Contributed by the Rev. Tanya Trzeciak
Being a Pagan is not nor has it ever been easy. For a large part of my life I had to stay in the “broom closet” with employers, many friends, and neighbors. I had to hide the fact that I did not believe in one god almighty who was cruel and punishing. I was a solitary practitioner and did not seek out others for fear of being ostracized or,worse, fired from my job.
When I finally came out of the closet, some friends shied away out of fear while others asked questions. The questioners embraced my strength to honor my beliefs while the others feared that I might be evil. These people did not want any explanations or want to understand why I believe what I do.
However, I am a white female and I could hide who and what I was quite easily. I didn’t have to wear a pentacle or goddess pendant in public. I didn’t have to do or say anything to profess being a pagan. I could practice what I believed in private and continue a public persona that didn’t upset the status quo.
My friends of color are not so lucky. How do they hide the color of their skin? How do those who have to wear head scarves hide who they are? How do they let others know that they are not bad people?
Society is so quick to judge a book by its cover and will not listen to explanations or even take the time to understand anyone who is even the slightest bit different. We are all living beings and it is because of our differences that the world is such an awesome place. Do we really want to be just another brick in the wall?