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Pagan Coming Out Day
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“PCOD is a not-for-profit organization working to achieve greater acceptance and equity for Pagans at home, at work, and in every community.”
“PCOD is a not-for-profit organization working to achieve greater acceptance and equity for Pagans at home, at work, and in every community.”

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Tara Miller lives in the Bible Belt and she decided to come out on facebook. She did a bit differently than a more blunt announcement that she's a Pagan. So what was the reaction?

Tara: I live in Licking, Missouri. It's a small town of just over two thousand people in South Central Missouri which is considered a part of the Bible Belt. The only floats during town Parades are sponsored by Churches. My husband and I get along well with out neighbors and even have had meals with them but they didn't know I was Pagan. My Mother and sisters did and a couple of close friends. On March 30, I posted the following update on Facebook because I was tired of living my life in secret. I wanted to world, friends, family members, and others to know I was a Pagan and an author. She doesn't know it but a local author gave me the clue that it may be okay to "come out". She presented her book on the sacred feminine at the Texas County Museum of Art and History a few months ago. 

"All of my life I've wanted to be a published author. Today, I finished the manuscript of an anthology I've edited and contributed to. Rooted in the Body, Seeking the Soul. It's about magic practitioners and their various faiths who have disabilities, illness, or addiction. I'm just waiting on further instructions from my publisher, Megalithica Books. I'm thankful to my husband who put up with me when Word was eating the document settings and I was stomping about the house! But my first book has taken a major step toward being in print!"

I was thrilled by the responses on Facebook. There were a lot of supportive posts from friends from out of town, even those who are Christian, who want to know when the book is coming out. So far no one in town who I know has posted anything negative. Those I know online and have seen in person have also been kind. I talked a bit about my book after another local author's presentation and have been encouraged to do a reading. I'm not sure if I'm ready for that. We'll see.
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For those of you who are no longer hiding your faith, you can still participate by supporting those taking the step this year.  
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It's that time of year again: Pagan Coming Out Day is May 2nd! It’s a day 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 coming out to a person or group and celebrates the more public emergence of their Pagan identity.
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Obrimos, hear our prayer today
You who gives strength and courage to men
And inspires them to great works and heroic deeds
Lend your strength, oh Ares, to my compatriots and I
On this day of honesty and openness
Rally us, oh Laossous, that we may line the streets in our joy
Pierce the hearts of the fearful and doubtful
That they may express their faith in you and all of the Gods
Sustain us with your presence, oh Abundant Ares
And banish the injustice of silence

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May 2nd is Pagan Coming Out Day
So what is it and what can you do? And yes, we need non-Pagan allies who support religious freedom to join in the effort.


What is Pagan Coming Out Day?
It’s a day 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 coming out to a person or group and celebrates the more public emergence of their Pagan identity.

What is “out?”
Being out means that you are no longer actively hiding your religion due to fear of discovery. You are open about your religion to your family, even if it’s uncomfortable, and it means being willing to request and expect equal treatment in the workplace. However – it is not an either/or proposition as some Pagans are out to some people in their lives, but not others. The phrase ‘coming out’ can have two meanings – an entrance into a new world of hope and communal solidarity or an exit from the oppression of the closet.


Why should I come out?
‘Should’ is not a word we would use when talking about the decision to come out or not. Coming out to someone is a decision only you can make and it’s a decision best made when you’re mentally and emotionally ready to do so. Pagan Coming Out Day is not about shaming other Pagans and polytheists into “coming out” when they’re not ready. We do believe there are benefits, personally and for our religious community as a whole, to coming out. Some of these benefits include the reduction of anxiety in your life caused by living a double life and encouraging a climate of greater tolerance and acceptance of Paganism as more people realize they know a friend and loved ones who are Pagan. For a more detailed look at the benefits and risks of coming out, please see our Guide to Coming Out.


How can I get involved?
1. Share this post on G+, facebook, twitter, etc today

2. On May 2nd - Post the Pagan Coming Out logo (below) and/or change your profile photo to the Pagan Coming Out logo. You can also post "No one should have to hide their religion due to fear of discrimination and violence. I support Pagans who choose to come out today! http://pagancomingoutday.org

3. Decide to come out to a person or a group

4. Help others by sharing your personal “In” or “Out” story on May 2nd.

5. Perform a private or public ritual or say a prayer for those coming out, our religious community, and for greater tolerance and understanding between people of all faiths.

6. Display the IPCOD logo on your body, car, house, or desk. Or wear spring green clothing on May 2nd.

For more information: http://pagancomingoutday.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PaganComingOutDay
G+: +Pagan Coming Out Day

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What do you think? Is living a more 'out' life a privilege or an act of defiance?

Outing oneself is not an act of privilege — it is an act of defiance. The primary reason to remain closeted is to protect what relative amount of privilege one may have by doing so: One will save their job, retain custody of children, preserve ties to a family whose love is apparently only conditional, and one absolutely will not put themselves, their family, or their property at risk of death threats, violence, or destruction.

…and yet there are still at least a handful of pagans and polytheists who will kvetsch and whinge about us “privileged” people who have some great luxury by being “out” about our religion. They poo-poo the out and proud and in-your-face about how love for one’s family is about sacrifice and doing things outside of one’s ordinary routine — and apparently they’re the only members of their own family who believe this, because they’re the only ones hiding, sometimes even lying “for love”. In a society that clearly favours those with families, remaining closeted is clearly an act of maintaining the airs of privilege to protect status. If the love of one’s family is so conditional as to be withheld over a difference of religion, I have to admit that while I don’t fault some-one for caving in to the charade, I don’t see the appeal.

While the act of coming out is usually a very private and individual occurrence, there is also a public aspect to Pagan Coming Out Day. Communities can celebrate with those who have taken a step toward a more public emergence of their Pagan identity or can perform Rituals designed to strengthen and support those preparing to come out in some way. If you are planning to host an event for Pagan Coming Out Day - let us know and we can promote it.

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Lt Col Dan Brantingham, AFA Cadet Wing Chaplain's remarks during the opening of the USAF's Conference on Religious Respect in 2010, “I don’t want to be tolerated; I want to be respected—and everyone else is entitled to that same right.”
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