So recently on "Good" Friday I outed myself to the world as an Atheist. No, I did not pick the day on purpose. Ha ha But I had a lashing out from Family, but most of my friends accepted it and I even found out that some share the same beliefs I have.
I was wanting to share my experience and get input from others on the situation!
I did mine over a period of time, but there was still some negative backlash. I'm really open, honest, and when it comes to ideology, I don't hold back in the name of tact at times. I went off to college when I was 18, de-converted around 19/20 and by the time I was 21, everyone knew because I saw no reason to hide it. I would put up Facebook statuses pointing out problems with Christianity and it pissed some folks off. There were relatively few who actually hung around to talk about it, but I'm really good friends with those who did. I'm still friends with my old preacher even (though we can go a few rounds in talking about matters of religion), but I don't even think of going back to my old church as an option, even for special occasions. My family is uneasy about it, and considering I started a group in Owensboro (Owensboro Freethinkers), the only relations who will talk to me are my immediate family (which is fine because I was never close to any of the others anyway), but we just never talk about it.
We live in what I would consider one of the notches in the Bible belt. There's a strong religious overtone here, but there are quite a few folks I've met who are willing to band together as a community in order to meet other like-minded people. Best thing to do (which I'm sure you've looked into) is to look for some type of secular group, network, and meet new folks. No matter what reaction people have when you "come out", it never hurts to meet others on the basis of similar values.