*This post is part of a 3-post series, in which the first post is the argument for coming out of the broomcloset, the second post is the argument against, and the third post will be the summary of the two sides and my own opinions.
**NOTE: Posts 1 and 2 are not necessarily my own opinions. Since I lack another person to debate with, I am playing advocate for both the arguments. My opinions will be held in post #3.
Coming out of the broomcloset is a tough choice. There are a lot of things to think about before making this kind of life-altering decision. Your choice is going to affect not only you, but your family, your friends, even potentially your coworkers. But coming out can be a really great thing, and here’s why:
- Freedom. This is probably the biggest and best reason to come out. There is a certain freedom in knowing who you are and being able to express yourself without feeling as if you have to hide. The freedom to wear your pentacle pendant proudly in public, and the contentment you feel in being able to express yourself openly if you so choose is amazing. It inspires confidence in yourself, whereas hiding does not. You no longer have to feel the need to avoid questions about what your necklace or rings mean, no longer feel it’s necessary to awkwardly avoid your friends’ curiosity or your family’s pointed glances, for example. Hiding will only make those insecurities stronger.
- Finding like-minded people. When you’re in hiding, it makes it harder to find those who are similar to you. I don’t mean those who think or act exactly like you all the time. No, I mean those who maybe agree with your political views, or who are also pagan but maybe different types of pagan. By opening yourself up to the world, you open yourself up to more friends and more experiences that you maybe wouldn’t have had when still in the closet. You also open yourself up to more learning and more ease of access to learning materials such as books, or just to picking your friends’ brains for information. By coming out, you also open yourself up to the possibility of joining a coven or other such group as well, if that is the direction you think you would like to head. Or remain solitary, that’s OK too.
- Setting a good example. By coming out of the broomcloset, you can help not only to inspire other pagans who are facing the same choice, but you can set a good example of how to live pagan in a world that is less than tolerant. People need examples to follow, people to be inspired by, and you can be one of them. By simply living your life as you see fit you become an example.
- Helping the pagan community. Coming out also helps the pagan community as a whole. Most of us aren’t nut jobs. But we’re still portrayed that way and thought of as weirdos. With every “normal” person who comes out, it helps to fight any lingering stereotypes. Now wouldn’t that make you feel good?
Coming out can be a very good decision. It can help to start a new age of personal growth that you wouldn’t have had by remaining in the closet. However, this decision is very personal. It has to work for you, no matter what anyone else says.