Wicca: Out of The Broom Closet
Many faithful Wiccans choose to hide the practice of their religion from neighbors and sometimes even their families. Saying anything about Wicca, is a dubious choice that some Wiccans consider well before leaving the broom closet. Much goes into the thought of telling anyone at work, school, or social groups where the conversation might turn to talk of "church".
Often, it is pop culture that tends to inform the unsuspecting public that the next door neighbor may be a Wiccan. With that word, comes the the odd capacity for ignorance that has been displayed in the past. Most likely because it is synonymous with the word witch. Wiccan is often accepted as the more modern iteration of the word witch. Even so, some policy makers within the government may become hesitant when confronted with the word since it comes loaded with hidden meaning.
More avuncular Wiccans focus the public's attention on traits commonly shared by all ethical faiths. Benign moral statements such as "And it harm none, do as you will", are only effective when coupled with an example from real life. These examples, often seem to go missing by an otherwise well meaning news media however, when doing Halloween reports about Wicca. This undeclared, rite of passage or, coming out of a Wiccan, (Neo-Pagan) is often quiet and not very news worthy. The spectacle of the "witch" at work, school, or elsewhere is usually lessened by the fact that they are often just common folks, like everyone else.
When Wiccans extol the virtues of a religious life that is recognized as part of the daily experience then others tend to understand it better . With the mystery lessened and commonality more certain the ignorance, fear, and distrust toward Wiccan's tend to decrease. However, an unfair job dismissal, or sudden loss of friends may signal that there are still good reasons for staying in the broom closet.
Keeping silent is a common virtue that holds merit with many Wiccans but, it is often challenged from within that religious community. The goal is to reduce religious stigmatization of Wiccans from society at large. Currently, there is scant evidence to conclude that it has harmed the Wiccan religious community, though internally the debate is no doubt on-going. Wicca, unlike many other religious groups that minister in the more common sense, are not often encouraged nor expected to do so. It is nearly antithetical to the religion, and can be viewed as a breech of courtesy by Wiccans. And though, proselytizing is not common for many Wiccans, following a path of discretion before speaking publicly about Wicca usually is.