• Lilith Starr

Coming Out as a Satanist: Part Four


This is Part Four of a four-part series in which I interviewed a number of individuals about their Satanic coming out stories. They spoke about their experiences in coming out to friends, family and/or the public about their Satanic identification ─ what made them decide to come out, who they came out to, what consequences they faced, both negative and positive, and what advice they had for others considering coming out. See also: Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.



Rachel H


1. When did you come out as a Satanist?

I came out as a Satanist to my friends about a month ago and I came out to my parents 2 weeks ago.


2. How did you come out as a Satanist? Was it intentional, or were you outed involuntarily?

I decided to tell a few of my close friends at my pool party a month ago that I’m a Satanist because I don’t like keeping secrets from them and felt like they should know. My parents found out that I’m a Satanist because they found out that I rented the Hail Satan documentary and they saw something on my phone about Satanism. They confronted me about it and I admitted that I’m a Satanist.


3. Who have you come out to or been outed to ─ who in your life knows you're a Satanist?

My 4 closest friends Brooke, Johnnie, Monica and Sydney know I’m a Satanist. Also my parents know I’m a Satanist.


4. What prompted you to come out?

I came out to my friends because I don’t like keeping secrets from them and felt like they should know. I came out to my parents because they found out and I was forced to come out. They found out because they went through my phone like the paranoid helicopter parents they are and found out that I’m a Satanist.


5. Do you use a pseudonym for your Satanic activities? If so, why? Do you use separate social media accounts for your Satanic activities?

I call myself a TST Satanist but I just think of my Satanic activities as fighting against religious authority and bigotry as well as activism. I am following The Satanic Temple on Facebook and finding out about what fellow Satanists and TST are doing. I have a Satanic Instagram account where I post about TST and Satanic memes. Also I’m part of a Satanist chat room on amino where I talk with fellow Satanists.


6. Did coming out affect your relationship with your family, your partner and/or your children, and if so how?

Coming out didn’t affect my relationship with my friends at all because they are very accepting. Coming out did affect with my relationship with my parents. After they found out and I admitted that I’m a Satanist, they got really mad and said I’m joining a terrorist group even though it’s not. They won’t listen to me when I try to explain what TST is and keep saying that social media is having a negative influence on me. I lied to them about not being a Satanist anymore so they are not angry at me. I will keep this part of me a secret from them and do a better job of hiding this part of me to still maintain a good relationship with my parents.


7. Did coming out affect your relationship with your work colleagues, and if so how?

I don’t have a job but coming out didn’t affect my relationship with my friends from school or my teachers.


8. What serious repercussions (losing your job, losing child custody, being cut off by family members, threats of violence, etc.) did you face (or might face) as a result of coming out as a Satanist?

My parents threatened me by saying that they could take my phone away and not pay for my college education if I continue being a Satanist. I’m also scared that if my grandparents find out I’m a Satanist, then that could permanently destroy our relationship since they are extremely religious. I don’t think they would threaten me but they would probably either ignore me, scream at me, preach their religion nonstop or a combination of the 3.


9. What positive changes did you experience in your life after coming out?

After I came out I felt better and more confident in myself since I am not hiding this part of me from most of the people closest to me. This makes me feel better about myself. Now I can talk to my closest friends about TST and my experiences being a Satanist.


10. What advice might you give someone who wants to come out? Do you have any tips on dealing with misunderstanding and discrimination?

To someone who wants to come out I’d say don’t come out if you live in an extremely religious environment and it’s not safe to do so. If you do live in a safe environment, then come out when you are ready. There is no rush to coming out. First plan what you are going to say and how you are going to come out. Then come out to the people closest to you. I recommend coming out to friends first. You should do a good job of explaining to people what TST is and clarify any misconceptions. If you deal with discrimination then sue whoever is discriminating against you, because this goes against the civil rights act of 1963 which made it illegal to discriminate based on religion as well as other things.



Gavin Hoffman


1. When did you come out as a Satanist?

I haven’t really had to “come out” ─ my belief system has never really been questioned by anyone, nor has it ever been a topic of conversation. It’s fairly obvious upon meeting me where I stand when it comes to religion.


2. How did you come out as a Satanist? Was it intentional, or were you outed involuntarily?

See above. I’ve been interested in/a proponent of Satanism for many years, so it’s not really surprising to anyone that I identify as a Satanist (or, if so preferred, a “Hardline Atheist”).


3. Who have you come out to or been outed to ─ who in your life knows you're a Satanist?

Again, it’s very obvious what path I have chosen to almost everyone I know, the exceptions being my co-workers (religion is not a topic to discuss at work) and possibly some extended family members that I haven’t had contact with in decades.


4. What prompted you to come out?

Nothing. I’ve been a staunch opponent of religion since my late teens.


5. Do you use a pseudonym for your Satanic activities? If so, why? Do you use separate social media accounts for your Satanic activities?

There is no need. I am who I am and I do what I do. The only reason I would have to use any kind of cloak for my personal activities would be to not indirectly associate myself and my interests to the company I am employed by.


6. Did coming out affect your relationship with your family, your partner and/or your children, and if so how?

Nope. My wife is agnostic, and my children are too young to understand. The only remaining living family members I communicate with are my mother and my sister, and they have no opinion about my personal stance regarding religion and/or Satanism.


7. What serious repercussions (losing your job, losing child custody, being cut off by family members, threats of violence, etc.) did you face (or might face) as a result of coming out as a Satanist?

That’s an interesting question regarding employment. Religion and politics are two things I prefer not to discuss in the workplace, so it’s never been an issue. That said, I am unconcerned about any repercussions from my co-workers, should it ever come up in conversation outside of work.


8. What positive changes did you experience in your life after coming out?

I think I am in a relatively unique place, considering my previous responses. Considering the amount of “Satanic” artwork and symbols I have tattooed on my body, the music I choose to listen to and create, and my demeanor in general, I haven’t ever had to “come out.” With me, you get what you get, and if there is an issue, it can be discussed, but this particular subject has never been broached.


9. What advice might you give someone who wants to come out? Do you have any tips on dealing with misunderstanding and discrimination?

Tough to answer. The way I deal with/have dealt with discrimination is likely very different than what others may experience. At the end of the day, my philosophy is for people to be who they are and behave how they feel, provided no harm is caused to

themselves or others.



Michael Brewer

1. When did you come out as a Satanist?

About a year ago.


2. How did you come out as a Satanist? Was it intentional, or were you outed involuntarily?

It has come up in conversation as well as connections picking up on my social media posts. I made my intentions known about joining TST a while back, so it was definitely intentional, but I don't go wave a Satanic flag in people's faces (except when the Christian flag is waved in mine) ─ but I also don't hide who I am.


3. Who have you come out to or been outed to ─ who in your life knows you're a Satanist?

Family, friends, and co-workers.


4. What prompted you to come out?

I've been an out as an atheist since middle school and have been known to be very vocal about it. I refuse to be a doormat for Christian privilege. In fact, being a public atheist attracted its fair share of misery when I was enlisted in the Marine Corps. I remember writing "atheist" in the blank on the paperwork you receive at boot camp that requests your religion and receiving identification tags stating I was non-denominational Christian. When I had the opportunity to stamp my own and placed "ATHEIST" on it, I subsequently had it ripped from my neck during an inspection. I've resisted forced prayer during formations and been forced to speak with Naval chaplains. During this experience I found that my ability to not back down and be quiet led to others not feeling alone and even finding their own voice. Yes, Virginia ─ there are Atheists (and Satanists) in foxholes. So it's one part being a rebel and fighting tyranny and it's one part helping others either battle that loneliness that stems from being in the fringes or to pick up the Satanic standard and carry it into battle beside me.


5. Do you use a pseudonym for your Satanic activities? If so, why? Do you use separate social media accounts for your Satanic activities?

I do not, though I dig a lot of the pseudonyms out there. I completely understand the why behind it, and since I am married and have children, I've thought about it, but I'm spoiled by my white, straight, male privilege and would find it exhausting to try to separate my identity and juggle accounts.


6. Did coming out affect your relationship with your family, your partner and/or your children, and if so how?

My partner is an atheist, but she sure doesn't like it when I express parts of my identity that could cause friction between her and her friends, family, and co-workers. We have a standing arrangement (predating my conversion to Satanism) to approve any incoming friend requests from her peeps for this reason. For my children, it's just a natural evolution of my atheism.


7. Did coming out affect your relationship with your work colleagues, and if so how?

I actually work at a fairly progressive company, so co-workers haven't expressed anything nor has anything changed in the way they communicate. I should note that work remotely, so for the most part have very little interaction with my co-workers.


I've definitely received some "come to Jesus" conversations from religious friends who were tolerant of me being an atheist, but freaked the hell out when I began posting all this Satanic stuff. It's been a hard road of education and I've lost some acquaintances from my friends list, but no one I miss. Surprisingly, I've also received some ignorant responses from atheist cohorts. I attribute it to suffering [brainwashing] from artifacts of the Satanic Panic of the 80s and operating under the impression that Satanists actually worship some deity.


8. What serious repercussions (losing your job, losing child custody, being cut off by family members, threats of violence, etc.) did you face (or might face) as a result of coming out as a Satanist?

As I mentioned before, I suffer from large amounts of privilege, and my repercussions are most likely far less than other Satanic sisters, brothers, and nonbinares might suffer. I work remotely for a progressive company. My spouse and children are on board. My family can deal; I don't care if they approve or not ─ besides, the last 30 years I've been out as an atheist with all of them. I'm not the Incredible Hulk, but my physical presence and flesh color usually means people do not threaten me with violence (and if they did, my background lends itself to dealing with such things). I even live remotely in Montana where neighbors are few and far between ... but I'd probably get a few chiding words if I wore a Satanic shirt out into town. We'll see what happens if we can ever muster enough Satanists into doing a public social gathering.


9. What positive changes did you experience in your life after coming out?

I'm not sure a lot changed, but what cannot be undersold is not suffering from the anxiety of having to lie or hide my identity, thoughts, and feelings. I do the same stuff I have been doing for the last 30 years, but now officially belonging to an organization of like-minded individuals and applying pressure to seek equality in Christian supremacy is pretty positive.


10. What advice might you give someone who wants to come out? Do you have any tips on dealing with misunderstanding and discrimination?

I honestly feel that the more people are being open about being a Satanist, the faster things will change for the better. That being said, in today's political climate, repercussions can be harsh and personal safety must be evaluated. If you have loved ones you share a space with or who are vulnerable, you need to take that into consideration and they should be the first ones you talk to, if you haven't already. Ask them for their input, letting them know about potential risks to themselves.


As far as dealing with misunderstanding, you have to remain calm in the face of the sort of insanity that religion fosters. Be prepared to calmly state in facts what Satanism is and that ritual baby sacrifice is just a myth, but under no circumstance accept discrimination. Record, post, litigate if necessary.



Cecily Hecate


1. When did you come out as a Satanist?

Early 2018. I began attending meetings with the Albany, NY chapter of The Satanic Temple and what is now Western New York Friends of The Satanic Temple. Prior to this I was simply lurking in Facebook groups and talking with a few friends that had some facets of being in Satanism and/or Left Hand Path.


2. How did you come out as a Satanist? Was it intentional, or were you outed involuntarily?

During early 2018 I was also coming to understand my transgender nature and seeking to pursue medically-assisted physical transition; I was not only coming out as Satanic but also coming out as transgender and pansexual. Satanic fundamentals allowed me a confidence that enabled my gender transition; the timing of coming out as Satanic and gay is more than coincidence. I incorporated Satanic icons into my appearance at the same time that I started to change my gendered appearance. For example, I commissioned my first two tattoos at the same time: the popular sigils for Lilith (sometimes seen amongst transgender women) and Lucifer. An early partner gifted me a Baphomet necklace pendant that I wore almost daily.


I didn’t jump up on a metaphorical soap box and announce to the world that I aligned with Satanism; however I did, and still do, wear a lot of icons that reference Satanism. In the beginning I was fearful of social retribution for being outed as a Satanist, but the icons I wore were typically too abstract for most to identify the Satanic reference. For example, few people outside of Satanism recognize my Baphomet necklace or sigil of Lucifer. I enjoy this balance of wearing a lot of overt Satanic references but not having the general public immediately recognize the significance.


3. Who have you come out to or been outed to ─ who in your life knows you're a Satanist?

All of my partners. Most of my friends because of access to my Facebook information. My parents. My ex-spouse.


4. What prompted you to come out?

Coming out as transgender was the most frightening and destructive experience of my life. I came out as Satanic for protection — if someone was going to throw hate at me, I would much rather someone hate me for being Satanic over hating me for being transgender. If I dressed in Satanic themes, then it was easy to pawn off my non-normative gendered appearance as being “goth,” which is more significantly more socially palatable than being trans.


5. Do you use a pseudonym for your Satanic activities? If so, why? Do you use separate social media accounts for your Satanic activities?

Yes, to protect my family. I accept that I’ll deal with hate for being Satanic, but I don’t wish for that hate to be targeted at others near me.


6. Did coming out affect your relationship with your family, your partner and/or your children, and if so how?

My parents intentionally raised me without religion; not atheist, rather just an absence of religious reference. My mother has been sincerely inquisitive about my Satanism; my father is quietly neutral.


My ex-spouse was distressed when I first announced that I was Satanic; that was the only time I mentioned it. Out of respect for my ex-spouse who has legal custody of our children, I haven’t announced my Satanism to the children and am not expecting to for a long time.


7. Did coming out affect your relationship with your work colleagues, and if so how?

No. I work closely with US military and federal agencies, and so far they have been very protective of civil rights. I’ve had good conversations with other theistic co-workers about philosophical and social topics.


8. What serious repercussions (losing your job, losing child custody, being cut off by family members, threats of violence, etc.) did you face (or might face) as a result of coming out as a Satanist?

Difficult to say as I came out as transgender during the same time; being labeled as transgender has been very destructive and often a physical security risk.


9. What positive changes did you experience in your life after coming out?

Coming out as Satanic gave me the moral confidence to come out as transgender and pansexual. Since then I’ve been able to move off of being dependent on a daily regimen of psychiatric medications, and actually begin to find pleasure in life. I cannot do justice to how positively profound exploring a Satanic philosophy has been for me.


10. What advice might you give someone who wants to come out? Do you have any tips on dealing with misunderstanding and discrimination?

However one chooses to come out, they should do it with confidence; a confident air can help deter potential hecklers. If one finds themselves the target of unwanted attention, strive to remove emotion from the situation and deescalate; “no” is the most powerful tool anyone will have.


Satanism is no less “right” or “wrong” than any other religion. Do not fall into the trappings of imagining one’s beliefs to be superior than another. Equality — no-one’s beliefs are invalid no matter how absurd they may appear relative to another.



Charles Hamel


1. When did you come out as a Satanist?

I came out as following The Satanic Temple to my Mom on January 28th, 2019.


2. How did you come out as a Satanist? Was it intentional, or were you outed involuntarily?

I came out to my mom through email and then we discussed it personally later. As far as everyone else, it was just me being open on Facebook.


3. Who have you come out to or been outed to ─ who in your life knows you're a Satanist?

So far, my mom and my aunt knows for sure. I'm sure everyone knows but haven't talked to me yet.


4. What prompted you to come out?

I've always been the type of person that whenever I personally identify with something, I wear it on my sleeve; and that was so when I found myself really connecting with Satanism. I intend to just be myself unapologetically.


5. Do you use a pseudonym for your Satanic activities? If so, why? Do you use separate social media accounts for your Satanic activities?

Nope! I'm a firm believer in not hiding your horns because if other religions like Christianity can spread their religion without trouble, then as a Satanist I should do the same!


6. Did coming out affect your relationship with your family, your partner and/or your children, and if so how?

Nope! At first my mom was very hostile to it and didn't understand, but we have now gotten to the point where we can talk about it freely.


7. Did coming out affect your relationship with your work colleagues, and if so how?

So far, nothing yet! I don't actually work but I am a full time student and while I was in high school I did a video on Satanism and had no negative repercussions. I also wear a pentagram necklace and a TST pin and so far, no negative repercussions from that.


8. What serious repercussions (losing your job, losing child custody, being cut off by family members, threats of violence, etc.) did you face (or might face) as a result of coming out as a Satanist?

Nothing yet! Fingers crossed, knock on wood that that stays the same.


9. What positive changes did you experience in your life after coming out?

A lot, actually. As I have continued learning about Satanism, I have found myself being more free. I have gotten a more "damn the world" attitude, I have become more at peace with my weight as I have learned that gluttony is encouraged, and other things like that.


10. What advice might you give someone who wants to come out? Do you have any tips on dealing with misunderstanding and discrimination?

Well, the first thing I would say is only come out if you feel safe to do so. I have the privilege of having an understanding, liberal mother. Many others do not. If you have already come out and they're not taking it well, try and teach them as much as you can. Keep your emotions at a low because that will help lower the other's emotions and make the both of you think logically.



Hadrian Flyte

1. When did you come out as a Satanist?

2018 publicly, but it was the conclusion of a lifetime of infernal inclinations.


2. How did you come out as a Satanist? Was it intentional, or were you outed involuntarily?

Coming out was voluntary and not exactly an announcement. People started connecting the dots of my interests and trends and before anyone knew, I was wearing a cheeky Satanic holiday sweater to parties.


3. Who have you come out to or been outed to ─ who in your life knows you're a Satanist?

Most of my friends, and many of my colleagues as well. I'm not at all subtle and now that I'm co-organizing a TST Friends Of group it doesn't pay to keep things under wraps.

My parents also know.


4. What prompted you to come out?

I came out to my parents somewhat abruptly as my father was going through classes to convert to Catholicism. We're on good terms but I felt moved to clear the air about my intentions and beliefs and that followed through with everyone else.


Theistic religion was not my bag and I was tired of being held to a standard codified within theistic tradition.


5. Do you use a pseudonym for your Satanic activities? If so, why? Do you use separate social media accounts for your Satanic activities?

I've attempted to but my byline is my brand. I came from journalism where your name is connected to what people know about you.


I've tried to use a pseudonym and may broaden its use if things get hectic, but I feel part of Satanism as actual alternative to theistic practice is embracing it as part of my core identity. I am a Satanist and a friend, child, and co-worker. I am a Satanist and this is my name.

Of course I have no trouble believing the necessity many have for using an alternative name. If I was less stubborn from the start, I probably would have adopted one, but now I'm on this path.


There's nothing shameful, bad, or cowardly about using a pseudonym and I want to be clear on that point.


6. Did coming out affect your relationship with your family, your partner and/or your children, and if so how?

Not so much. I'm known for being contrarian and showy. Coming out as a Satanist didn't really surprise anyone. Now if I'd gone from being blisteringly blasphemous and atheistic to theistic Satanism, that would have been concerning for people I know.


7. Did coming out affect your relationship with your work colleagues, and if so how?

Not really. Same as the above, I'm known to be performative. If anything, it's allowed some to engage with me on a different level, like they finally have a clue to a puzzle.


8. What serious repercussions (losing your job, losing child custody, being cut off by family members, threats of violence, etc.) did you face (or might face) as a result of coming out as a Satanist?

Nothing truly serious, though friends I know who are extremely religious aren't as fond of me. They weren't fond of my coming out as transgender either so can I really count on them as friends?


I haven't told my grandparents because the news would actually hurt them, or at least my grandmother. I'd rather not burden her with anything else as her health declines.


9. What positive changes did you experience in your life after coming out?

Freedom from expectation. Our lives are dictated by religious practice more than we realize, and not participating in that eases a great deal of pressure. On a personal level I feel my life has more direction and I can be more honest about my motivations and problems.


Personal accountability is paramount when you walk this path.


10. What advice might you give someone who wants to come out? Do you have any tips on dealing with misunderstanding and discrimination?

My experience with coming out as transgender and as a Satanist are linked to my sense of self. You need to know who you are. When you can express who you are freely and confidently, the world bends around you to some extent.


Prejudice and injustice will continue to happen and I'm sure I'll meet my fair share of it going forward, but I can meet it with the confidence that I own my identity. You can wear anything, be anything, work toward anything if you cultivate the confidence to do so.

So the first step for any life-changing or public image-shifting step you take is first owning the experience.





Natalie Freshour


1. When did you come out as a Satanist?

My close friends have known for a few years, but I came out officially last year.


2. How did you come out as a Satanist? Was it intentional, or were you outed involuntarily?

I was dropping pretty obvious hints and then our local chapter did a Black Mass, and the non-profit dog rescue that I run was one of the beneficiaries of the pet food drive associated with the event. At that point, friends, family, and supporters started to put it together.


3. Who have you come out to or been outed to ─ who in your life knows you're a Satanist?

I'm pretty open about my beliefs on social media, so most of my friends and family know at this point.


4. What prompted you to come out?

I found a local TST chapter and finally felt a sense of community I had never felt before. I was proud of what TST was doing for the community, and was happy to be a part of it.


5. Do you use a pseudonym for your Satanic activities? If so, why? Do you use separate social media accounts for your Satanic activities?

I had considered a pseudonym, but decided against it. My personal social media accounts include my Satanic activities, my business and non-profit accounts do not.


6. Did coming out affect your relationship with your family, your partner and/or your children, and if so how?

I'm not very close to most of my family, but no one has come to me with concerns. I'm guessing it wasn't a shock to anyone. I don't have a partner, but it has not negatively affected dating.


7. Did coming out affect your relationship with your work colleagues, and if so how?

Luckily, I work for myself, so I haven't had to worry about the work aspect too much. I've had several clients ask me about being a Satanist, but they have all been pretty receptive after I explained why I chose this path.


8. What serious repercussions did you face (or might face) as a result of coming out?

Sadly, my non-profit organization did lose a few supporters and was criticized for our involvement in the Black Mass.


9. What positive changes did you experience in your life after coming out?

The positive changes have definitely outweighed the negative. I find that I live my life a little differently in order to follow the Seven Fundamental Tenets and that has brought personal peace. I've met some of the most amazing people from all over the country, and I've gained quite a bit of support for my organization, which is now run almost completely by Satanists.


10. What advice might you give someone who wants to come out? Do you have any tips on dealing with misunderstanding and discrimination?

At the end of the day, coming out isn't going to change the person you are. I've been involved in non-profit work for most of my life, but realized there would still be people who were going to judge me based on my beliefs despite knowing my character. I knew coming out was going to make me happy and I wanted to finally be comfortable being me. Coming out has sparked a lot of really great conversations between myself and those who didn't understand Satanism, which has helped people open their minds a bit. My advice to those wanting to come out: do you. Do what makes you happy and you'll have a whole community of people backing you up; we're not hard to find.


[Thanks to Jason Lloyd for the editing assistance!]


< See Part 1

< See Part 2

< See Part 3


Lilith Starr is a Satanic writer and the author of "The Happy Satanist: Finding Self-Empowerment." She founded the Satanic Temple - Seattle Chapter in 2014 and served as its Chapter Head for four years.

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