PCOD Celebrations Draw Crowds

Just over 20 Pagans attended the local Pagan Coming Out Day celebration at Sacred Paths Center on Monday, May 2nd. The celebration started with a libation and prayer to Hestia, strengthener of family and community bonds, for those Pagans in our community planning to ‘come out’ to someone they know. Champagne cocktails and desserts then followed with a screening of the documentary American Mystic“Speaking as someone who was there, and has been semi-closeted for 35 years, this was simply fabulous,” said Karen.  The movie, which was signed by director Alex Mar, was donated to the Sacred Paths Center library.

International Pagan Coming Out Day Chair, Cara Schulz, spoke to the group about Pagan Coming Out Day and how it was impacting Pagans around the world.  “We have received messages from Pagans in the US, Canada, Russia, France, Columbia, South Africa, and the Philippines to name a few countries.  Very positive stories about the events they are holding, about coming out to friends and family, and about how the religious community has supported them,” said Ms. Schulz.

Ms. Schulz estimates that hundreds of Pagans told someone they know they are Pagan on May 2nd and many more indicated they are considering it after hearing about the mostly positive outcomes on the organization’s facebook page. Others simply decided they would stop hiding their religion and would speak the truth when asked.  Thousands of more ‘out’ Pagans wore something that identified them as Pagan as they went about their normal business as a low key way to push back against stereotypes and show our numbers.  As a sign of how popular the day was, just under 300 t-shirts with the IPCOD logo were purchased in the last 3 months.  “I think it was being able to marshal the support of the community that gave the strength, comfort, and encouragement needed for people to take this step.  Plus the excellent Guide to Coming Out put together by IPCOD committee member Drake Spaeth, PsyD, gave people tips on how to actually have this conversation, said Ms Schulz.  “It’s one thing to say “come on out!” – but it’s another to say this is how you can do it and we’re right here with you to support you.”

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Pagan Coming Out Day Set for May 2nd – Editorial

International Pagan Coming Out Day (IPCOD), a not-for-profit organization, has named May 2nd as Pagan Coming Out Day. The group is organized by an eight person Executive Committee, of which two members are Minnesotans – Old Frisian and archaic Anglo-Saxon language specialist Nick Ritter and PNC’s Cara Schulz. Other committee members include licensed clinical psychologist and a faculty member of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology Drake Spaeth, PsyD, The Wild Hunt’s Jason Pitzl-Waters, editor of SageWoman, Witches&Pagans, and Crone magazines Anne Newkirk Niven, writer and blogger Laura M. LaVoie, webmaster David Dashifen Kees, and CUUPS Board Member Emeritus Dave Burwasser.

As Chair of the Executive Committee for IPCOD, I am proud and excited to be part of this project, which I first proposed on the blog Pagan+politics back in June of last year. The goal of Pagan Coming Out Day is to achieve acceptance and equity for Pagans at home, at work, and in every community. We’ll do this by being more visible and standing together. As more of us come out, the less discrimination we all face. May 2nd, is when individuals, deciding on their own terms, take a step that helps foster a society that truly does tolerate all religions. It’s also a day when our religious community comes together to support those Pagans coming out to a person or group and celebrates the more public emergence of their Pagan identity.

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