Modred March 1st, 2013
Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye.
Four and twenty blackbirds,
Baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened,
The birds began to sing…
When I came out of the broom closet last year, I didn’t rent a billboard or make a huge public announcement. I just tacked my real name on the author page here at PaganPages, cross-linked my blogs, and started letting my posts and articles appear on my social media profiles. Nothing happened. Coming out as a witch was a tree falling in the forest with nobody around. Or so I thought.
Enraged by “The Great 2013 Fox News Wicca Bashing Fiasco,” I started chatting it up online. Most of my friends and immediate family were already aware of my spirituality. Apparently though, some folks had never previously clicked through on anything witchy. Suddenly links were getting clicked and blog posts were getting read. I got no support from my non-witchy friends and extended family. One relative, instead of leaping to my defense, decided to defend Fox News. But enough of that line. This is not about setting cups and plates for a pity party. I didn’t heed the call of the Goddess because I wanted to get big fat hugs from anybody but Her.
The point is that, just as any white, college-educated, man of privilege could be expected to do, I marched out of the broom closet thinking I was invincible. Who of my friends and family would dare ignore or disrespect me because of my religion? What could go wrong? And nothing did.
For years, from my safe and secure ivory tower, I’ve supported minority rights with my tongue, my computer, and my vote. During that time I was pompous enough to suppose that I actually understood the plight of minorities. But there is a difference between understanding and empathy, between intellect and experience, between mouse clicks and human faces. Yesterday I got a taste of what minorities have been choking down since the dawn of time. Just one spoonful of prejudice. And I realized that I didn’t have a clue.
I’ve never been denied a seat on the bus, a job, or a marriage certificate. I’ve never been spat upon, beaten, jailed, or herded into a train car, ghetto, camp or reservation. I can’t possibly comprehend what it’s like to endure the most severe of prejudices. All I can say that is that now I empathize and that I’ll never again presume to know. I can say that the pie has definitely been opened, and there are more forks full of prejudice likely headed my way.
Isn’t that a dainty dish to set before the king?