Dear Jasmine: Coming out of the Broom Closet

Dear Jasmine,

I am wondering what is the best way to come out of the “broom closet” to my friends and family?

Sincerely,

Sberry

Dear Sberry,

An old teacher of mine used to tell everyone that you should only need to share your spirituality with those you would want to share your underwear with. I know it is graphic, but think about it, is there anything out there more personal than your connection to the divine? This is a very personal choice that will need to be weighed. You can make the choice to come out to everyone, no one or a select group of people or individuals. Will the person handle it well? Will it do more harm than good? What is the worst thing that could happen? Will coming out mean getting black listed by people in your town? Will people show up and burn crosses or smash windows on your home? Will they harass your children and family? The list of concerns and worries can go on and on.

Coming out of the “broom closet” can be a very scary event in our lives. I am out to most of my family and all of my friends. I am not out to the entire world however, mostly acquaintances in my home town. I struggle with it all the time too because my spirituality is so much a part of who I am. If I can not share with them my spirituality how can a person ever get to know the real me? At the same time I also feel that it is none of their business. I value my privacy. I know several of my friends disagree with this and feel I should be out to everyone and not hide, but they support my choice in the matter.

When coming out of the broom closet having a support system is important. If you tell your parents and they flip out on you, do you have someone who can comfort you and be there for you through it? Do you have loved ones that will support you no matter what you do? Discuss your decision to come out with them prior, they may have excellent feedback from their own experiences.

When you do decide to come out, you will want to be prepared. The people will have questions about your beliefs and practices. Feel free to write them down or make a small letter to them explaining what your core beliefs are, and the holidays and how you celebrate your beliefs. There are also many books that are geared towards explaining paganism to non-pagans, this might be a good way to go for you.

Be prepared for backlash and anger. Remember these are a normal reaction and built from a lack of knowledge about the pagan paths. Some people may judge you, but if you expect it and try to come from a place of love and understanding the relationship you have with them will be better in the long run.

Lastly, the most important thing to keep in mind is that everyone will take the news differently. Speaking to each person individually will be your best bet for continuing long lasting healthy relationships. This is a very personal choice, and should come from a very personalized and heartfelt place. Remember that you are strong and what ever choice you make will be the right one for you.

Best of Luck,

Jasmine

Jasmine is a 15 year veteran pagan and Wiccan High Priestess and has been a leader in her local pagan community and done spiritual counseling. To submit questions please email JasmineMoon@gmail.com.

About Jasmine LunaMadre

Jasmine is one of the founders of a The Prairie Earth Society, a local pagan group in Eastern Iowa. She is also a mother of a 3 year old son, and a wife to an agnostic. Jasmine is one of the rare pagans that can say that Paganism was her first faith. She was raised in an Italian-American, Roman-Catholic family, that decided to let her choose her own path. They were not expecting her to start studying Wicca when she was in her late teens, or to continue for over 15 years and counting. When she went on to college she studied Anthropology and Education. While there she also began studying the Gardnerian Tradition, and was initiated in 2001 at the age of 21. Jasmine was further trained about folk magic by her mentor who is a master herbalist and family traditional kitchen witch. She moved to Iowa and began to practice as a kitchen witch herself, specializing in incense making and Italian-American cuisine. She is now a 2nd degree High Priestess of Enchanted Fire Dance Grove and teacher of the Gardnerian Tradition. Jasmine is also the Author of the blog, www.TheSpiritualMother.com. Jasmine has also attended many pagan festivals over the years such as Phoenix Phyre and Pagan Spirit Gathering and numerous British Traditionalist Wiccan fests and local gatherings. She also plans local workshops and classes and runs a local New Age Book Club. She is experienced in networking and conversing with many pagans from all over the country.

  • Kilmrnock

    I can make a few suggestions . I am out to family and most of my freinds . The key here is being very selective to who you are out to . Altho coming out to family wasn’t easy , had to answer alot of questions , But has been well worth it . Now i can be myself , be true to what and who i really am w/ them .But in my work/professional life , i’m not out at all . As a professional Auto tech/shop manager i deal w/ the general public , being out with them wouid be detrimental to my career and the business , not a good idea . Most if not all of my good friends are pagan , so not a problem there. With my work aquantices i’m not out , doing that would be problimatic. The point in all this be very selective to who you are out to, only do so with those with who you feel safe. Use care not to joepardise your job , or safety . You have to balance being true to yourself /your true identity with where it’s appropriate, and safe to be out .Tis abit of a juggling act , but something just about all us pagans must deal with.     Kilm

  • http://ianphanes.livejournal.com/ Ian Phanes

    Jasmine wrote:
    There are also many books that are geared towards explaining paganism to non-pagans, this might be a good way to go for you.

    Can you suggest some specific titles that handle this well?

    To be blunt, most of the ones I’ve read have been negative or patronizing toward monotheistic religions.  (Granted, it’s been over a decade since I last read a book on this specific subject.  Maybe things have gotten better.  But I haven’t noticed any new titles.)

    • http://www.facebook.com/JasmineLunaMadre Jasmine Lunamadre

      This is why I suggest writing a personal one because not all the books geared towards this goal are good representations of everyone’s path.  

  • Pingback: I, Teo Bishop, am Coming Out as Teo Bishop | Bishop In The Grove


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