The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 109 - 5/7/2003
The Broom Closet Revisited: What’s Your Current Occupancy Rate?
Are you living more or less in the broom closet since last year? Does the current political climate make you more or less open about your beliefs with strangers or casual acquaintances than you used to be?
Are you worried or have you ever seriously considered that a modern day ‘witch hunt’ might target Pagans in the next few months/years?
Have you taken extra precautions to protect your private information or Pagan identity on the internet? At work? In your neighborhood?
Are you more or less inclined to speak up and/or identify yourself as a Pagan when discussing or writing about political, religious or social issues these days?
| Reponses: There are 129 responses posted to this question.
|| Reverse Sort
| The Broom Closet... ||May 7th. at 1:16:05 pm EDT|
|Debra (MA) ||Age: 41 - Email |
I have always considered spirituality to be a highly personal matter. I don't discuss my religion with co-workers or strangers period. Nor I have ever introduced myself to someone by telling them I am a Witch. I don't even do that at Pagan gatherings that I attend.
I don't share my sexual preference, political beliefs or income either. Until someone becomes a close friend, I just don't feel that it is any of their business. For the most part, I don't want to know what another's religion is either. If we all treat each other in a respectful and polite manner, these more personal bits of information don't matter anyway.
Sometimes I just have to wonder, whatever happened to the concept of having an "intimate" circle of family and friends. Everyone just seems to be so "in your face" about everything these days. It can be really intrusive.
Just my thoughts.
| The Closet ||May 7th. at 1:42:13 pm EDT|
|Rick (St. Peters, Missouri) ||Age: 28 - Email |
From day one I have never hid my faith from anyone. Even while I was in the military I did not hide it and that was during the times when certain government officals were rising a big stink about it. Yes, I've been confronted by family, aquaintances, and complete strangers, but I never denied who I was and to this day I don't. Yes, some of my family does not associate with me, but that's their problem, not mine.
I realize that not everyone has the mind set to do this and I don't view that as a fault or weakness. I guess some people have more to lose.
What I have lost in one place, I have made up for in other ways. To each their own.
| Closets Vs. Discretion ||May 7th. at 2:43:57 pm EDT|
|Ananke (NYC) ||Age: 35 - Email |
I have never exactly hidden my beliefs since I first began formally stumbling down the path 7 years ago. I'm not exactly so out that I announce it to everyone I meet.....that wouldn't be prudent or even realistic.
If someone asks me directly, I usually tell them some version of the truth. HOW much I tell them depends completely on context of the conversation and how close with the person I am.
As far as the political climate in our great country, I am worried in general about all Americans' rights. I am not specifically concerned about a new "witch hunt" as far as neo-pagans are concerned. I honestly feel that mainstream consciousness has become more aware of just how non-dangerous and non-threatening the pagan paths are. But I do write to my representatives in Congress and other elected offices to let them know how I feel about certain issues. When I do this, I only identify myself as a pagan if the issue relates to religion directly, which often it doesn't. I'm a person......I don't feel my government necessarily needs to know my religious affiliation of stance.
I don't think Americans are so jaded that they will stand by without speaking out for much longer with much of what has been going on.
I am out to my main family members and they have handled the situation extremely well I feel. I am not yet out to my in-laws as we are newly married and haven't felt it very necessary just yet..but I think they suspect we're not exactly Catholics. My birthmother's family (who I am just getting to know an live in a different part of the country from us) , I am NOT out to....they are Russian Orthodox Catholics and lean towards fundamentalists, so I keep quiet around them and just don't talk religion at all. Thankfully, my birthmother herself is more of a free-spirit like myself and knows and thinks it's great.
I do understand and sympathize with those who just cannot be out of the proverbial broom closet because of the climate in the part of the country they may live in for fear of losing custody of their children or being shunned by family. It's a hard line to walk for some still.
| In And Out ||May 7th. at 3:13:36 pm EDT|
|MargGarg (Delaware) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I'm in an interesting situation. I'm a bit more out to some people like my close friends but not to my family. However, I have started to become more active in the local Pagan community and plan on countinuing to do so. The local student group I'm apart of was recently interviewed for a book and I gave my real name for it. I figure that if my parents read it, then I shouldn't be too concerned about their finding out. It's sort of an interesting mix of not telling my parents and yet leaving hints around like being out in my online journal of which I have a link to in my aim profile. My father knows this screen name and he's the one I'm most concerned about since he's fairly "uberconservative." I almost want them to find out just to get it over with since I'm not sure when I'm going to get the guts to tell them.
As for the political environment, I am a little concerned. I'm paranoid any way. If I stick with my current boyfriend, we may end up moving to Canada and then maybe to Europe. I may need to brush up on my German. :)
| Undecided ||May 7th. at 3:36:01 pm EDT|
|Jamie (Sullivan, Missouri) ||Age: 16 - Email |
I don't deny that i am wiccan, but being at school is harder. Teens are more blunt and cruel.Many are even scared of me, for fear I'll turn them into rats. There aren't that many open minds.
I also live in a small town which is a harder blow. it is a very religous town and i find myself in more debates, with pastors, deacons, ect. I'm not ashamed of who i am or what religion I am but I am scared of religiously ignorant people taking harassment to the next level.
I have also have recieved 7 bibles among christian books given by Jehovah whitness's, and other people. I've been stopped in WalMart by people who want to pray for me. But I just smaile, politely say no, and offer to clear up some things about wiccans. but am I in a broom closet? No not really------Jamie
| What Is A Headline? ||May 7th. at 4:11:11 pm EDT|
|rowan o'wild vine (pine plains, NY) ||Age: 61 - Email |
Wow! I hadnt even thought to be worried because i am a witch. Of course i live in the north east which may mean that i am not hasseled as much as some others. I have always been quite out in the open, since the 80's. I dont wear my pentacle out at work because i dont want to look at other folks crosses etc in a scene where i cant get away. Since 9/11/01 what with the patriot act and all we are all more likely to be persecuted for opposing war, championing persecuted foreign born people, defending the bill of rights, supporting planned parenthood, etc, it seems to me. Not to say that the self righteous junta that is running the country may not decide at some point to have a real witch hunt to please their xtian right support base, just that we shouldnt wait for that to be brave and outspoken about all our beliefs. Civil liberties: use 'em or lose 'em. ---green blessings----rowan o' wild vine
| I'm Now Only What I Choose To Be . ||May 7th. at 4:38:17 pm EDT|
|Ravensilverwolf (Sin City) ||Age: 0 - Email |
I'm a Pagan.This is my path towards higher Spiritual understanding .If someone opposes that then they need to take a look at who they are and why they feel the way they do.
I've studied many Spiritual paths only to return me home and know that I'm a Pagan/Druid .I feel more comfortable within then I ever have.I no longer choose to be fed to the lions anymore.
I can only laugh at those that get so upset because I don't have there Spiritual belief.There beliefs are what they are and thats really OK w/ me.Thats where they need to be at this time of this life.
If someone asks me what religion I am , I tell them and see where it goes from there.Most people end up agreeing w/ me on certain points.Because I hold them in a high place even if I don't agree w/ them .I've learned that from the Amer. Indians and the talking stick .
There are good points in most all belief systems.And most of them came from the old beliefs of the Pagans.Most
people don't even know that.
I'm no longer who I thought I was , I'm now who I know I am to be .
| I Have My Foot In The Doorway... ||May 7th. at 6:21:20 pm EDT|
|ShadoRaven (Fort Worth, Tx) ||Age: 14 - Email |
If someone comes up and directly asks me if "I am a witch" then I always give them an indirect answer. I tell them that it doesn't matter and that they should respect every one, witch or not. If something political comes up that involves what I am and it endagers my status in any way then I will speak up, but I won't announce it where it will just get me stares and become useless information. If an actual Witch Hunt does happen, then I guess it happens. I can't stop them, only the people who are doing so can. Their problem. As for special 'protections', I don't worry about that either. I'll just take it as it comes.
ja ne tomodochi-taki
| Funny You Should Ask! ||May 7th. at 7:17:04 pm EDT|
|Good Trinity (Colorado) ||Age: 32 - Email |
Last weekend I toured the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City and the guides talked alot about their beliefs. One young Mormon woman asked if I follow Jesus. My Mom was on the tour, and she's aware of my beliefs, but there were a few other older couples, too. I simply said, I follow Nature. The woman didn't ask me any more questions...
I don't wear jewelry that would be seen as obviously pagan, but I do seem to get into discussions about spirituality often. I'm sure most people my age in my town of 7, 000 know my stance, as there are over a dozen women who get together on full moons for Goddess Parties, and the men DO talk while we're away in the moonlight!
I like the idea of being an embassador of my faith, but only when someone asks. As a professional I already am making a statement with my dreadlocks, so how much more eccentric will I be seen? That bothers me naught. I do think people are more afraid of things they are un-informed about. And I am a little worried about the "Witch Hunt" as I've recently learned about the strong ties between the government and Christianity (recent article in the Harpers') I don't mind being made an example of, I am proud of my ways. Maybe I WILL go get a necklace...
| Out And In ||May 7th. at 8:13:10 pm EDT|
|David (Visalia, Ca) ||Age: 27 - Email |
Im wiccan, ive been wiccan for two years now. Im both out of the closet and in the closet still and it all depends on who im with. While im 27 years old im going to college full time, which is where im writing this since class hasnt started yet. Im going to an 18 month school where i dont have time for a job. And i am living with my hard core christian fundie parents who dont know im wiccan yet. And who would raise a huge big fuss if they did know. They are the only ones that dont know right now. All my friends and classmates know im wiccan. Everyone i talk to online know. I dont hide it from anyone except my parents. I graduate in october of this year, so not long to go :D:D, once i get a job move out and know i dont have to worry that is when i will tell them. I have no clue how they will take it, they either will disown me type of thing or keep on pestering me and calling me and praying for me and all that. So anyone want to wish me luck? hehe.
| Half And Half ||May 7th. at 8:29:29 pm EDT|
|Rose (Somerville, MA) ||Age: 25 - Email |
I am open about my religion. I wear a Triple Goddess pendant, and I have no problems discussing my beliefs, except when I'm at work. I work at a religious school, and I don't want to get fired. My friends know, and they don't care. I'm not in contact with my family, so that doesn't matter. Even if I didn't work in a religious environment, I wouldn't be public about my faith, which I believe to be a private matter. If I was Christian or Jewish, I wouldn't make a big deal about that, either. I'm Wiccan, the same way I'm a red-head. I just don't consider either topic worth dwelling upon at work.
| The Broom Closet Revisited: What’s Your Current Occupancy Ra ||May 7th. at 8:39:53 pm EDT|
|Kristi (Arkansas) ||Age: 17 - Email |
Are you living more or less in the broom closet since last year? No, I am very open about my beliefs with anyone who asks. Does the current political climate make you more or less open about your beliefs with strangers or casual acquaintances than you used to be? Neither, it hasn't really changed my openness.
Are you worried or have you ever seriously considered that a modern day ‘witch hunt’ might target Pagans in the next few months/years? Of course not. Even thought I think some people might like that to happen, I think it is completely out of the question.
Have you taken extra precautions to protect your private information or Pagan identity on the internet? At work? In your neighborhood? No, on my online profile I state my religion and I tell people who ask me what I believe.
Are you more or less inclined to speak up and/or identify yourself as a Pagan when discussing or writing about political, religious or social issues these days? Yes, well I am very liberal when it comes to politics.
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