There has been a lot of talk in the Pagan community lately about privilege, specifically the privilege that those who follow a Wiccan-based path (eg, circle casting, elements, etc) have in the Pagan community. Last spring, Yvonne Aburrow posted on Patheos that the Pagan umbrella is leaking, referring to some hard polytheists (or devotional polytheists, there are a few terms used to describe the same basic idea) choosing not to also be identified as 'Pagan'. Than this fall, Ruadhán posted about (and I believe coined the term) Wiccanate privilege (referring those who follow a path that has many outward commonalities with Wicca). Then at Pantheacon, Don Frew and P. Sufenas Virius Lupus hosted a discussion about the same topic.
I can't speak to the Pagan community at large - and by that I mean that big, over-arching community that somehow seems to form up across geographical barriers (and is especially apparent at festival-time, a privilege I have thus far been lacking in). I can only talk for those small corners of the world which I do know fairly well; but I do have quite a bit of experience in those small corners.
When I first started looking for real Pagan community in my area, instead of being a solitary forever, I attended a few rituals and study-groups for a group called Pagans of Nebraska. Now, I don't want it to sound like I am bad-mouthing them or complaining - one of the admins is a good friend, and I think they are doing some important work in holding open, public rituals anyone is welcome to attend. However, I did have a few difficulties there that has led me to drawing back - I haven't attended an event of theirs since October. The first difficulty was study groups. Though the group's very name, Pagans of Nebraska, makes it out to be a pan-Pagan organization where any path would be welcome, at discussion groups, my input about Heathen holidays or Gaelic traditions was either ignored or interrupted to talk more about Wicca-esque ideals - not by the other participants, but by the leaders of the group. I was frustrated, but figured the name was disingenuous and just went about my business. I'm a big believer in "when in Rome, do as the Romans", and so when the group was petitioned for Quarter-callers, I agreed to call the East. When dismissing, I ended with (what I think is a fairly Wicca-standard!) "hail and farewell!" and.. crickets. While all others had gotten a rousing "blessed be!", my friend was the only person to repeat the phrase. If a Heathen at a supposedly pan-Pagan ritual can't even get a response to "hail and farewell!", I just didn't think I had much of a future there. And so I quietly resolved that the hour drive just wasn't worth it, and stopped coming to events. I didn't make an effort to talk about why I had felt excluded, or point out the problematic element of the group's name if they only intended to do Wiccan-style rituals and discussions; because that would have caused drama - and I hate drama way more than being (probably unconsciously) excluded. But that's Wiccanate privilege. For a person on a path that shares many practices with Wicca, all they have to do is show up to the group and enjoy. For me to have rituals or discussions that applied to me at all, I would both have had to bring up the topic and strongly resist attempts at being shut down - not because the leaders didn't like me or wanted me to leave, but because they were genuinely uninterested in what I, whose personal spirituality is not Wiccan in any way, had to contribute.
So that was my first example of Wiccanate privilege, and it left me pretty frustrated. Luckily, I had also been attending another group - the Order of the Red Grail, which is explicitly Wiccan (lineaged from Gardner, actually, though not Gardnerian). How this group that is explicitly Wiccan got to be more open and accepting of other forms of Paganism than a group called 'Pagans of Nebraska' is beyond me, but that's how it is. They even sponsored a new-ish local Heathen group, Nebraska Heathens United, so they would also be able to utilize the facilities of the UU church with minimal cost. Some group members will attend every NHU event, even their educational classes which talk specifically about Norse-related subjects. And in response, the Heathen leaders almost always attend Red Grail events as well! It's fantastic. The leaders of the Red Grail know a lot more about Heathenry than I'd guess most pan-Pagan group leaders do. I've had to do a bit of education on ADF Druidry vs. the Celtic-only, romantic Druid standard, but they're willing to listen. After a few confusing conversations, everyone remembers and is really good about me honoring Anglo-Saxon and Gaelic deities. After a few months of attending their Full Moon rituals, I applied to be a student - for a few reasons, the biggest being that I was thankful to have some Pagan community, especially one that was so welcoming to other paths; and the other important one is that whole Pagan clergy thing I'd like to do.. I kind of have to know a bit about Wicca to do that, because that's the majority of Pagans! (*grumble grumble* wishing that all Pagan clergy felt a need to learn at least something about the diverse religions under the umbrella *grumble*). But one of the High Priestesses attended our Protogrove's Yule ritual and told me afterwards that it was lovely, and very interesting as well. The Red Grail here is using its privilege (privilege gained not only by being Wiccan, but by having been around 20 plus years) to lift up and empower other Pagan traditions here in Nebraska, and I couldn't be more thankful that they are willing to do that. This shows me that progress can be made - that it is possible for diverse groups to come together without erasing or watering down the various paths represented. I understand that's not what many on either side want, and that's certainly their right; but I do honestly think that the Pagan (and polytheist) community would be better off keeping its diversity.
Coming up this fall, I am a committee member for Omaha Pagan Pride Day. Last year, there weren't a lot of groups with tables, and those that had them were the usual Wiccanate. But I did meet a Heathen from an Omaha kindred there, and my friend was able to give a presentation on ADF, and that gives me hope for this year. I'd love to be able to get Nebraska Heathens United to have a table, maybe a spot on the presentation list (I haven't spoken with them about it yet, but I think it's so important that a diverse group of traditions come). I want to reach out and see if I can find some other practitioners in the community who may want to present - I just met a Celtic Reconstructionist in the area, and I know a woman who does Kemetic stuff as part of their practice. My personal attitude is bring it on! All the diversity! Though I know programming slots are limited, and I'm only one of five committee members, so I'm sure compromises will have to be made. I'm just hoping to steer those compromises in the direction of more inclusion rather than less.
A common criticism leveled at those who talk about Wiccanate privilege is that other traditions just need to get involved, and the problem will naturally solve itself. Since I started getting out into my local religious community, I've done nothing but get involved. I am part of interfaith group discussions at the local UU church, I blog openly about my practice, experiences and beliefs, I attend and volunteer my time for many rituals of many different groups and traditions, I have held public Pagan gatherings in my own home for pete's sake! Honestly, I don't have even a second of spare time to get more involved with the Pagan community. I know there are many others who are not Wiccanate, who are giving all they can to the Pagan community, and they deserve to stop being told "just show up and things will be okay!". Because it hasn't always been okay. There is definitely a problem, shown by my earlier experience - and the first step to fixing it is taking the time to listen to people who practice differently from us. When we listen, instead of assuming qualities like an earth-centered practice or belief in the unity of the divine, we learn something about the people we're interacting with - who may have none of those qualities at all! Or they may have all of them. But the best way to figure it out is to listen, instead of telling someone else what they believe, or how they must practice.