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.
When is Pagan Coming Out Day?
Any day can be a good day to come out to friends or family, but the official IPCOD is May 2 with the intention of maintaining an annual observance.
Isn’t this the same as Pagan Pride?
Pagan Coming Out Day is for people who wish to come out to a group or a person(s). Pagan Pride is for people who are already out of the closet and headed for the front door.
What does the IPCOD (International Pagan Coming Out Day), the organization, do?
We work to achieve greater acceptance and equity for Pagans at home, at work, and in every community by –
- Providing resources and encouragement for Pagans who chose to come out.
- Providing a voice for those Pagans who cannot yet come out.
- Reducing stigma by putting a human face on Paganism
- Partnering with non-Pagan allies.
Who is International Pagan Coming Out Day for?
IPCOD is for the individual who is ready to come out to a person or group and is looking for resources or support to assist them. It is for our religious community and our allies to help guide them in productive ways to offer assistance and support to the individuals ready to come out. It is for the individual who is not yet ready to come out, but is looking for hope that he or she, too, will one day be able to live his or her life more openly
Who is behind International Pagan Coming Out Day?
Information on the Executive Committee can be found here.
Where will events be held?
IPCOD envisions that local Pagans or Pagan organizations can do as much as they are reasonably able in regards to events for Pagan Coming Out Day. Events will be held where ever Pagans are, which is to say all around the world. See this section of our website for a listing of events near you.
Why do we need International Pagan Coming Out Day?
Pagans have long been hidden in our society, whether by choice or by the constraints of societal expectations. Some Pagans have experienced discrimination for their religious beliefs in the workplace or at home. IPCOD provides a network of resources for Pagans interested going public.
How can I get involved?
There are many ways you can get involved.
- Decide to come out to a person or a group
- Tell others about Pagan Coming Out Day – in person and on the ‘net on places like Facebook, Twitter, G+, and online groups.
- Host a Coming Out Ball in your community
- Send us your personal “In” or “Out” story
- 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.
- Become an IPCOD organizer
- Display the IPCOD logo on your body, car, house, or desk. Or wear spring green clothing on May 2nd.