Why Pagan Pride Day?

by Katie LaFond

Western MA Pagan Pride Day is this coming Saturday the 23rd, 10am-6pm, in downtown Northampton in Kirkland Plaza between Thorne’s and the parking garage (where the Farmers Market happens). We need pagans and non pagans there (and it’s a good time).
I’m pagan. I volunteer for The EarthSpirit Community because I want to nurture my home community and tend my own spiritual self. I volunteer for Western Mass Pagan Pride Day 2023 because I believe in its mission to educate the public about who pagans are and what we do. I represent pagans at The Parliament of the World’s Religions because I think pagans have a lot to offer on the world stage about addressing climate change, among other things. These are very different missions and energies, and I see value in each.
Pagan Pride Day only works if there are pagans there to talk to. The public and the press are invited, and it’s all about people seeing that pagans are people, and not the weird stereotypes or caricatures that they might have in their head. No one voice speaks for all pagans; we have no hierarchy. It’s an organic community, like a meadow; meadows have perennials, annuals, grasses, bushes, vines, trees, etc. We have pagans that have been raised by pagans, others who are “converts.” Some love tarot, others herbs. Some are solitary practitioners, some are in covens, others help organize communities of hundreds or thousands of members. Animists, pantheists, even some atheists and agnostics that identify as pagans.
One of the things I love to show people at PPD is that there is no one right way to be pagan, that there are a couple of things they mostly agree on (the Earth is sacred, we mostly find cultural appropriation distasteful, and if you’re not hurting anyone, do what you want), but that beyond that, part of why I remained pagan when I grew up is that no priest or book tells me what to do, what to wear, how to live.
If you’re pagan, please come to Pagan Pride next Saturday in Northampton and be one of many voices, showing the many ways people can be pagan.
If you’re not pagan, come join the fun and learn more about what it means to be pagan.

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