Hey, Pagan Pride: I've got a suggestion.

A web-search for Twin Cities Pagan Pride turned up (in more than one location) the following lead sentence.

"Pagan Pride is a free fall event, open to the public, that offers education about Paganism to the larger community."

With all due praise to the local Pride committee—who work their butts off every year to offer to pagan and cowan alike a beautiful event in a sacred place, an event that we can truly be proud of—I'd like to suggest a gentle rewrite.

Whether or not such a thing as a unified “Paganism” ever existed anywhere but in the minds of those who hated the Old Ways, I very much doubt. It didn't exist then, it doesn't exist now, and (thank gods), it never will exist. This fact is encoded, genetic: the very nature of the “pagan” religions, new and old alike, militates against such a unity.

“Paganism” isn't an “-ism.” “Pagan” is a descriptor, an identity perhaps: a way of talking about something that already exists, not a thing in and of itself.

So here's my suggestion for an opening that's truer to lived Pagan reality:

"Pagan Pride is a free fall event, open to the public, that offers education about the New Pagan religions to the larger community."

My thanks and praise to the Pride committee both here in the Twin Cities and everywhere else for all the hard and (pagans being pagans) vastly under-appreciated work that you do. Truly, you're an inspiration to us all.

Let me just mention that at the last few Prides down at Minnehaha Falls, I've noticed something interesting: with lots of pagans and cowans (that's Pagan for “non-pagans”) walking around, there's no trouble at all to tell which is which. Even the cowans (you can tell) notice. You can see them thinking: Who are these people?

It isn't just the beards, the tee-shirts, or the jewelry. There's something indefinably different about us. The style? The way we carry ourselves? Our very "thereness"?

I'm still trying to figure it out.

See you at Paganicon.