May 2nd, 2013


A Pagan Coming Out Day

I discovered this morning that it was, apparently, Pagan "Coming Out Day." My first thought was, "Wait, what are we coming out of?" Gay men and women get a general closet, witches get a "broom closet," but we're Druids: we have that whole nature-based thing going on, and we don't have brooms. . . well, I guess some of us do.

But we do have sickles. And where do you keep a sickle? In the toolshed!

So, happy Coming Out of the Toolshed Day to my fellow Druids!

I've lived a very fortunate life in terms of my Paganism. Most people really don't care that I'm Pagan: it's not a big deal, it's never come up at work, and it's never affected me adversely at all. I'm blessed to not be on the front lines of the Pagan movement: we're a sort of hippy-dippy group, and people are used to goddess worshippers and nature lovers these days, thanks mostly to the feminist movement and the environmentalist movement.

As a result, we're less controversial than other groups that have to come out. There are no Bible passages about Druids being evil: the KJV is all about how evil witches are and gay people, but it's pretty mum about Druids. Heck, the Galatians are totally Celts, and they're generally portrayed positively in the Bible, if I remember right (well, after their encounter with Paul, I suppose). If nothing else, Paul certainly wants to hang onto them.

Anyway, my own lack of issues regarding "coming out" and "being open" has often made me wonder if it is as easy as it seems, or if it's something else entirely that has smoothed the way for me. I am fully aware that I am both very professional (I hold a white collar job at a very large public institution and have been blessed with professional bosses) and I'm a white guy (approaching an age where people might consider me "established" and "stable" in my life). Both of these things lead to a level of privilege that many people simply do not have. In recognizing that, I avoid belittling the experience of those who do not have that privilege, I hope.

I am not a single mother who is trying to hold onto her kids in the face of a vengeful ex. I am not a 22-year-old kid just starting out in the job market who wants to be out but feels like he can't. I am not working in close quarters with a bunch of guys where there are only so many topics to discuss during the day and where religion often comes up. All in all, it is very safe for me to be an "out" Pagan.

Even when I discussed it with my parents and "came out" to them, it wasn't hard. It was sort of amusing, but given that religion is not central to my familial relationships (it's actually really not-central), it was, "Hey, I'm doing this. Wanna come see me ordained?"

But not everyone is so fortunate, either regarding the chance of their professional circumstances or the predetermined state of their sex, family, or ethnicity.

To that end, I wrote this prayer earlier today, for anyone struggling with coming out. Whether you are prepared to come out or even if you're not sure that you can this time.

A Prayer for Coming Out

Earth Mother, you have grounded me.
My voice may shake like wind in the trees sometimes,
But as you support the trees, you hold my resolve firm.

Today, I speak my truth.
I speak it for me, and also for the Kindreds.
My intent is clear in my heart,
And I will speak it where it matters most.

May the Keeper of Ways guide me as I seek my voice.
May the Mother of All support my choices if others do not.
May all the Kindreds watch over me as I walk my truth.

Hail to the Spirits!

I wish everyone a very good Coming Out of the Toolshed Day, whether you come out or not.