I’ve been hiding and hidden. My family pretty much knows, but hers didn’t ever. Her family didn’t know about her, nor about me … and there were lots of aspects of her life that I didn’t feel welcome in, too. I rarely got to visit her at work, and she didn’t have any pictures of me on her desk, I know. But, I also avoided putting anything on my website that suggested we were living together or that we were pagan, because her family might have read that stuff.
My family wouldn’t care really one way or the other. My mother thought it was amusing that she wouldn’t tell her mother about living with me. My mother’s done things that I don’t even dream of doing, so she’s hard to shock or surprise.
For me, I don’t talk about it much with my family because I don’t feel that close to them. I mean they are familiar, but it’s complicated to be open and revealed to them.
She pretty much outed me to one of my little brothers the night before we broke up without seeming to care if I minded or not, which I thought was a little strange given how tightly held she was for family. It didn’t really matter to me that she did, but it was a little surprising. But, I also talked to my mother about the spiral dances and the BCWC visioning, so she pretty much knows, if not all the details. She said, “So, is witchcamp a thing where only people who are witches go; or, is it a place where anyone comes?” And, I said, “Well, I’m sure anyone could come, but really the people that go to witchcamp aren’t just checking it out.” So, I didn’t really come out and say I was a witch, but she’s a pretty smart person and has to have by that point figured it out given all the stuff I talk about.
I once was in a discussion group about LGBT issues in grad school and when the others in that conversation said that I didn’t know what it was like to be in the closet I got to tell them about how she and I were secretly living together because she thought her mother would disown her if we were found out; that she would not be allowed to stay in contact with her siblings.
When I visited her in MN, we couldn’t kiss or hardly be alone in the same room together because of the charade and her mother. Of course, as it turns out, one of her younger sister is now openly living with her boyfriend, well, they are engaged, but not married.
It was always in the back of my mind that if she really thought we’d be together that she’d have been willing to tell her mom, but that she kept it secret in part because she didn’t think it would last; in spite of what she said to me about it. But, that’s pretending I can mind-read, and that’s not really a helpful way of thinking; then, or now.