Friday, July 16, 2010

Coming Out of the Closet

Broom Closet, that is.

To honor (and enter for) my friend PhoenixWitch's giveaway, a book entitled "Out of the Broom Closet:  50 True Stories of Witches Who Found and Embraced the Craft", I decided to blog about my own experience coming out.  (Check out the giveaway, and a good blog, here.)

I've actually been quite lucky--my story is pretty boring.  No high drama, no civil rights violations, no lost relationships or bad feelings.  I'm going to have to tell it in pieces, 'cause it's all been piecemeal, I didn't take out an ad in the paper or make any other kind of grand announcement.

It started out quietly, due to the fact that my DH was concerned about issues at his workplace.  I was dying to plaster it all over my Facebook page, but he didn't want his coworkers to know, and he was concerned about telling his family, many of whom are on Facebook.  I suppose I didn't really want to announce it to my own mother over FaceBook, either.  My DH and I both decided that we'd at least wait until we could tell our families personally.

I wanted to wait until I saw Mom face-to-face, but I felt that I was lying to her, keeping something so important in my life from her.  I ended up kind of blurting it out on the phone.  I'm really lucky in that my mom has always been super-supportive of me and my life decisions, so it didn't go badly.  It was a little dicier telling the rest of my family, which I did when I had to attend the funeral of a very dear aunt, and my entire family wondered why I didn't want to actively participate in the Catholic ceremony.  Still, when another 80+, very Catholic, aunt heard I'd changed religions and stated that it didn't matter, because all gods are one god, I felt truly accepted.

At this point, I REALLY wanted to be open about it to everyone I knew, but we still had the problems of DH's workplace and family.  I told a few people who were exclusively personal friends, not in his professional field at all, but that was the extent of it.  He ended up telling his mother in a phone conversation also, and although she has not been as accepting, he has yet to be disowned.  :)  At that point, I DID plaster it all over my FaceBook page, seeing as I am not FaceBook friends with any of his coworkers, so they'd be unlikely to see my page.

(The workplace issue was finally resolved when he took a ten days off for the Winter Holidays, and then his boss called and asked if he could come back in for a few hours, ON THE SOLSTICE!!!  His boss had no idea that there was anything special about the day, but I put my foot down and told Don, "No, absolutely not.  You are NOT working on Yule."  He ended up explaining to his boss that we weren't Christian, and the 21st was as important to us as Christmas Day is to him.  Voila--end of secrecy.  At that point, I stopped hiding my pentagram under my shirt when I visit Don at work, and he can now ask for other Wiccan holidays off.  And he can be free about what he posts on his own FaceBook page.)

The final revelation came when, at an Earth Hour party we threw, I drunkenly inadvertently revealed to all our neighbors that we are Wiccan.  Again, no fireworks, nobody storming off in anger, nobody avoiding us after.  (This IS Canada, after all.  :)  )  Just one admission that somebody's daughter had looked into Wicca, and one tasteless joke about why we didn't cast a spell and make the joker rich.

At this point, I still don't shout it from rooftops, but I don't hide it, either.  I wear my pentagram and other Craft jewelry freely anywhere I go, I leave Craft books out in plain site all over the house, and I'm willing to discuss it with anyone who asks.  And I feel wonderfully free and privileged to be living in this time and place, where I am able to be open about my Path without having to worry about nasty repercussions.

Bright Blessings, All!


PhoenixWitch said...

That is a great story. It sounds like you haven't had to deal with any serious fallout from your announcements. *fingers crossed that you never do.

CousinLinda said...

Thank you. I hear/read about so many truly awful things happening to people, from losing their jobs or having their children taken away to actually being physically attacked, and I really do realize that I'm incredibly, INCREDIBLY lucky. It is inconceivable to me how intolerant people can be, and Goddess willing I never have to deal with it.

Terri said...

I came out on national television.

For some inexplicable reason, I thought my mother knew and when I got a chance to be interviewed on CityTV, I'm sure she told everyone she knew to watch.

Ya well, she didn't know and was a bit shocked to find out on TV that her daughter is a "witch". Not sure what her friends thought.

CousinLinda said...

Oops! I hope she's okay with it now.