I'd grown up Christian, everyone in my neighborhood
did. Sunday's meant dressing in your best suit and heading to a
church service that some were too young to understand until they
got older. Many of the people even came to believe everything
their bible told them to do, few found any reason to deviate from
it despite people outside of the neighborhood, no matter how few
they may have been, followed something else. Something that many
of us in my neighborhood would call wrong religions, sinning
I would be my neighborhood oddity. I was curious
about these religions and soaked up what anyone would tell me
about what they believed. That was part of what got me to
question my faith in the Christian "one true God". The one I
promised to follow in front of an entire congregation of men,
women and children. The one I had been baptized for. I always
wondered "why would these religions exist if there was only meant
to be one belief system? Why wouldn't He test us in other ways
when it came to our faith?" These were questions I never could
Once puberty hit I had another problem to worry
about: I discovered I was gay. I wanted to date other boys
instead of dating the girls that He claimed he wanted me to. I
tried to change it at first, tried pretty hard. I even did what I
heard some of the counselors at a camp I went to told other boys
in my position to do: I prayed to Him to be cured of my desires.
None of it worked, of course. I was still gay when I went to bed
each night and I was still gay when I woke up in the morning.
There was no curing it, no changing something that I knew in my
heart I was. Something that I don't think would change about me
if a gun was held to my head and my life was threatened by an
angel itself. At first I hated it about myself but I soon learned
to love it. There was nothing else I could do after all.
Sure, while I still followed Christianity I was
afraid of going to hell. It's something we all feared, naturally.
Me not in the way everyone else did, though. What I didn't know
then was there were options that I could follow a religion with
no hell, one that would bring me more peace than Christianity
ever had and ever would. Something where I could be myself and
wouldn't have to worry about any "sins" that people would claim I
was committing. That's when I learned the most about paganism.
Not all of them believed in hell, not all of them believed in the
afterlife. In fact, I could choose to believe in anything I
wanted that way, there were a ton of beliefs out there. I could
believe that there was a giant spaghetti monster out there
waiting to touch me with his long noodley appendage for all
anyone cared, it didn't matter. The part that mattered the most
was one thing: I could be gay without anyone looking at me funny.
There was a common law among many pagans that meant that they
couldn't judge me for my sexual preference.
I looked through every pagan religion I could find
information on at the local library. It took me about three weeks
before I could sift through it all. I soaked all of it in, I
looked forward to all of it and believed most of it. I finally
had a set of pagan beliefs I could believe in. I even took on the
idea of there being multiple gods with stride. I got a lot
happier the more I embraced the new found religion I had. I came
out within three months of me finding this religion. My parents
weren't happy. I got lucky and they claimed it was just a phase,
that I would grow out of it by the time I graduated high school.
It was nothing they had to worry about. I was a bit happy with
that considering it would mean I would have a home, unlike so
many others I'd met.
I kept learning as much as I could about paganism
from its followers. A website, www.witchvox.com, written entirely
by its users, helped me out a lot. I could find others like me
without doing massive searches through google and could find
things that wouldn't be as weak as things I had found other
places. I eventually started a coven on the site so I could maybe
find more people like me and one of the friends I had made in
high school that followed Wicca. We did it as an open pagan forum
so we could all openly speak about our beliefs. His parents were
open about us doing it for teenagers in the area in their
basement. This went on through high school until a group of us
could afford to rent out a house and use that for our meetings.
The older we got the more we opened the group up for
the older set. The meetings grew into a larger and larger crowd.
Many were strait, which I had expected but he had a pretty decent
GLBT crowd as well. It seemed that I wasn't the only one looking
for peace outside of what people would call "conventional
religion". It was also something all of us loved with the
strongest of passions, even those who hadn't been following for
that long. All of us owned a pentacle within the first year of us
following, though most of us owned one within the first week
since all of us had a strong belief in it. I wasn't surprised
much at the following in the area. All of us lived within a 20
mile radius of the house and many were willing to travel to make
our monthly meetings, always on the night of the full moon. I met
my soul mate this way, so did several others. All of us are
compatible with our mates and love it. With the right choice of
religion for ourselves, it feels like we can do anything we want