I do believe we’ve unintentionally bumped ourselves “out of the closet” due to my blog posts about Gillian’s Celiac Disease, and putting the first 504 for it in place in our district. My intention in writing these posts has been to share our experiences and to disseminate information regarding the rights of students with CD, as 97% of people who are suffering from it are still undiagnosed. Many, many parents are going to be fumbling through the dark trying to protect their children in their public school system, much akin to the troubles and confusion that arose when 504s were put into place for children with peanut allergies. There are some great sites that are dedicated solely to assisting those in need of direction with CD, but searching for information online yields too few results at this point. Case in point, my blog posts show up on the front page on Google and Yahoo with simple search strings about Celiac and 504. Considering I’ve written about this less than a handful of times in the history of this blog, that’s pretty remarkable. We should be ranked way, way below sites dedicated to Celiac, such as the American Celiac Disease Alliance. I’m grateful to have valuable information to share, and I know this blog is highly-trafficked.
It didn’t occur to me that while the school was doing the research necessary to prepare for our meetings (and I’m glad they’ll be prepared, the information they’ll gather will make passing this 504 for Gillian much easier) they would come across our website, announcing us to our community as Wiccan. Needless to say, this was not my intention, but was perhaps an inevitable end.
I’ve always said that we don’t wear signs announcing our religion, but I’m open to discussing it should someone ask. Because there’s still so much misinformation about Wicca, I fear that my children will be punished by misguided people who believe we’re anything other than a tree-hugging nature religion, should local interest be piqued and the suburban phone-chain activated. We live in a decent sized suburb on the East Coast, in between New York City and Philadelphia. I’d like to think that our town is liberal and open-minded, but I know better from past experiences with parents in our community who shunned my children for fear of our religion, and so I’m a bit gun-shy. Our belief system is no one’s business, and yet I make it so by having a presence on the Web, and taking a stand for religious tolerance, amongst others. I’ve always thought that the bigger picture of the good my voice could bring would outweigh the possible ramifications to my family. Have I been naive? Time will tell.
This blog was created, and exists in part to illustrate the normalcy of a neopagan suburban household, and the commonality that is shared by families in communities like mine. We embrace the same morals, values and ethics of the highly principled people who live among us. My biggest fear is that the gossip mongers (we’ve all been guilty of it at some time) will grab hold of this tidbit and run with it, and that suddenly our kids become unwelcome at the homes of their friends, and face the possibility of being socially outcast at school. My biggest hope is that Wicca has become mainstreamed enough to the point where it’s generally understood and accepted that we’re not ‘witches’, we don’t cast spells to control people, and we’re not worshipers of Satan. Maybe people will see that we’re just not that interesting…and if they are interested, I hope they ask. I’m always happy to dispel myths!