Photo by Julia of Fireflower Photography

Though raised Protestant, I developed an early fascination with rain-dancing, tree-climbing, and walking on windy mornings. As I grew older, the call of the Old Gods grew stronger until just after college when Christianity and I had an amicable parting of ways.

I held my first ritual at a creek behind a local art museum. I brought a collection of things that were important to me – from my new tarot deck to my Grandmother’s Bible – cast my circle with the knife my husband and I cut our wedding cake with, and set up my altar on a stone outcropping under the shade of a dozen trees. I remember being somewhat amazed when lightning didn’t strike as I called the quarters and settled down to my first conversation with this, my new understanding of the divine.

Coming out of the broom closet took almost as much courage as converting. My husband is Catholic, my oldest friend Episcopalian, my parents Methodist, and I’d spent my life singing in church choir and working Vacation Bible School. After an uneasy conversation with my husband (we’d been married less than a year – at the time it was tough; now he’s a pillar of support), I told the spitfire of my existence, my little sister… and she shocked be by being totally cool with it. Some friends took it well, some less so. GG delighted me with the announcement that she was going through the same thing, and we’ve been “circle sisters” for eight years now.

It took me years to tell my parents. Dad doesn’t get it, but like most other things seems to trust that the universe will work out right in the end. Mum is bothered, but we can talk about it. She’s told me my whole life there’s nothing I can do that will stop her from loving me, and she lives by it. My mother and father are a bedrock of my life, and I don’t think they’ll ever understand the magic their unfailing love and faith in me has done and continues to do in my life.

One of the more fun ways I reach out to friends and family is through parties. My husband and I have hosted a Halloween gathering every year since we’ve been married, we are almost always in charge of the family’s Easter/Ostara brunch (a bit trickier as my in-laws are some of the only people who still don’t know), and this past year I held my first Yule party for my side of the family (I was so nervous, but it worked beautifully). I look forward to sharing what I’ve learned, learning from your responses, and hope together we can encourage more pagans to include non-pagan family and friends in our celebrations!

Other than a pagan, I’m an ex-teacher (English and theater arts) and a writer (currently I’m president of the Austin chapter of Romance Writers of America). I live with my husband of nine and a half years and two cats, Morgan and Seas (said Say’-ahs). I love wine (Dr. Loosen Riesling is my favorite), TV (currently addicted to Castle, Big Bang Theory, and True Blood), reading (Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs, and Karen Marie Moning are my don’t misses), gaming (been with the same paper and dice group for ten years now!) and anything to do with food.

I look forward to celebrating the seasons with you!

Got a coming out of the broom closet story (or other transitioning story) you want to share? Post it in the comments!