Ken Hunter was on a date with a nice guy at the posh Cafe Intermezzo in Midtown when he decided to share a bit about himself. He told his date he was Wiccan.
“He walked out on me. He dumped me on the date because I told him I was Wiccan,” Gunter says, shaking his head.
Being gay and being Wiccan — a religion that, in simple terms, celebrates nature — is sometimes a double-edged sword.
“It’s like having to come out twice. You have to come out of the closet, and then you have to come out of the broom closet,” Gunter adds, smiling. “So you have to feel people out. This is still the South.”
Gunter, 34, has been a member at Ravenwood Church & Seminary of the Old Religion since 1996. It is home to about 50 active witches — and, yes, they are called witches. Approximately 80 percent of the male witches, or priests, are gay, Gunter says.
Ravenwood, founded in 1977 in Little Five Points by high priestess Lady Sintana, is perhaps the oldest Wiccan church in the Southeast. The elder high priest Lord Merlin at Ravenwood also happens to be a gay man.
There are specific gay Wiccan churches and there are Dianic Covens, made up entirely of women, so same-sex love is no mystery to what Gunter describes as the “religion of pre-Christian Europe.”
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