• Should You Hide Your Raver Side at Work?

    Should You Hide Your Raver Side at Work?

    “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift—that’s why they call it the present.”

    I’m not one for clichés, but there’s something bittersweet about this little adage—something that touches every raver at heart because, deep inside, we know exactly what that means. If you’re anything like me, you spend months looking forward to the next festival—buying new outfits, just to wear old ones because you’ve suddenly realized you never looked better. The anticipation peaks with the first sunset. You’re standing in line, hot, sweaty, and more impatient than you’ve ever been. You get inside, and it’s the best time of your life. Nothing else exists. But then, in a flash, it’s all over, and the wait is on all over again.

    This is the reality we all share. We love it because it’s the “home away from home,” but what happens when we leave that parallel universe? Do we hide our raver side when we’re around coworkers, family members, or other friends in non-festival settings? Many would say yes—especially in the workplace.

    I work in public relations, so I’m not saving lives, passing new laws, or dominating the stock market. And even though my boss is a raver—and a badass publicist—I still understand the importance of being conservative when necessary, gauging what’s “appropriate” and what’s not, and being professional in all aspects of your physical appearance, because that’s what you do when you’re “on the job.” That said, I am still able to express myself through my personal interests, whether it be through my writing or raving—something I wouldn’t hide for the world. Despite my own perspective, however, I knew it wasn’t that simple. That’s why I asked around.

    “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift—that’s why they call it the present.” 

    “With the stigma attached to this culture, it’s best to leave your personal and professional lives separated—especially in conservative fields like the military,” says Greg, a former Marine staff sergeant.

    “Being proud of this culture and hiding it are two different monsters,” adds Jon, a nurse and former dialysis technician. “My coworkers know I go to events. But for me, there’s only so much you can share with people, because they will never understand certain things.”

    Others, like third grade teacher Gina, don’t allow the stigma to affect them, despite today’s many misconceptions.

    “I do feel hesitant, but I’m open with my students’ parents, staff and fellow teachers,” says Gina. “If raving was accepted, I would be even more open, because of the positive impact this culture has had on my life. I’m proud to be part of this community.”

    Then you have people like Taylor, marketing executive for Dank Memes Melt Steel Beams, who would never hide his raver side, regardless of the circumstances.

    “If you have to hide anything about yourself, you’re not where you’re meant to be,” he says. “I believe you need to be 100 percent open about who you are, flaunt your passions, and find a career that lets you build on them.”

    But while many are lucky to enjoy that liberty, many others are unable to express themselves freely. Egypt, a sales associate at one of today’s most popular retail stores, says she has felt the backlash we all know and fear. But she continues to be herself, despite what others say.

    “My old manager started cutting my hours after he found out that I go to raves,” she recalls. “You would think retail stores are more lenient, especially since they specialize in party accessories, but I left a month later due to their unfair treatment. Thankfully, my other manager was super into PLUR. She even put in a good word for me at my next job, and now I’m much happier. I can be me.”

    Whether you keep this culture hidden or wear it loud and proud like your favorite totem, the answer is simple: Be who you want to be—now, tomorrow and forever. And remember, no matter who knows, we’ll always have each other.