I picked up this topic this morning when I read this post over at Witchy Gumbo, which found their inspiration by reading this post over at Kally's Cauldron. The topic of people coming out of the witchy closet has been a hot one for a long time. I don't want to add any controversy, so I'll just tell my story. I personally am out of the closet. I don't wear my pentacle all the time, or run around talking about spells or anything like that, but if someone asks me what religion I am, I openly tell them. Thankfully where I live, most people either thump a bible at you (which while that is highly annoying, it isn't harmful), they ignore you, or they want to know more. I live with my sister, who is Christian and we peacefully co-exist out of respect for each other's opinion and religions. Of course it helps that my sister is a little bit of a Christo-Witch, but the point is we respect each other's opinions.
What I find funny, is that since I've moved in with her, we've had an onslaught of religious fanatics show up at the door. The sad thing is, these people didn't come here until I moved in. It's like they can smell or sense that I am OTHER and they feel like they have to preach to me. The first people to show up were Mormons. It was actually the first day I was moving in and I was trying to move my stuff upstairs and watch my 2 year old nephew at the same time (you may think that sounds easy, but navigating a parking lot and 2 flights of stairs up to the third floor packed down with stuff plus trying to make sure a 2 year old little boy that you can barely see over all the crap in your arms doesn't get run over or decide to play Evel Knievel on the stairs is a job by itself) when a couple of nice looking young men dressed well carrying backpacks (the backpacks told me they were Mormons) came up and asked if I needed help. I asked them to carry my TV and dog crate up because um... well they are heavy and I didn't feel like carrying them up while trying to keep my nephew from doing something crazy. Well they carried that stuff up for me, then asked if I wouldn't mind listening to "their message," which they guaranteed me would "bless my life in so many ways." I told them it was my sister's house and if they would like they could come back when she got home.
Eventually they caught up with us and my sister stood outside with them for over an hour while I hid from them and pretended like I didn't exist. They haven't been back. However, yesterday I had just got my nephew from his father to watch for a little while and someone came and knocked on the door. I answer the door after saying "Who the hell is it now," because our house was starting to feel like Grand Central Station (or at least what I imagine Grand Central Station to be like, I've never been there...) and outside the door is a man holding a bible. He states that he is a Jehovah's Witness and wants to hold a bible study here at the house. ARGH!!!! All I wanted to do was tell him I am Pagan and that I don't want to hear anymore messages about Hell and Jesus and all this other stuff because my life is already blessed, but I knew if I said that he would have gotten more fanatical. I told him again that it is my sister's house and he'll have to talk to her about that. He apparently is going to come back sometime to talk to her.
My point is, I wish everyone would learn to respect others and their religious choices. There are those fanatical Christians that can make it hard, if not impossible, for others to be able to come out of the closet. I guess I'm not as "out" as I could be, especially since I haven't just told the people that like to bother me that I'm not Christian and don't intend to be, but it is my opinion that everyone should be able to choose how, when, and why they are "out". No one should feel pressured or pushed. Coming out of the witchy closet is a huge decision, and although our religion is protected by law, there ARE still some places that laws don't matter to. For some people it is safer to stay in the witchy closet. Some of us are afforded a luxury of being able to be openly Pagan. Other's have to be out when it is safe and in when it isn't. It is a highly personal decision, just like our religion is highly personal as well, and I think everyone should have the right to choose for themselves.