State of the Las Vegas Pagan Community-September 2016
From the PPLVP Webmaster–Below is a post from Pagan Pride Las Vegas Project board member and social media director, Atheona, Priestess and Elder of Inner Circle Sanctuary. Atheona is responsible for writing a lot of the content, or at least providing great direction and advice for said content, for this website. As always, she forwarded this to me to edit, cut up, etc. for the blog. I am leaving it exactly as it was originally written (with some slight formatting changes), with her permission, as I feel it touches on some attitudes and underscores the very need and reason why events like Pagan Pride Day are so important and inherently so fragile. Please read, communicate and comment as we draw back the curtain on our event:
“While reading an article from 2013 about ‘Diversity and Under-representation at Pagan Pride Events‘, I was reminded about how hard it is to help organize a Pagan Pride Day that would include all the types of paganism available in a particular community. Yvonne Conway’s final statement regarding this topic was one I heard echoed among several of the PPD organizers,
“However, if certain segments of the community are not getting representation at their local Pagan Pride, I would highly recommend they get involved with the planning of the events. Participating in planning is the best way to ensure your part of the community is represented at these events.”
When a coordinator first puts out a call for volunteers to help plan a local Pagan Pride Day event, they’re using their personal contacts. They may or may not post on social media. The committee may grow if the initial attendees also make a call for their pagan contacts to come and join.
Getting people to stay on the committee can be difficult. Firstly, it’s a volunteer job; there’s no pay. Secondly, that’s a lot of personalities in one room trying to make decisions together. There are bound to be personality conflicts.
The diversity of a Pagan Pride event, in my opinion, depends upon the diversity of the committee putting the event together. 2016’s Las Vegas Pagan Pride committee currently has three groups and a handful of solitary pagans. To try and enable more diversity, Las Vegas Pagan Pride offers free community booths to groups without having to serve on the planning committee. Pagans do not proselytize. We will not be knocking on doors begging people to come and help plan the event.
It is up to the community itself and whether or not they want a diverse event. I, as a Wiccan, cannot provide information on any other pagan practices. We, as a committee, cannot integrate other practices into a community ritual if a member of that community isn’t there to show us how.
As the social media director for Las Vegas Pagan Pride posting for our event, and for events from around the country, I have seen how tenuous putting on an event can be because no volunteers have shown up to help plan it. Some Pagan Pride Day events are merely a picnic in the park with potluck, no vendors, and just a community ritual, which is all it really needs to be.
Pagan Pride Day in your community is important. As an individual, do what you can, volunteer as much as possible, try to remember back to when you were first seeking out information. If you have an established group, consider attending and helping, see if any members of your group want to volunteer. There are so many people looking to connect with other pagans, to find a group, to learn, and you should be there for them, if you can. On a spiritual level, we should be connecting together as pagans, a minority in itself, celebrating the fact there is a pagan community at large, and learning to honor all the different paths amongst us; these ideals can help us grow as human beings.