When I was eighteen, I was outed from the broom closet by the parents of a friend. I remember coming home and being told by my mom that I had a half hour to either burn my books or move out. I had no job, half a tank of gas, and was in high school, so I opted to burn the books, though I hid the ones I hadn't read. I remember she even made me burn my books of magic comic series just because it had the word magic in it. I also remember feeling shame for my choice and a week later telling her that if she ever made me make that choice again I would disown her. Half a year later, still eighteen, I remember getting a phone call from one of the parents of that friend. He threatened to kill me and sang hymns, telling me how I was damned to hell for my beliefs. I told him I had a crossbow bolt for him and called the police. He didn't call after the police had called him, but those two experiences helped me realize something fundamental: Hiding my beliefs wasn't the answer. By hiding my beliefs I encouraged the very ignorance those people displayed toward me. I determined that I would never hide my beliefs. I wrote my books using my name, regardless of what professional or personal consequences might occur, because I knew that it was more important to be transparent than to hide what I believe because of the ignorance and fear of others.
Fast forward to the present. I am kinky, poly, and an occultist. I'm also a self-employed business and social media consultant. If you google my name you'll find a mixture of all of these realities in the search results. I was told recently by a business mentor that several people felt the dragon on my business site was occultish. I doubt they'd actually searched my name, but I recall telling her that if they were that freaked out by the logo then they'd be even more freaked out by my beliefs.
Ironically, perhaps, I've encountered people in the business world that have told me that they also practice magic...so perhaps my openness has encouraged them to be more open as well. What I do know is this: By choosing to be open about my beliefs I feel that I'm making a statement of integrity and hopefully educating the ignorant in the process that my beliefs do not destine for hell or make me an unsuitable person in any other way, shape, or form.
I will never hide my choices or who I am, to make it convenient for someone else. If you choose not to do business with me because of my spiritual and lifestyle choices, or choose to judge me because of your own inadequacies, it's not my problem. I cannot and will not lessen myself for any person or business just to coddle their sense of reality. I'd rather people accepted me for who I am, and while in the course of my business day, I don't blatantly advertise my lifestyle choices and beliefs, if the conversation comes up I don't hide it either. Because when we choose to hide, that's when we lose.