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

Brooms for sale in a Tbilisi market. Image by Vladimer Shioshvili via Wikimedia Commons, CC license 2.0

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.

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