Pagan Journeys > In the Broom Closet

Half and Half

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There are those who can come out of the closet, or for that matter have never *been* in the closet in the first place.

There are others who are stuck in the broom closet and stay there with the door shut, eyes closed, fingers in the ears going "I'm not pagan! You can't prove anything! LaLaLaLaLaLaLaLa! Not Listening"

Then there is the other group who are stuck in a weird limbo of being half in and half out of the closet. Those few who can come out of the closet on certain times...and have to run back screaming for the closet before a select few see us for we truly are.

I'm in this category myself. So is my wife for that matter. Why are we here in this weird chicken with our heads cut off, running back and forth between the closet and freedom? For many it can be differing reasons, but it all boils down to a very select few people can really mess up our lives if they knew.

In our case it is a combination of things. My wife works for a very devout Christian group of people who, while are good people, still look down on homosexuality, mixed race couples and anything they consider "evil".

One of their employees and her husband being pagan would trump all of it.

So this is one reason we have to "stay in the closet" The other reason is her family and more importantly her ex-husband. You see, they got the divorce and with his work schedule as a gym teacher in public schools, his lawyer was ably to argue that he would be best for having the custodial status in the joint custody of the children as he would have the same schedule of days off as the children. I could wax poetic for hours on the qualities (or lack thereof) of this man but this isn't the section for that.

We have to carefully duck around this man since he holds the power to grant or refuse custody should he find out of our pagan status. We live in a very southern Christian mentality (which for the large part are against mixed race couples, homosexuality, stem cell research, anything stereotypically evil in the eyes of the Church) and as such would be fuel for her ex to take her back to court and say "See! She belongs to a cult! She's not safe for the children to be left with unsupervised!" and the odds are in his favor and not ours.

Her folks would simply disown us all together since they're already treating him better than their own flesh and blood.


How can one be half in and half out? Isn't there some risk of being found out? Sure there is some risk, but the name of the game is risk management. The people we're involved and who know and accept us are not the sorts of people our potential problems would even know much less associate with on any meaningful level. Our friends who know our spiritual status are in the SCA (The Society for Creative Anachronism - Also jokingly referred to as "Socially Challenged Americans ;) ).

In this group we have found acceptance as there are thousands of people walking hundreds of different paths ranging from Jewish to Christian, to the many and wildly varied flavors of Paganism.

So the point of this? I guess it would be that not everyone can stay in the closet. It can be stifling in there and we need to come out at some point. Finding a way to come out to a group that is safe will help you when you have to hide back in the closet. And lets face it. Even many of us whom are "Out of the closet"...have need to duck back in from time to time.

But we all need to breathe. We all need to get out into the fresh air once in a while. Sadly we need to duck back in, but at least for right now it is getting better out there. Not as noticeably in some areas as in others...but it is getting there slowly but surely.


Ghost Wolf:
I feel your pain, as a former President was wont to say. I, too, live in a highly Christian area, with a Church a stone's throw in any direction. Very few people know I am Pagan and I prefer it that way - it causes much less strife. My wife knows and chooses to ignore it, making the occasional comment about my "weird stuff," "devil worshipping books" and how much time I spend on the 'net talking to my "Mason and Witch friends" (got the monthly lecture on that one yesterday - seems I should be working an additional job part-time and "contributing." My full-time job apparently is not enough in her eyes - even though I do the cooking, cleaning, clothes washing and get Hunter ready and to school.) My Mother suspects, but the rest of my family would have a stuff-fit and disown me (all fundi Southern Christians right in line with Mongo's people).

So, staying in the closet (I hate that cliched term) is a necessity sometimes just to maintain a sane environment. I haven't had any real life Pagan friends for years - just you guys here and at the Lodge in cyberspace.

I'm in the same boat.  My family and close friends are the only ones who know I am Pagan. 

Eternal Seeker:

I'm totally out- I wear a pentacle in public, Pagan blog, etc. But when I was working for a Christian who had a Christian customer base, I didn't wear the pentacle; as it would have cost him customers, harming the whole shop, I thought it the right thing to do. When direct questions were asked- as that stripe of Christian is wont to do- I could quite truthfully say I was a member of All Souls church... thank the Goddess for the Unitarians!

As far as family goes, I never did tell my parents, but my brothers are ok with it. My wife practices with me; she's out of the closet to her family, and they're all cool. Lol- several of them are atheists; Christian or Wiccan are all the same to them.


I'm also in that place that is very much in between.  The only people that know are my husband, who is not Pagan but is completely understanding and supportive of my choice, and my lovely online family.

I choose to stay this way for several reasons.  We also live in an area that it would be a very bad thing to be a known Pagan and I'm afraid for my kids.  They have enough to deal with at school with kids being mean and bully like, they don't need any more ammunition.  My husband also works with some very narrow minded people and I wouldn't put it past them to find a reason to get rid of him if they knew of my beliefs.  Throw into that mix a rather conservative family and several Jehovah's Witness family members and you have the makings for disaster.

I choose to live this way because I feel it is the best thing for all that are involved.  I do not want my kids to be the target for other peoples ignorance, prejudice and hate.  I want them to be judged based on their own merits, not what their mother believes.  I want the same for my husband and myself.

I feel that my spirituality is my business and mine alone.  It should be my choice to share it with someone or not.  I choose not.


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