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Posted: Nov. 17, 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
| If They're Coming Bring It On! ||May 7th. at 12:21:45 pm EDT|
|Ran (Deep South) ||Age: 23 - Email |
I have been "out" of the closet for years and will not hide again. We lost the greatest part of our history because of our fear of the xian. The threat of religious genocide will not make me hide. Somewhen, somebody has to draw the line. I understand that they are many as we are few, and that is a cause for caution. Ask India!
The best thing we can do is try to allevate what they fear; the unknown.
| Stereotyped ||May 7th. at 11:06:54 am EDT|
|Drewsilla (Woodstock) ||Age: 14 - Email |
More and more i am feeling trapped by what others beleive my religion is "all about".
My mother does not know thw whole story, but with the little she does know she dissapeoves of.
My parents would never accept the way i want to live my life so i have never told them the whole story.
I have a few friends who understand, but still back away slowly when we talk if i get into my beleifs too much.
When i am asked about my jewelry (and i constantly am) i tell people outright what it is and why i wear it.
I pine for the day where people of our community will accept all religions, even those of them that they do not fully understand.
Im going back to my corner now:)
| I'm Just Trying To Be Myself ||May 7th. at 10:50:21 am EDT|
|Witch of the Woods (Wisconsin) ||Age: 28 - Email |
Am I out of the broom closet? I guess you could say that. I wear my pentacle proudly, have bumper stickers and my license plate is also obviously Wiccan. I have had no problems with this. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I get more people just asking me questions about my faith. I am your ordinary, average citizen that just happens to have found this faith. I can understand why we may be freaked at the idea of displaying our beliefs, but I find this to be either the perfect time to do it....or the worst.
My husband and I had a lengthy conversation about this issue and he feels it may be a dangerous time to be 'out', while I feel the timing might never be better. With the attacks in this country and others around the world, we in America find ourselves in a very sticky situation. Either we will revert to a puritan state where it will be unthinkable to be ourselves out in the world, or it is the perfect time to show ourselves for the kind, reasonable, devoted people we are. I wish we had some sort of public person who could be out there dispelling rumor and false ideas. So, until we do, I feel it is important that those of us who feel safe enough to be out there are out there, just being ourselves.
| It Helps To Be Pagan Slash Other Things ||May 7th. at 10:09:55 am EDT|
|Maria (NY) ||Age: 26 - Email |
A couple of quick observations. Pagan jewelry definitely helps to establish a presense/identity, but everytime I've worn a pentacle necklace to a (high traffic, high irritation level) job, I felt by being less than perfectly accomodating and friendly I'm reinforcing the 'evil' stereotypes--it's definitely about time I gave it another shot though. My best will just have to be good enough. We're here, we're human, I daresay pretty decent ones at that. As far as being vocal goes, I've made it a point not to shy away from questions or from inputting my two cents into any religious/philosophical discussions that may arise around me; the biggest predictor of how many will actually hear you (as opposed to hear what they want to hear) seems to be how respected the person is in some other capacity (coworker, employee, classmate, friend, you name it.) Surprise! :)
| Proud To Pagan ||May 7th. at 9:37:58 am EDT|
|Storyweaver (Michigan, USA) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I'm out of the broom closet amoung my friends and colleagues at work. My family stands as the last barrier I have to cross before I'm out completely.
Today's poltical climate makes me more open. I want people to see me and think: "Wow, I never would have known she was a witch". I am just like them with my own set of religious beliefs. I wear a pentacle alomost all the time and I let that be the opener for a conversation. Over the past few months I have spoken out in defense of all religions. I defend Christianity to my pagan friends, I defend Islam to some of my colleagues, and I defend my rights to religious freedom whenever needed.
I am afraid that there might be a witch hunt. But, it won't be just pagans. It will be anything not Christian as the majority of people believe this is a Christian nation. I honestly wish it were an actual Christian nation. The reason being is that if they followed the tennants of thier belief system we probably wouldn't have gone to war. But, that wasn't over religion it was over oil, but I digress.
I think the best thing I can do is be a shining example of my religion. I think that being out to the public is easier than being out to family. I think that this is the year I'll tell them though. For political reasons I have to let people know so that the see me. I am a voting member of this nation and my voice and who I am need to be heard.
| Out Of The Closet ||May 7th. at 9:13:14 am EDT|
|Fathom (pittsburgh) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I'm still out and in a bizzare turn of events I outtalked a zealot who was out to save me from my "foolish path" He left questioning himself! That was pretty funny actually. but I am willing to talk to just about anyone if they are willing to be polite. I am really of the idea that since I don't look like the tv goth witch and i'm normal and articulate that I have a responsibility to help dispel the bias against us. I feel it's important to be un-scary so that if someone meets another witch after me they don't dive into the first hedge they can find to get away. But I won't "out" anyone else, there are still plenty of people out there who don't want anyone knowing about them
| Bit Weary ||May 7th. at 8:57:49 am EDT|
|tonayallicue (midwest usa) ||Age: 21 - Email |
i'm real careful who i tell i'm pagan to. many people are cool with it, but some don't understand & are quick to uh, suddenly become paranoid whenever i'm anywhere within their "field of vision, " i think they seriously think i'm out to get them or am just dying to "cast a spell on them" - even after i said that's all crap. especially since then do i keep my lips zipped.
i recently met a friend who i told was pagan & he was pretty cool about it. i am afraid there will be witch hunts - i'm afraid this war will lead to more terrorism & anti-muslim/anti-non-x-ian/anti-non-european sentiment in the US by the government & by citizens. gives me the opportunity to live in other places then. oh well. we'll fight when we need to - let's not waste too much energy worrying now.
| Not At All ||May 7th. at 8:37:02 am EDT|
|Draig (Bramwell, West Virginia) ||Age: 18 - Email |
I was raised to be proud of my beliefs, and i could care less what anyone else thinks of them. Politics, well all that they can do is make things a little harder, but they can't and won't have a moderd day witch hunt because there are to many people like you and me who would not tolerate it. i am open with my beliefs the town i live in every one that asks.i proudly say " i am wiccan, and proud of it."
| Nope Not Realy ||May 7th. at 8:28:34 am EDT|
|Sloopz (Scotland) ||Age: 17 - Email |
I feel that nothing has changed Im no-way scared or worried about saying im a pagan as many people dont understand what it is. The only problems I have had are from the christian community as soon as they hear what I am they sutomatically think im a satanist who slits my wrists and kills people its gettying beond a joke with them. Now I have noticed when they ask my religion I just say im a faith you dont like and no It is not Satanism we dont assciciate with your "devil" it usually keeps the quiet and weirdly this is more offline than online
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