i just saw ur post and noticed you mentioned church. are u religious? if so what religion? and i know you're lgbt as well so do u have any religious trauma? just asking as im lgbt and religious as well and i get shamed for it because i always say that i don't have trauma :(
hi there! yes i am! i am a christian, and have been my whole life, no matter what i told others (there was a period in my life where my friends said they were atheists and i kinda lied about being atheist lol)
and i totally relate to the not having religious trauma. obviously everyone is different, but my church, community and parents were all very very supportive and positive influences. there was no "you can't do that", "god doesnt approve", "you'll go to hell for that" kind of talk. my parents were always open with the fact that my body was mine to do with as i please (although my step dad liked to tease me that he'd kick my ass if i got a tongue piercing like my older sister lol). i wasn't forced to go to church every weekend, and was allowed to stay home, and this wasn't just my parents, this was my church as well. i was told that i would be accepted no matter my gender identity, sexual identity, or ability. i was apart of the family, and i was my dad's daughter, even though i am not biologically his, and there was never a mention of my birth father or my dad being my stepdad at church as i'd been going to that church since i was a baby.
they never forced christianity on me, but allowed me to find my own way in it. they encouraged certain things, like joining the choir and youth group, and hanging out with my church friends, but never forced me.
when i found out i was pregnant, i was worried that support would go away, but it didn't. i told my youth leaders, and they were so happy for me. eventually, i decided to have my baby shower there, and my pastor was so encouraging and supportive, and even asked if he could make an announcement about it before the sermon, and after, i didn't get one negative comment.
i never felt the need to come out because of this. that may sound weird, but what i mean is that i didn't have to be in the closet, and i didn't have to make myself sick about them not accepting me, bc i knew they would. i wore my necklace that andrew got me that said Florence on it (for florence pugh) and when one of the older ladies asked me about it i just said 'it's an actress that i have a crush on' she was so accepting and asked if she'd know her from anything. turns out she had seen Outlaw King with her nephew and we talked about how beautiful and kind she was.
when i changed my pronouns, i didn't tell anyone that i changed them, i just started correcting people when i was feeling more they/them than she/her. i'd just say 'actually, i feel more they/them today. i do still identify as she/her, but would prefer she/they' and that was that. no fuss or anything, and now if i'm not there (like if someones asking my aunt about me) they just use they them.
it is important to talk about religious trauma because it is severely damaging and someone should not have trauma from trying to be who they are on the inside, but we also need to erase the bias that every non straight, non cisgender person has religious trauma, because it's not true. that being said, if you're reading this and you have religious trauma, heres some resources:
please feel free to talk to me about religion and god, don't feel like you have to hide. any posts where i discuss religion will be tagged with #tw religion #tw god #tw god mention #tw church and #tw christianity. i love and accept you all <3
Vent/Rant post about Witchtok idk
Tw: CSA/Grooming mention
((TLDR: Witchtok seemed fun at first but pretty soon showed a very ugly side of itself that puts kids in danger. Meanwhile 'experienced' witches are out there are putting dangerous misinformation about religious practices. +Also a personal rant about how this whole thing has put me off from talking about my own practices with Pan.))
I've been a somewhat active "tiktoker" for a few months. I only really posted videos of my artwork and whatnot to sort of gain some traction and sell commissions, which was great! I met a lot of really cool people, and made some really sweet friends within the small community of artists on tiktok... And then I found the Witchtok tag.
At first I was uniquely excited, it was really cool to see other witches actively show off how proud they were of their craft and their religious practices. I saw lots of pretty good advice, and for me at least, it was absolutely wonderful to see how different and unique each person experienced their craft. I feel stupid now in hindsight for thinking this, but I genuinely felt something with how fun and welcoming Witchtok seemed to be.
And then all of sudden it became a fucking train wreck. There are lots of things wrong with Witchtok: Cultural appropriation, online harassment, misinformation, people throwing around hexing accusations with no proof, etc etc. A lot of really dumb shit. At first I was able to ignore it, because surely people will be smart enough to do their own research and not trust some random person on tiktok about entire religions, right? And then I realized how dumb I was for thinking that. There are people on Witchtok touting themselves as being experienced witches who are experts in everything spiritual, and beginning practitioners are going to naturally look up to them as positions of authority to consult on matters that they might not even be in the position to be consultants of. So many of these people are actual children too, and its become a very scary situation with how out of control it has become. I think the breaking point for me was the issues surrounding that,,, "Medusa" tiktoker who began trying to groom minors for illicit photos. I just couldn't do it anymore with Witchtok, that was too much. It already hurt a lot to see so many experienced witches actively condemn and shame children for not knowing better, but that entire thing just proved to me that too many people within the Witchtok community DO NOT CARE about protecting or educating each other. They all just want to one up each other in this imaginary game of who's the most correct, meanwhile AN ONLINE CULT WAS LITERALLY BEGINNING TO FORM, I'M JUST,, AT A LOSS FOR WORDS.
There's so much to unpack, especially from my perspective as a Hellenic Pagan who's worshiping Pan. I'm going to get quite personal but it's been on my mind and I need to share it for my own sake. Up until recent events, I was beginning to consider participating in the Witchtok community because I really do enjoy sharing things about my path, especially my relationship with Pan. I love sharing the things that I learn, and I want to record all of it as I go, so that one day I can look back and see how far I've come in my journey. My time with Pan has not only helped me grow spiritually, but my overall outlook on the world around me has changed for the better. To illustrate better what I mean by this, I am a CSA survivor, and for most of my life, sex fulfilment and healthy love were things I fundamentally believed I didn't deserve. By the time I approached adulthood, I had already accepted that I would never be able to enjoy sex or feel the kind of love I wanted. Pan at this point has obviously proven me wrong. He helped work through my trauma, he taught me that sex can not only be safe but exciting, and he showed me that my body isn't something to be ashamed of. Needless to say, my relationship with a deity heavily associated with sex and fertility is OBVIOUSLY intimate.
So it really fucking hurts when I see my fellow pagan peers tell me that my relationship with Pan isn't real, and that my practices based on tradition that I spent MONTHS researching before I started is just me being a 'stupid baby witch.' Or worse when people tell me that I should FEAR my God, my God who has done nothing but treat me with kindness and love throughout my entire time with him. Or even worse, when people who think that because they read up on a little mythology, they can tell me my God is a r*pist, and that I'm wrong for having a close and friendly bond with him. It's almost laughable how so much of what Witchtok considers to be "the right way to worship deities" is exactly what Pan would've hated if I behaved the way they deem to be correct.
Pan would HATE it if I was never friendly and comfortable around him. He is known for having a unique sense of humor, why wouldn't his followers be able to do the same? Obviously there are boundaries, but any deity including Pan will set up said boundaries when necessary. He loves when his followers are silly and playful! He loves when we explore ourselves in ways that are happy and healthy, whether spiritually, sexually, or physically! He loves when we let ourselves loosen up and forget about our chains, even for just a moment! If I talked at all about my practices with him I can guarantee Witchtok would eat me alive. To be honest, I wouldn't put it past them if the collective opinion of Witchtok was that he's dead because it says so in myth.
In retrospect, I'm very glad I chose to stay away from Witchtok, not only would I not be welcome, but children are watching. I feel like not enough people are thinking of that, and that's terrifying. I can't imagine how guilty I'd feel if I put something out there that was misinformed, or even DANGEROUS, and kids were seeing it. I just couldn't bear it. As an artist I'll continue to post videos on tiktok exclusively about my art, but I can't in good conscience post anything there regarding my religious practices. Which honestly saddens me, so much of my practice involves me drawing and painting works involving what Pan looks like to me, and I would've loved to show off that artwork had it not been for the absolute shit show I've been exposed to.
So in conclusion, Witchtok is fuckin yikes man.