One of the most asked about topics I receive in e-mails is the process of telling family and friends about being Wiccan. Often referred to as coming out of the broom closet it can be a difficult decision to make. Do you express your beliefs or keep them to yourself? Ultimately the only person who can make this choice is you. My goal is to help by laying out the options.
The very first step in this process is determining if Wicca is 100% the right path for you. Coming out when you aren't completely sure can lead to issues down the line. Wait until your positive this is the path you want to lead.
Those who do choose to be Wiccan and feel it will be their lifetime religion have some thinking to do. There are benefits to being out. Many Wiccans (like myself) choose to wear jewelry with symbols of their faith, we also can talk openly about rituals (and holidays) and even have the ability to display an altar. Wiccans who remain "in the closet" aren't always able to participate in the examples above.
Some practitioners only choose to tell selected people in their lives, such as close friends, just a sibling or one parent. The degree that you want to be "out" is really up to you. Think carefully about who you decide to trust.
Why even worry about coming out? There are people and religious groups who aren't open minded enough to recognize that Wicca is a positive path. This bias can cause friction and stress. Conflicts can arise between classmates, teachers, a boss at work, and sometimes a practitioner's own parents.
There aren't short cuts, magical answers or ways to prevent disagreements. If you come out, you may experience these difficulties but there is hope because many Wiccans are "out" and lead successful lives. As awareness is built about this legitimate path then so too will the tolerance level.
For more information on the this topic, I suggest you pick up a copy of my book CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE WITCH I've devoted almost an entire chapter to this debate.