North Texas Pagan Pride 2012?

In his most recent “From the Edge of the Circle” podcast Tommy Elf laments the fact there was no Pagan Pride Day in North Texas in 2011 and asks if there will be one in 2012. And unlike so many who simply complain, he’s offering to do something about it. I say we pitch in and help.

The Dallas – Fort Worth area held Pagan Pride Days for many years. I went to several and I led workshops in 2009 and 2010. I’m not sure how much they accomplished in terms of generating positive publicity for the local Pagan community, but they were great for connecting people in the area. Last year the long-time coordinators bowed out rather abruptly. I don’t know the whole story – I suspect they were simply burned out. A replacement event was advertised but it also fell through.

It really is a shame that the fourth largest metro area in the country has no Pagan networking opportunities. I know there are lots of small groups in the area – I’ve been to some of their events and met many of them, some at Pagan Pride Days. I’m sure there are far more I don’t know about. We’re all so busy with our own organizations we don’t have much time for the wider community, and the long distances created by the North Texas urban sprawl makes it even harder.

But it really helps when we can see and talk to each other face to face. We get to know each other, develop some personal relationships, and find out what’s going on in our area. When I run into people looking for Wiccans or Heathens or ceremonial magicians it’s nice to know someone I can refer them to and feel confident they’ll be in good hands. And maybe we can start building (rebuilding?) a sense of community for local Pagans that extends beyond individual covens and groves and CUUPS chapters. There are more of us than you might think, but we’re still a definite minority in this heavily Christian area. The more we connect, the better we can help create an environment where Pagans and other religious minorities can thrive.

So, can we have a Pagan Pride Day in the DFW area this year?

The international Pagan Pride Day organization has a long list of suggestions and requirements, including a list of local coordinators that appears to be several years out of date. I’m not up to producing a large festival and I don’t think Tommy is either – we may not be able to meet the requirements to call it “Pagan Pride Day.” But we should be able to organize a gathering of local Pagan, magical and interested folks for a day of fun and friendship.

Anybody know of anything that’s already in the works? If not, are you up for helping do something for our wider community? If so, please contact Tommy or contact me. Let’s find a time and place in late September or early October when the North Texas Pagans can get together.

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About John Beckett

I’m a Druid in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. I’m an ordained priest in the Universal Gnostic Fellowship. I’m the Coordinating Officer of the Denton, Texas Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans. This year I’m also serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of CUUPS National. I’m a member of the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

I write as a spiritual practice. It helps me organize my thoughts and work through ideas and concepts. It helps me evaluate my beliefs and practices against my core values and against what I know (or at least, what I think I know) to be true. It helps me interpret my experiences (religious and otherwise) in ways that are both meaningful and honest.

  • Anonymous

    The past few PPD events I attended here in Dallas I had very negative experiences. I am a High Priest in the Craft as well as a orisha priest within the Ifa/Orisha tradition of West Africa. The last year I attended I went with my Godmother in Ifa who is black. While we were there no one spoke to her no one introduced themselves to her at all. She turned to me and said "You know these people are not friendly. If its suppose to be only for people following an anglo papagn path they should say so in their info." I was very embarassed as I had told my Godmother that PPD would be a welcoming event. A year or so prior at another PPD there were several protestors there and many of our Pagans were very confrontational with them. Yelling at them arguing with them. I went and actually talked to them. Being close in age to them I communicated to them that we as pagans were really no diffrent from them and we began to have a very meaningful dialogue. Suddenly I was grabbed by the arm and pulled away from my discussion and was told by one of the organizers not to speak to them. If we dont communicate how will they understand us? When they left everyone began to cheer as they left. So as you can see the past few PPD events here in Dallas have not made me feel proud to be pagan at all.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10388428489163998550 TommyElf

    HiAnonymous. I honestly have to say – both of the experiences that you are setting forth here don't sound like what I would prefer a Pagan community to be. I was hoping to be able to put together an event where a lot of folks could get together (including people from mono-faiths) talk, get to know one another, and have some fun. The only Dallas (or North Texas – whatever you want to call it) PPOD event I was able to attend was the last one that was held. People stood around, talked about various things, and got to know one another. In fact, that event was the first time I had ever met John face-to-face. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find very many people willing to step up and put together something for this year. I'm not giving up hope on getting something together that would be like a PPD — just not for 2013. Instead, I've decided to attend the 2012 PPD down in Austin. If it doesn't conflict with your own personal schedule or impede your financial situation – consider coming on down there for this year. So far, the folks there have been ultra welcoming and friendly via Email – and I'm looking forward to meeting them. http://www.austinpaganpride.org/ (Hopefully, John doesn't mind me plugging their event here in the comments on his blog) –TommyElf

  • Conor O’Bryan Warren

    I’m willing and should be available to help in some capacity. Just let me know what you need. You have me on Facebook and have my e-mail.


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