Coming out of the closet, whether it is about your sexual preference or your religious/spiritual beliefs can be extremely stressful and difficult. This post will hopefully alleviate some of that stress.
I was 22 when I came out to my family as a pagan and I was 23 when I came out to my friends. For me, telling my family was by far easier than telling my friends because my family is not religious whatsoever so, my personal beliefs and choices did not bother them. My friends however, were a different story. Most of my friends at the time were either Catholic or brought up in a Catholic household. A few of them were atheists or had no religious/spiritual beliefs at all. Most of my friends were very head strong and not very open-minded, save one or two of them. After I told my friends I ended up only having one friend left. The ones who didn’t immediately run away in disgust eventually became distant and faded from my life.
When I did come out to my friends most of them thought I was a crazy Satan worshipping, chicken sacrificing, maniac. No matter how much I told them that I was in fact a nature worshipping, animal loving, human being and that the type of magick that I practiced had nothing to do with Satan or black magick, their minds were already made up and I lost many of what I thought were good friends. The only friend that has stuck by my side took the whole coming out very well. She accepted me for who I am and even became somewhat interested in the craft. As you can see coming out can be a very difficult task but I am going to provide you with some tips and steps to coming out.
- Be Prepared for the consequences
Telling your friends and family that you are practicing magick is scary and you may lose many friends, be disowned by family members, or even be publicly ostracized. Prepare yourself emotionally. Tell yourself that if people can’t accept you for you then you’re better off without them, no matter how much it may hurt at the time.
- Make a plan
Before you decide to tell your friends and family it’s best to have a plan. Write down everything that you are going to say to them. Write about what kind of magick that you practice. How, where, and when you practice. Write about how you became interested in it. Create a list of questions your friends and family may ask and write down the answers you would give them. Think about when and where you are going to tell them. It is best to tell them at a time when there is no chance for distractions.
- Stay calm
Depending on your friends’ and family’s religious and personal beliefs they may become quite upset and angry. The best thing to do in that type of situation is to remain calm. Remember that they are entitled to their own opinions and beliefs. Getting upset yourself can come off as immature and a person that cannot be taken seriously.
- Give facts
Do not tell your friends and family what magick and paganism isn’t…tell them what it is! If you start listing off things that magick isn’t then they will focus on those things throughout the entire conversation. For example don’t tell them that you don’t worship the Devil because then all they will be able to think about is the negative connotation of the devil and immediately associate magick and paganism with him. Another good idea is to offer them reading materials about the craft. People tend to believe and understand things better when they do their own research.
- Give them time
Telling your friends and family about your beliefs in magick can take some time for them to process. Be sure to give them plenty of time and space to comprehend what you just told them. Before you finish telling them, tell them that if they want to talk about anything that you told them later on that you would be more than happy to oblige.
- Be yourself
This is probably the most important tip that I have to offer. If you are pretending to be something you are not then how is anyone supposed to see the real you. Coming out of the broom closest is supposed to allow you to be yourself. If you get too upset and decide to take back everything that you just told your friends and family then you are doing yourself an injustice. Being honest with yourself about who you are is as important, if not more important than anyone’s opinion about you.
All-in-all I believe that telling your loved ones about your beliefs is a very important step on your magickal journey. I know it can be hard and stressful but I can guarantee that you will feel better about it once it has happened. Just remember that you win some and you lose some and if you lose some then that is their loss because they will never be able to accept people for who they really are and they probably lost a really awesome friend.
I want to hear about your “Coming Out” stories. Comment below!