Another successful Pagan Pride Day come and gone and all I can say is I sure am glad that I’m not an organizer. I was completely drained by the end of the day, just leading a workshop and speaking on a panel. If I had to do any more I’d probably just keel over and die in a puddle of tears and alcohol. So mad props to those of you who put that shit together for the rest of us because Mother of Christ it looks impossible.
From what I could tell, everything went well. Foxfire certainly had a presence, with Corvus’s open group Moon Circles NC leading the opening ritual, me on the interfaith panel, and Lore’s last minute decision to make coven shirts. I had made one the day before for The Boy, with special text on the back that read “Personal Security” amidst a field of runes. Moon Circles had a group pavilion set up as part of merchants row where we mostly just parked our cooler and box of Foxfire zines (which are awesome and you should buy one). I spent the day running around in an erratic flurry, somewhere between slightly buzzed and HELP PANIC ATTACK.
The panel seemed to go well enough. Once again, I think there were some sound problems, which are inevitable without some kind of PA. I made an effort to move forward when it was my turn to speak and to project as best I could. There was a bit more audience interaction than last year, too, which was great. We had conversations about our personal histories, our group standards, recommended reading, and the state of The Pagan Community.™
I sort of wish we could be a little more confrontational sometimes. Interfaith really isn’t the place for that, which I think is part of why I find it so uncomfortable. The premise of interfaith seems to be that we should all be aspiring to some kind of sameness, which necessarily requires the sacrifice of conviction (and we all come out looking like beige liberal Protestants). Obviously I’m not a proponent of killing each other or fighting for the sake of fighting, but I also don’t think we’re all fundamentally “different paths up the same mountain.” I have no desire to hold hands and play nice with religious others that stand in opposition to, for example, my values as a feminist or as an LGBTQ ally. I also don’t feel compelled to create space for Christian voices, which is something that I feel like I’m increasingly asked to do (and the subject arose at the panel, briefly).
My workshop had fourteen attendees, which pleased me. I tried to facilitate some good conversation and leave people with questions to go home and mull over in a serious way. I passed out a lot of business cards, had some good questions, and was otherwise pleased considering it was my first public workshop.
The best part of the day was probably handing out copies of The Burning Times and subsequently making friends with some of the folks in the local Church of Wicca. I tell you what, we’re very different in some fundamental ways, but their leaders are some of the smartest people in our community. Not to mention hilarious and a blast to hang out with. Don the Druid and I bonded over our shared hatred for popular Pagan music. Rev. HP Tony Brown (who will always be Rev. HP Tony Brown to me, even if the title isn’t technically accurate anymore—I just like saying it) is going to contribute a comic strip to The Burning Times (which you can purchase here). I think dinner and drinks may happen at some point. I would post links to their blogs but nobody’s updated shit in years, which makes me feel really good about myself in comparison (because I’m shallow). [edit: Rev. HP Tony Brown blogs here. I’m clearly just incompetent.]
By the time I got home that day, I was completely exhausted and never wanted to say words to anyone again. I didn’t even have the energy to finish my glass of wine that night.
So for those of you who had your own PPD experiences, how were they? And if you’ve never been to one, you should try to make it out next year. It’s a good opportunity to meet others, be in safely Pagan space, and spend more money than you probably have.