May 2 is Pagan Coming Out Day

May 2 is Pagan Coming Out Day

Are you still in the broom closet?

Technically, I suppose you would say that I’m not in the broom closet. I’ve worn pentagrams my entire life—I’ve even been harassed for it at my place of employment—and I used to do tarot readings at school. People in my family expect “witchy” things from me ever since my big summer of botanical research in seventh or eighth grade; when they visit and find pouches hanging from the doorknobs, they often ask what they are for, or they just eye them suspiciously, as if my paganism will rub off. Others simply ignore all of it or chalk it up to my “interests,” and opt to throw the whole Judeo-Christian god into conversation as often as they can.

All of this said, I don’t “openly” practice the way many flamboyant pagans do. I do my own moon rituals inside (but that’s because I have super nosy neighbors who live close by; one day, when I have my own land, I’ll have my own outdoor circle) and I don’t wear many pagan outfits outside, either. I don’t go by a pagan name, I don’t vocally declare my paganism every time the chance presents itself, and I even declare simply “Kindness” as my religion—which is accurate, since I don’t really like the idea of religion anyway, so much as a simple way of life.

May 2 is National Pagan Coming Out Day, a time for people who “live in the broom closet” to “come out” and declare their paganism. It shouldn’t have to be this way; there’s no Christian Coming Out Day, after all. It’s funny how Christians like to cry foul with religious persecution, but it’s pagans they burned at the stake as recently as a couple hundred years ago—and it’s Christians who get to, say, wear their crosses in public (even on television!) without getting yelled at for it.

That said, if you feel like it’s the right time to reveal your pagan lifestyle to people, feel free to do so this day. It could help you connect with your community and stop living in fear that someone will find out—but then again, it could also complicate your life. It’s a personal decision that should be left up to you. Either way, we shouldn’t have to live in fear of being harassed—or even harmed—for anything in our personal lives, and that includes our religion.