As a  Pagan that’s been fully out of the broom closet for the better part of 13 years, I’ve been pretty fortunate in the experiences along my journey.  The majority of these have been positive, even if some of the people were not sure what Paganism or Wicca are.

I am extremely fortunate to have a great support system.  My family is encouraging and supportive.  They are proud of who I am and what I have accomplished.  I have great friends who push and drive me to be a better person.  Still, there are times when bigotry rears its ugly head.

Most recently, I came face to face with the small town American mentality that reminds me of why I am such a public Pagan.  I rekindled a relationship with someone that I never had anticipated becoming involved with again, let alone speaking to.
He knows me better than I know myself at times.   I guess that comes from knowing a person for over half your lives.  We literally grew up together.

Good, bad, or indifferent we are connected in more ways than I can count and though every relationship has its issues  when family comes into play things can get complicated very quickly. He and I have a history, but we were able to talk things out and come to the realization that what had transpired between us really didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.  Even after all this time it was as if we’d never been out of each others lives.  Conversations were easy and unfettered.  The concern and caring were there alongside the brutal honesty that we both need.  As far as we are concerned everything else is just water under the bridge.

It has not been as easy of a transition for everyone else though.   There are some mitigating circumstances involved, but I have always been fond of his family so I didn’t think it would be as crazy as it’s proven to be.  Of course, when we were dating before I was still trying to fit into the mold that everyone else around me was dictating.  So, now that I have found myself and where I belong spiritually it is proving to be an issue.

It degenearted to the point one evening where his mother yelled at me from across the yard that I was ruining her son’s life.  Her final insult?  “You…you…witch!”

Now, if I had not been upset about the on goings of that entire evening I think I would have actually laughed.  I mean, really? Is it really an insult to be called ‘witch’ when you have taken that label apon yourself?  It would be akin to me countering with, “You, Christian!”

So, now the question is where do I go from here.  I could easily gather up my toys and leave.  I could forsake the relationship and take the easy road, but that doesn’t get me anywhere. I could get in their faces and demand that they respect my religious preference.  I do have the right after all.

Again, that doesn’t get me anywhere.

Instead, I’ve decided to stand my ground.  I did nothing wrong.  When I was being verbally attacked I did not respond in kind.  I have not and will not ever say anything negative about them.  Why?  Because, honestly I’ve always considered them family.

My conscious is clean and that is really the most important thing to me at the moment.  They may never come around.  I’ve accepted that possibility.  I hope that given time they will see and understand by my actions that I’m a good person.  I hope that they see that I can be a good partner to their son.  Really, when it comes down to it the spirituality we all possess is not so different that we can’t coexist.  We have different ways of connecting with the divine and I respect their choices.  I hope that in time mine will also be respected.

“To thine onself be true…”, Shakespeare.

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