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
| A Long Time ||May 8th. at 10:54:41 pm EDT|
|Mathias Schenck (Eugene, Oregon) ||Age: 22 - Email |
There was never a closet for me. I have been different from most of my friends and colleges for some time, but they (for the most part) have always known that I was a witch. Of course my parents did not know, but I made a point to talk to my mother about my religous choice. Pro-tem that included my father since they tell each other everything. Her first question for me was "You still belive in God, right?" I answered in the best way a 16 yearold can (I think. I told her that to me all gods were faces of one god, and all goddesses the face of one goddess. It is amazing how someone can be supportive in a quite way, and how important that can be to you; Even if you never fully relize it.
"The truth will set you free." Untill reacently I have never comprehended the full meaning of this statement. You must be truthful to yourself as well as everyone else in order to truly understand yourself. This of course means that I will tell someone who askes me exatly what I am, and how I feel on the subject of religion. I know my religion is different than some mainstream ones, and I know that there is prejudgice and hate. But my feeling is that If I act with peace, and love, then others will eventully get the point that some of the fudimental beliefs in every religion actually have a point to them and should be andheired to. Just the mild rablings of a sometimes philosophical man,
May the Lord and Lady smile upon all,
| I Fell Into The Broomcloset ||May 8th. at 11:54:31 pm EDT|
|goddess_eve (Raleigh, NC) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I am a Pagan. I am a Witch. My religion of choice is Wicca. But after a long embittered fight to leave the broom closet, I have found myself quietly going back in. It started in such small ways. After informing my Christian family about my choices they asked that I not bring it up or have any items in their home out of repect for their beliefs. I agreed that while I lived there that there would be no signs to alert my baby brother or granfather to what had happened. When I left their home, I was excited to finally come back out. I found that when you are stuggling for food and work that religion takes a back burner. Now I am secure in my living situation, I have found myself afraid to wear my pentacle to work. I don't discuss any religous opinion if it comes up around people that I don't know. I have felt like such a hypicrite by doing this. I am currently trying to connect with pagans in my area in hope that it will get me out yet again. I want my son to live and grow in a atmosphere that supports the Great Goddess, but right now my life does not reflect it. I am not sure when I can be open again. Before, I had nothing to lose. Now I have my livlihood and my son to protect from the horrors of the day. One day I'll be open again, but not today.
| Door Is Closing ||May 9th. at 12:19:10 am EDT|
|mike (usa) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I never use to worry i told my family the day i decided to be a Witch what i was doing. Now however i am begging to worry. I notice there is alot more christian t.v then there use to be and no pagan t.v . That to me is just a worning sighn. Now new bills being passed both surrounding and not surrounding religion are begging to make me sweat. bottom line the more things start to sway the more i start to close the door. this time i think that we can't sit by and watch them take loved ones away to be hanged or burned. if we see something comming up we need to make somekind of stand. As of right now i say that i am sending positive energy tword the whole situation and that i hope it all works out. Stay Safe
| In And Out ||May 9th. at 12:41:56 am EDT|
|Angel (Sweetwater, TN) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I am in and out of the closet. I don't really make any effort to hide my beliefs, but I don't go out of my way to advertise them, either. If somebody asks, I tell them; otherwise, I keep it to myself.
Due to the current political climate, I have probably become more open; when I'm angry about something, I tend not to keep silent about it.
I do not really consider something like a "modern-day witch hunt" likely. However, I do believe some amount of discrimination exists. Also, small pockets of hate crimes may spring up, though they would involve only tiny percentages of the population. At the moment, I consider a witch hunt more likely to be perpetrated against Muslims.
| Never Had A Closet ||May 9th. at 2:35:03 am EDT|
|Tarbh Nathroch (Eastern Mass, USA) ||Age: 32 - Email |
Being raised in a hard core Roman Catholic family, I mean they wouldn’t even pierce their ears cause the Bible says not to harm your body, and doing K through 8th grade in a Catholic school. I was a bit nervous about being honest with my family about no longer doing the Catholic thing. Being beaten by nuns for nine years will have that affect. I was pleasantly surprised when my parents said “as long as you believe in something and treat people as you would be treated. Do what will make you happy.” I have not really ever run into any actual prejudice, mostly just ignorance and ignorance can be fixed within one conversation. The funniest example from my life. While talking to a Harie Krishna (sp??) at an airport, if you can believe that, he asked what religion I currently was. ( I like talking to people of different beliefs, they all have something to teach. Especially someone with the strength to subject themselves to constant rejection and ridicule like the Krishnas or Jehovah’s Witnesses.) Well I told him I was Wiccan. “Huh, a what?” A witch I tell him. His response “Oh, That’s not good at all. To worship or glorify evil is never a good thing.” I had to tell him that that was the most ignorant statement I’ve ever heard, especially coming from someone who’s religion is a joke to 95% of the population. I was treated far worse when my hair was blue than any display of belief. Strength to those of you who are having a hard time of it.
| I Am In The Broom Closet ||May 9th. at 2:42:52 am EDT|
|bryan (Gates county NC) ||Age: 17 - Email |
well i am in the broom closet still. some people know like my parents and my sister. i feel like we are losing our freedoms everyday. i don't want to come out i feel safer in here but if i do i will. its time we stand up and say we are here and save our freedoms. i feel like the president is the pagans or wiccans worst oppite. he favers the chirsten faith then anyother faiths and belefes. i think next time its time to vote we need a president who is open to all faiths.
| Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are ||May 9th. at 7:24:04 am EDT|
|Selena (Findlay, Ohio) ||Age: 47 - Email - Web|
I think the time of broom closets is long past. Our generation is on the leading edge of true religious freedom. This means bumps in the road for any who stand up and out for what they believe. Yes, it's difficult at times, putting up with jokes, discrimination, harassment. I have been "out" for years. All my family and friends know I am Wiccan and have accepted the fact. But it wasn't luck that brought me to this point. It was years of standing firm in what I believe, not wavering in the face of judgement and walking the talk. Actions speak much louder than words. And fear is our only enemy. If we hide our faith, beliefs, rites and pentacles, those who would oppose us will think we have something to hide. I'm not talking about shouting from the mountaintops "I'm a Witch, here me roar!!" I'm talking about being an example of what our religion truly means. And allowing others to see that we are a life loving people and have much to contribute to society, politics and humanity.
| "Child Of Satan!" ||May 9th. at 7:35:56 am EDT|
|Hongatar (Western Finland) ||Age: 15 - Email |
Yes, Folks. I have been shout at like that, nearly. I still have one foot at broom closet at least, or ratherly, I don't really shout around being wiccan.
But as I have been seen surfing ar wiccan sites at my computer's class, rumors have spread... And much of people here link word witch to mister Satan immedetially. I have been hearin' alot of things since about my religion. But I don't really care if it doesn't get serious.
I would speak openly about my religion, for they say that "understanding things is a beginning to accepting them". I think not knowing what wicca is biggest reason to prejudice and witchunt.
| Ideas ||May 9th. at 9:21:49 am EDT|
|Jenn Woodward (Charleston) ||Age: 17 - Email |
I am worried about the fact that people don't even get to know/ give people a chance before they judge them or say they are going to hell. I as a new wiccan am in the broom closet except to those I hold close to me or are one as well. I feel it almost is not safe to let others know for I work in a church as a singer (this has nothing to do with my faith) but the people even childeren are very judgemental. They are upper class conservative people. It just worries me that I will be issolated or harrassed if they think just gothic people (I am one from time to time) worship Satan. How do you deal with that and then say I don't believe in your god. I think I might be stoned.
| The Closet Is Cozy ||May 9th. at 9:57:39 am EDT|
|Shea (Alabama) ||Age: 17 - Email |
I can't say that I am out of the closet yet because my family would probably burn me at the stake. I must say that I am so glad that I found this web site because it lets me know that I'm not alone and I have people out there that I can call my family.
| Wow, Its Not Too Bad Out Here..... ||May 9th. at 10:49:03 am EDT|
|Monica Leisey (Richmond, VA) ||Age: 38 - Email |
About 3 years ago i wrote an essay (posted here somewhere...) concerning my fear about leaving my little closet. Since then amazing things have happened. Not only have i invited numerous people in, but i have ventured far away from the door. Although i still leave the door open, i am very rarely found inside anymore. I think i finally realized that we really do create the universe and the truth that we live, and i did not want my daughters (or your) to live in a place filled with fear. So, while i honor those who are having a hard time letting go of that fear, i celebrate with joy those of us who live their lives out in the open, creating a place of trust and authenticity. I am not blind to the possibilty that things may go wrong ( i remember those times too) but i refuse to add to the fear that creates such situations with my own. I invite you all to come walk with me, for only in working to create a world of love and trust will one be built.
| Out And Proud ||May 9th. at 10:51:14 am EDT|
|Jenny Head (Big Rapids Mi) ||Age: 30 - Email |
I live in a very small town. I work at the University in the town. I am out in my neighborhood, at work, and at the local clergy meeting. I have found some of the local christen clergy to be some of my strongest supporters. I know many of them have had members of thier congregations come to them about the witch down the street or in the office. They often respond to them by saying oooh you are talking about Jenny you should just talk to her. She is a really nice person and will be happy to answer your questions. I want to tell about us people it helps to end misconceptions. I wear a large pentical all the time. and in responce to an earlier post I have been shopping in my robes and I've been happy to have coversations with store clerks too. I also carry cards with me to give to folks who are pagan and new to this area.
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