• Lilith Starr

Coming Out as a Satanist: Part Three

Updated: Jan 21

This is Part Three of a four-part series where individuals speak about their experiences in coming out as Satanists ─ how and why they came out; who they came out to; what the consequences have been, both negative and positive; whether they use a pseudonym and/or separate Satanic social media accounts; and what tips they have for others who are considering their own Satanic coming out. See also: Part One, Part Two, and Part Four.


Mel Michael


1. When did you come out as a Satanist?

I think I've always known since I was a kid but couldn't actually define it until I came across Lucien Greaves' TST philosophy last year. I was raised very religious by my parents who identified with The Latter Day Saints and Methodist churches. But I never felt comfortable going to these churches and actually loathed it every time we had to. I tried to make it a positive experience by justifying my attendance with the fact that we participated in a few youth group activities (our conservative upbringing also meant that we were not really allowed to go to non-religious friend's homes or playdates etc). That was one of the few times we could just be kids and 'have fun'.


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

I don't really advertise it as I am quite a private person anyway. Just like my sexual orientation, if I feel comfortable with the party/ies in a relevant conversation, then I am happy to state my belief system.


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

I have never had to state it to my family or very close friends, as they've always known I was a humanist with an atheist bent. They do not recognise any concepts outside of their religious beliefs, so they do not ask me about mine. They love me for who I am and not what I choose to believe in (even though it is very much a part of who I am lol). I am very vocal about my aversion to any organised religion though, especially of the Abrahamic variety. So they would rather avoid that topic of conversation altogether as they find my ideas upsetting. For instance, my stance on being pro-choice with abortion rights is totally against their beliefs. They know how I feel about it. I know how they feel about it. It does not make us love each other any less. Tolerance is key to maintaining a healthy relationship with each other. A few parents at my child's school avoid us like the plague. But that's okay, as it weeds out intolerant people from our life and that's a positive in my books!


4. What prompted you to come out?

I do not feel like it was a 'coming out' of sorts as I am generally quite an upfront person. So if it comes up, I will happily converse about it. If it doesn't, then it doesn't. Although I must admit, I do get a kick out of the reactions sometimes. I am one of those conservatively-dressed, librarian-looking single mothers who have everything in its place. I am always gifting baked goodies, and wearing very feminine, pastel/light-coloured dresses. Always up for a coffee, hug or a shoulder to cry on. People have joked that I am like a 'Stepford Mom'. So when someone eventually finds out that I am Satanist, the facial response is gold. I can literally see them utterly confused or in disbelief, trying to reconcile that with their perception of 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?

Nope. I am what I am. Take it or leave it, I don't care.


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

My ex partner was a narcissist. Being Satanic actually snapped me out of that awful rollercoaster ride and I am thankful for that. It also helps me co-parent without hate or bitterness, and he respects that side of me now. My family would love me even if I turned out to be a serial killer. My parents and I make it a policy to love without conditions. It has taken a long time to get to this point and that's partially due to my Satanic beliefs. Our bond is stronger than ever.


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

It hasn't really come up in many work conversations but I think that's mostly because I work from home for a company, so I only chat to colleagues via messenger and it's mainly about work funnily enough! I think I have only told two of my colleagues and they still happily chat with me when we're on the same shift together, so I don't think they hold it against me!


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?

I am very fortunate not to have experienced any negativity, other than from fellow judgemental parents from my child's school who opt not to associate with our family (which is a blessing in itself trust me).


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

My life is blessed with so many wonderful things that it's ALL positive. Being Satanist hasn't had any significant effect on my life other than being able to finally define my belief system that resonates with my values and lifestyle. My child is also being raised this way but there are no hard and fast rules. If my child decides to follow a different path, it will not affect my love or respect for them.


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

I can only speak about what has felt right for my situation. I do not try to 'defend' Satanism at all, as I feel that demeans the basic tenets of what it is about for me. Haters are going to hate, no matter what you say or do. It is their purpose. It is not my job to change their minds about Satanism. But if they would like an opportunity to be enlightened on the subject, then sure I am happy to engage. However I cannot give oxygen to people who just want to grandstand/humiliate me or my family because they cannot allow for other perspectives. Humans nowadays generally only have so many years to live (if we're lucky), and I just don't have a minute to spare for that kind of toxicity. My time is precious.



Dave Samael MacIntosh


1. When did you come out as a Satanist?

I would say I've shown signs of being pretty dark since I was around 6 years old, but fully came out as a Satanist around July 2018.


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

I firstly came out casually, but made pretty prominent moves shortly after such as announcing to my family that I was creating a new UK Friends of group with a new Satanist friend. They were shocked but happy after I explained the full story of TST to them.


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

In the UK it isn't too difficult to come out as a Satanist as we have very strict religious liberty laws here, so this allowed me to not be afraid of who or where I tell that I'm a Satanist. My family knows, my workplace knows and even The Royal Airforce knows as it was an option in my application.


4. What prompted you to come out?

I just wanted to show everyone that I am not scared to show who I really am. I've always been slightly judged for my dark preferences my whole life but this time I'm proud of that and nothing makes me more proud than calling myself a member of TST!


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

To be honest I had only recently adopted a pseudonym for my Facebook and Twitter account. I don't really have a very strong internet footprint leading back to where I live or my family other than Facebook. This is due to me not really staying in one place for a prolonged period of time as I've been kind of a nomad my whole life. I am also confident people on my Facebook are pretty familiar with my dark personality, so I don't have to worry about revealing my Satanic activities.


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

Other than a Jehovah's Witness grandmother who tried and failed to convert me and my late mother to Jehovah, all of my other family accept my choices and are happy for me. I even took them to watch Hail Satan? And they loved it!


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

I've had some pretty interesting lunch breaks feeling like a missionary. I kid but I've had times where I've sat down with colleagues and explained what TST is and why I'm a Satanist and they've actually agreed with me and been curious about Satanism themselves.


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?

The only repercussion I've had so far is my grandmother has cut me out of her will, but she also cut my bisexual sister out of the will as well, so you know what I say to that. F*** you nan!


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

Oh many! I feel like I can truly be myself with no secrets. I have found so many people who have completely changed my world and a couple of people who I hold seriously close and love dearly! I also feel I have the opportunity to do good for the sake of fighting for freedom and religious liberty, if not here in the UK then anywhere that needs us!


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

I would say, know the room before you come out, take it in steps and put feelers out. Or if you seriously don't give an F, then just do what you want, unless it puts yourself at risk, then maybe sugarcoat it a wee bit and know that it's for your own safety. After all, we all want you to be safe.



Sam


1. When did you come out as a Satanist?

I decided to become a Satanist in 2008, ordered a copy of The Satanic Bible through Barnes & Noble, and immediately told my mom, dad and step-mom of my decision. Especially my step-mom.


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

I told my mom, dad and step-mom immediately, and everyone else who knows about it either heard I was a Satanist from someone else and asked me directly about it or I'll mention it when appropriate in conversations. I suppose other people hearing about it would be involuntary but I've never tried to hide it, so I don't mind.


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

Lots of people. I don't go out of my way to tell people my religious beliefs if the topic doesn't come up but I don't hide it either. Even told a few strangers.


4. What prompted you to come out?

My step-mom. Specifically her own religious zealotry. She was the definition of a "Jesus freak" and it drove me absolutely insane. I had always vaguely considered myself a Christian up to that point (both my parents are Christian but we never went to church or anything) and that wasn't good enough for her. So I really thought about my beliefs for the first time and realized I didn't actually believe in God or agree with Christian morals so I went in search of something I did agree with. And found Satanism.

I told her right away mostly just to see her explode. It was quite a show.


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 don't really have any "Satanic activities" but if I did I would not use a separate account. I don't hide my religion and I wouldn't hide activities relating to it either (unless they were inappropriate for a public forum, but then the reason for hiding it would be that it was private, not because it was related to Satanism).


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

It certainly affected my relationship with my step-mom. If she didn't hate me before, she definitely did after. Everyone else had some mild shock and then carried on as normal. Most of them likely assumed it was "just a phase" at first as I was a teenager, but as time passed and I carried on with being a Satanist it changed into plain apathy. I do my thing, they do their thing and we all get along just fine. Nobody cares.

For the record, my step-mom has not been involved in my life for quite some time. She cheated on my dad and they divorced about 7 years ago. So much for being a "good Christian!"


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

No. Never has in any place I've worked. Religion isn't a very big part of retail/office work. I don't participate in Christmas parties at the end of the year but that's about the only impact it has. My coworkers respect my beliefs and I respect theirs.


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?

I suppose it could cause problems if I found myself working under an especially religious boss who was unable to remain impartial when it comes to my employment, but I'm sure a simple chat with HR would clear it up.


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

None. Most people have a neutral reaction to it, a few react negatively and I've never had someone react positively. Although it does make the overly-religious types avoid me, so I guess not having to deal with them is a plus.


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

For coming out, I'd say just do it. Don't make a big announcement or anything, but if the topic comes up during a conversation just be honest. It might get a negative reaction, but you can't please everyone anyways so you might as well be honest about it.

As for discrimination, same advice as I'd give for any other kind of discrimination: ignore it. If it happens at work, report it to HR. If it becomes serious enough, report it to the police (harassment/assault).



Davyd VonDraco

1. When did you come out as a Satanist?

To My friends at the time, when I first identified as a Satanist at the age of 20. (I'm 52 now). To My adoptive mother and niece, a few years later. To My biological sister, a few months ago. Much of the rest of My biological family is still unaware, not because I won't tell them but it's just never come up.


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

Always intentional (so far). Even on FB, I proudly admit My Satanism intentionally, as I've kept My circle of “FB friends” small and including only those people who I was confident would not react too strongly to the news. I even check into hospitals and, when asked what My religious preference is, just say “Satanist.” (I am usually asked to repeat Myself!)


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

As mentioned previously, pretty much everyone is aware of it somewhat. If they aren't then they just haven't been paying attention.


4. What prompted you to come out?

That I was asked? I've rarely felt a need to cover up My religion, though it's not something that I normally emphasize or tell people about unless directly asked or it comes up in conversation. I've only dissembled when admitting My religion would have caused more questions than I was willing to deal with, and always with strangers. With My bio-sister, it was more deliberate, just because I felt that living with her she'd find out eventually and I wanted to let her know as "gently" as I could.


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

Davyd VonDraco. I use that pretty much on the Internet and among friends, so it's not exactly for Satanic activities ONLY. And it's so close to My legal name that it's not a very good alias for hiding My identity­. I just like the name.


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

Not really. My bio-sister had some hesitation with it at first but now We can joke about it. Everyone else I've come out to has either accepted it or agreed to ignore it. Nearly all of My partners have known, and in fact often was one of the reasons they sought Me out. I've no children whom I know of.


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

There was one job I had where I was completely out to all of them. Even the die-hard super conservative Christians didn't have a problem with it. My supervisors knew about it, and even though I was open about it and even capitalized all of My personal pronouns in business emails and letters, they accepted it because I was just that damn good at the job.


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?

I live in a small rural Texas town. I just moved here so I don't know that many people, but those I've come out to so far have been accepting, even curious. I imagine that if I associated with and “came out” to more conservative people, I could certainly face threats of violence. It hasn't happened yet though. The thing that concerns Me is not Myself but the repercussions which My sister (with whom I live) might face, or damage to Our residence.


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

I felt better. I met some very interesting people over the years, some with names that are pretty recognizable in the Satanic community. Most of My friends and lovers have come out of My identification as a Satanist. My life seriously revolves around being a Satanist. It is who I am. It is who I've always been, even before identifying as such. “Coming out” to people just allowed Me to be more authentic around them, to be Myself.


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

It would depend on their situation. I would just tell them My experiences and let them make their own decisions on whether it would be wise for them to admit to being a Satanist to others. Once they come out, though, I'd advise them not to be ashamed of what they are, to be proud of their religion, to not back down or make concessions. Stand proud as a Satanist! Some can't do that, for whatever reason, and I'd never advise anyone to do anything which might prove harmful to themselves or their lives. I do not expect everyone to be in a situation like Mine, where I am able to be open about My beliefs. I do hope that I can be an example to others (both Satanist and otherwise) that We are people with rights and feelings and deserve to be treated fairly and equally.


Patricia Moreno


1. When did you come out as a Satanist?

I came out as a Satanist this year (2019).


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

I used Twitter to initially come out, and gradually started posting more and more information about The Satanic Temple on Facebook where most of my close friends and family post.


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

Everyone. Well, except for my employers. If they get on my Facebook, it's no secret!


4. What prompted you to come out?

I was tired of feeling like I was living a double life. I stayed closeted with regards to my sexual orientation until I was 30, and I wasn't about to do the same thing with my beliefs.


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

No pseudonym.


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

I went through a divorce due to coming out of the Satanic closet. As far as my immediate family, they were a little creeped out at first, but they see a lot of things I post as well as knowing I am a good, kind person.


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

If anyone I work with knows, they haven't said anything to me. However, after coming out to my therapist, I was given a new counselor.


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?

I've had more people bash my sexual orientation more than my beliefs.


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

I have made more friends, and now feel that I'm a part of a community that I've missed out on all my life. I know we all don't agree on everything, but it is comforting to know there is such a community.


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

So far, I haven't had any misunderstandings or discrimination thrown my way, but I'm sure there will be a day I do encounter it. The only way to prepare myself is to be aware of those who don't agree. I'm not recruiting or forcing anyone to believe as I do, and will be ready to ask others to not force their beliefs upon me. Coming out is a personal choice, just as using a pseudonym is. The advice I can give on the subject is to just be wary of backlash, and not to put yourself in harm's way. If you feel safer keeping it private, that's your choice.



PasserbyF


1. When did you come out as a Satanist?

This year. I wouldn't call that coming out, it wasn't a big deal ─ which is why I'm answering the survey, as my experience might be different from most people's.


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

Very casual: I just kept talking about TST, its fight, wits, funny anecdotes and awesome XIXth century dark Romanticism inspirations, and ended up mentioning a few times that I was planning on joining soon.


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

Family, friends and a few colleagues.


4. What prompted you to come out?

Sheer enthusiasm.


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

No, but I might if I ever start living in the US or any oppressive country where such matters could have grave consequences.


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

No, I'm surrounded by decent people. My family is atheistic and my colleagues/friends are mostly science/literature/history/theatre/art students.


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

If anything, it helped me start conversations with colleagues I had wanted to befriend for a long time. I'm very socially awkward: I can't come up with casual banter out of the blue, I need to have a specific subject in mind that I am so excited about that it distracts me from my social anxiety while interacting with people.


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 long as I stay in my country, I don't think I'm risking too much. Besides, we have gun control here.


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

Life is a lot more fun and I am a lot more hopeful about humanity's future. For the first time I saw a movement and didn't just think "I agree," but I actually "Wait, that's me !"


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

Well if you want safety, go live in a free country with gun control. Otherwise, at least surround yourself with awesome and understanding people (theistic or non theistic, it doesn't really matter, just good people capable of empathy and reason).


[Thanks to Jason Lloyd for the editing assistance!]


< See Part 1

< See Part 2

See Part 4 >

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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