when I was about...fifteen or sixteen? I haven't given much detail; my father's mother is extremely conservative and is to this day trying to convert me, and as my father tells her things I wish he wouldn't, I'm just not comfortable telling much much about my beliefs. My father is also very...well, judgmental about things like that, and quick to label something as nonsense.

2 - I think I told them while we were at the beach. Don't remember exactly what I said. My father's first reaction was to tell me that it was 'just a phase,' while my mother, being something of an agnostic already, was pretty much fine with it.

Boring story?
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« Reply #52: March 11, 2009, 10:39:30 am »

1. Have you told your family what you believe? Why or why not? How much have you told them?
I haven't told my family directly, but i haven't actively hidden it. they all know that my views on Christianity aren't favorable, all my schooling bar university has been in catholic schools and my mother used to be very involved in the parish, but due to my schooling i got to see some of the things that were so...strange about that faith for instance, having a priest come into a girls school and announce that women are the root of all evil, had another priest say in his homily that we shouldn't get stressed over bad grades and should just realize that we should be simple homemakers(not saying being a homemaker is a lesser thing, I'd love to do that solely for a time) because we will never amount to anything in a mens world.

back onto my family though, while my mother was an active parish member it came out a few years ago that my father had been hiding that he was a member of the 'path of light'(not a clue what that is) for 25 years or so. due to this i'm not keen on coming out about this to my parents because i feel that all it will really cause is distance between me and my mother, and i already don't get on well with my father. I have two sisters, and i think they may have already guessed it and while they may not always be supportive i don't think they'd condemn me for my choices, neither of them being overly religious.

now i just need to explain, i don't actually live with my family, i live with my fiancé and his parents and frequently see his family, bar his brother(he has two sisters and a brother...we don't talk to him but i'll leave that story out of this post as i seem to be on a tangent already  Tongue ). Anyway, my partners family is not really religious but more into the tradition of the religious rites, for instance, you get baptized as a child because thats what you do.. my fiancé and i gave up on trying to explain why when we decide to have children we don't want them baptized(again I'll leave explaining this out of this post). Neither of his parents really have a problem with my religion(whatever it may be, I'm still learning and haven't picked anything more specific than pagan) i haven't told them formally, but I've argued against most Christian churches, as well as Judaism and Islam(same god..kinda ironic don't you think) and his mother has probably seen the pile of pagan/wicca books I've been borrowing out of the library. His eldest sister has probably guessed but like with all of this I'm not likely to outright say it unless I'm asked, anyway, she has two kids which i look after fairly often, we get on well anyway so I'm pretty sure her views would just be that its my choice and none of her business. his middle sister has again probably figured it out and really wouldn't mind, she'd probably just ask me questions about it, i think its something she has a secret like for but is worried about what people might think.
so overall, people either haven't figured it out, or just wont bring it up. either way, i have no intention of saying anything unless I'm asked about it. But my partner knows about it, i've told him about my beliefs and i talk to him about what i'm reading, he admits that its not for him, but supports me because its important to me.
2. If you have "come out," how did you tell your family? How did they react?
N/A
3. If you haven't "come out" do you think you ever will? Why or why not?
Well i'm recently engaged( have been for 15 days now Tongue ), so i think at the wedding a lot of people might guess it. I have no intention of wearing white( I'm thinking some in green with a very organic design), and since my partner is agnostic, it will be either utterly non denominational, or slightly pagan.
4.  I'm adding a question:  Have you told your friends, and how did they react?
a few weeks ago i actually spent about 4 hours just talking to my friend about paganism, my views on it, other views on it and other references, it all started cause he asked what i was doing and i was reading a witchy book at the time. one of my other friends also knows because he brought it up with me once and was talking to me like i was 3, so i was a little naughty and made him feel a little silly when i replied with a very academic answer on the subject.

5.  How important is it to you that people know your religious beliefs?  Why?
I don't really feel that people need to know my beliefs, they're just that, my beliefs, I'm a fairly private person anyway, so i just don't really feel like bringing it up in every conversation, if it comes up sure, but i know what i feel, and thats all that matters.
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« Reply #53: March 11, 2009, 01:28:05 pm »


1. Have you told your family what you believe? Why or why not? How much have you told them?

2. If you have "come out," how did you tell your family? How did they react?

3. If you haven't "come out" do you think you ever will? Why or why not?

I mentioned it to my mother pretty much right away; we talked about negative conditioning around the words "pagan" and "witch" and "magic." I knew that she would be accepting though - she is inherently accepting. Plus, she had been exploring ideas about things like astral travel so she clearly was open-minded about non-Christian ideas. (Not that Christians can't be interested in things like that. But most are not, IME, unless they also dabble in New Age ideas.) My mom is one of the people I can always count on to have something insightful or intelligent to add to a conversation on religion/spirituality.

My sisters know about my beliefs, just from different conversations we've had...whether I've used the word "Pagan" or not, I'm not sure. It's never come up with my brothers, and probably never will with my dad. He's not necessarily closed-minded, but he is one of those people that will argue for the sake of arguing. He talks like a professor giving a lecture, and he'll get stuck on a theory/idea/whatever that he wants to impart to you. Sometimes those conversations can be really neat and interesting; other times he realllllly can't hear anything but his own rebuttals and it's pointless. LOL

In my family we tend to talk about things like religion a lot, and have since I can remember. 

My husband always knows what's going on with me, we talk pretty much all the time about any interesting ideas. When I first talked about paganism and witchcraft, he instantly saw me wearing Ren Faire garb, maybe a cloak, dancing in a circle, talking about spirits, and smelling like patchouli. (In his defense, I have tended in the path to COMMIT when I commit, and if that means wearing a headcovering and cape dresses, so be it.) But I've been a new-hippie for a long time, and really don't smell like patchouli anyway. I told him that I wasn't going to turn into a different person, and that I appreciated that he kept me grounded in that way, while letting me explore freely. Which he does, he just needed to hear I wasn't going off the deep end. I did try to talk him into moving us to a conservative Mennonite community in the middle of nowhere at one point, so like I said, he's justified in thinking I might go off the deep end.

My friends mostly all know that either I'm Pagan, or at least very pagan-friendly. I did worry at first that breaking free of the Christian label would give two of my friends, a couple of very awesome Christian women, a lot of worry about me that might interfere with the friendship - but so far it hasn't been an issue at all. My husband's family doesn't know anything about my beliefs. I think his mom still thinks I'm a pretty serious Christian, since that's what I was when we got married, and she doesn't know me well enough to realize that I "relented" on the celebration of Christmas (which as a Torah-observant Christian, I did NOT condone) - not because I relaxed and realized it was just "not that bad" but because my entire paradigm shifted. She and I really only talk about the weather and recent events. Anything else would end up a rip-roaring fight.
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« Reply #54: March 11, 2009, 04:57:55 pm »

1. Have you told your family what you believe? Why or why not? How much have you told them?
My immediate family as my husband, yes he's been aware from when we were dating. My children no not yet. That's a trickier situation. We live in a very bad neighborhood and haven't had the opportunity to find a house in a better neighborhood. But, I have the children in private school. The only private schools around are catholic. So, they go there. It may sound crazy, but it offers me an opportunity to discuss the catholic faith with more open conversation. When they come home asking and discussing certain rules I also tell them about other faiths in their beliefs. Not to contradict what they're learning but to remind them that the Catholic faith is not the only faith that people believe in. The teachers at school have all come back stating that they love how educated the children are about other faiths. They like how my kids challenge them with questions and they say it gives a great point of open discussion in the class. My older son, now graduating highschool feels that the catholic faith isn't for him and he's searching for something that's right. My younger son, still too young to pick, but is ever so curious. So, far the experience has only lead them to more interests in what others believe.

But, my eldest asked me what my faith was the other day. I haven't answered him yet. It was such a random question on his way to practice... I'm waiting for the weekend when we can talk. I do plan on telling him.

2. If you have "come out," how did you tell your family? How did they react?

I had to tell my mother because I was getting married and we wanted to be married outside. Family is Catholic, so a church wedding is best. Also, the priest was well... pagan. It was really difficult. My mother threatened to refuse to attend the wedding. But, I told her that I'm going to get married either way and I'd love for her to be there. So, we talked about it. She was convinced that this was a phase. She was there at our wedding. No one knew about the pagan elements, which really weren't any. We had had a formal handfasting ritual done a few days prior. So, the 'wedding' was really the show for the family. We trimmed down a lot of stuff Smiley
But, she wouldn't let up with the phase thing and she has a hard time with it. It's really my personal business so, I let her think the phase came and went. I still wear my pentacle. But, I also do attend / celebrate the christian holidays with the family. To me their more of cultural family traditional values than they are religious celebrations. The family doesn't go to church, but we have things like, for xmas we gather on the 24th and wait till midnight to open presents together then have dinner. We all stay the evening in the same house squished (depending on whose house) and then open 'santa' gifts together the next day w/ a traditional blueberry waffles and whipped cream. So, you see... it's more of family tradition.

3. If you haven't "come out" do you think you ever will? Why or why not?

I haven't formally 'came out'. And I probably won't. I feel that your beliefs are personal and I have no need to share with anyone. I seem to run into a lot of closed minded people. I prefer to avoid the 'discussion'. Not worth my time. 

4.  I'm adding a question:  Have you told your friends, and how did they react?

I have told some friends yes. The ones who I feel have accepted me for who I am. And they're fine with it. Occassionally they ask questions. But, nothing silly like do I ride a broom. I do have some friends that can't see past their faith. Very kind people who have been wonderful in my life. But, I think they'd be bothered by it and feel they needed to help me to the light...lol. So I keep it from them.
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« Reply #55: March 11, 2009, 05:17:48 pm »

1. Have you told your family what you believe? Why or why not? How much have you told them?

2. If you have "come out," how did you tell your family? How did they react?

3. If you haven't "come out" do you think you ever will? Why or why not?
1.  My parents and grandparents are all gone.  My grandmother would have doused me in holey water and had the family priest stalk me.  My dad wouldn't have cared and my mom would have told me to hush so as not to upset 'the family'.  My X freaked out when I looked into Paganism years ago.  I've recently talked to my kids about it.  My daughter identifies as a Catholic, but likes to talk about it and my son is eagerly learning alongside me.  My X-Laws will likely freak out if my kids mention it - they think Paganism = devil worship.

2.  I slowly told my kids and some of my friends.  I have very little family left and I'm not close to them.  I've slowly mentioned it to my sister, she is actually interested somewhat.  I may tell my brother if it comes up.

3.  I'm not shy about who I am and what I believe, but I don't go out of my way to put my opinions in others faces either.  If it comes up, I will discuss it with family, friends and others, but I feel that everyone has a right to their beliefs, so I would be careful in how I discuss it.
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« Reply #56: March 11, 2009, 05:29:25 pm »

I mentioned it to my mother pretty much right away; 

Oh... I guess not everyone knows -- my grandmother does not know. She would not be able to understand, and I will not have her last days tortured with the thought of me "losing Jesus." For this reason I've also tried to be discreet about my views around my aunt and uncle, in the off chance they might mention something to her without thinking. My grandmother was very concerned when my sister started studying to be a reiki master, being suspicious that it was something to do with the occult (and therefore demons.) She's not condemning, but she does worry for our eternal souls.

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« Reply #57: April 08, 2009, 07:29:23 pm »

I am guessing most of us here were not born into Pagan families, so most of us have had to face the question of whether or not to tell our families and friends, and if so, how. So, a few questions:

1. Have you told your family what you believe? Why or why not? How much have you told them?

2. If you have "come out," how did you tell your family? How did they react?

3. If you haven't "come out" do you think you ever will? Why or why not?

1) yes I have, because it was too difficult to keep it from them, since we live together. I have not however told any extended family- they do not need to know and they tend to be narrow minded at the best of times. My best friends (the ones that are practically family) know slightly more than my parents, and my close friends know the very basics. one friend inparticular is interested and slowly converting, so he reacted very well Smiley
2) they asked me why i wore certain pendants/did certain things, so i explained. My family took it very well, as they had they're suspisions before hand, and my close friends are more excepting of the "less common" things in life. Some are still a little bit iffy about it, but I just keep them seperate from it.
3) to the people who I havn't "come out" to yet- no I won't. I'm moving away soon so I don't see a need too. I would rather not risk the few final months I have with them being ruined by them not taking it well. After I move away... who knows? I'll make the judgement when I know the people!
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« Reply #58: April 14, 2009, 10:06:07 am »

I am guessing most of us here were not born into Pagan families, so most of us have had to face the question of whether or not to tell our families and friends, and if so, how. So, a few questions:

1. Have you told your family what you believe? Why or why not? How much have you told them?

2. If you have "come out," how did you tell your family? How did they react?

3. If you haven't "come out" do you think you ever will? Why or why not?


1.)  I told my family years ago when I shook off the label of christian.  I never told them the path I took that lead through various religions (most in which I was just a guest/observer).  But where I stand now is something that I've told those that I'm close to. 

2.)  It just seemed to get brought up whenever there was a discussion about religion.  I felt no need to "come-out" per se.  Most had noticed since I was a teen that I wasn't a christian.  Some grumbled, my mother accepted it, my father passed several years ago.  My friends said that it was no big suprise.

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Religion: polytheist pagan with leanings towards Shamanism/animism
Posts: 225


Whitewolf

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White_Wolf1 Lady Whitewolf


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« Reply #59: April 22, 2009, 06:33:41 pm »

I am guessing most of us here were not born into Pagan families, so most of us have had to face the question of whether or not to tell our families and friends, and if so, how. So, a few questions:

1. Have you told your family what you believe? Why or why not? How much have you told them?

2. If you have "come out," how did you tell your family? How did they react?

3. If you haven't "come out" do you think you ever will? Why or why not?


1. My parents know that I'm a Pagan and that I believe in many Gods/Goddesses.  I told them awhile ago and basically everything. 

2. My parents are open minded and not very religious so they didn't really have a problem with my beliefs.
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Jessica [aka Whitewolf]

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