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.”