I haven't come out yet. Because I am older, I have an entire life worth of friends and family who knew me as a very religious person. At the moment, I don't know how to handle being a nontheist and still retain my friendships. Some of these people are important to me. Yet, I understand the irony that something as simple as loosing my faith would drive someone away from me. A true friend would not leave over something like that. Even though I might not be loosing real friends, I am just not ready for that experience.
What makes my situation worse is that all my life I have been bisexual but I squashed that part of my nature down. Can you imagine if I came out as both bisexual and atheists/agnostic? My family would probably pay for an exorcist. LOL I admit that I am a coward at this moment but eventually I will tell them.
Thank you, Keely.
I agree entirely. If your situation doesn't dictate coming out, then prudence should prevail.
Here is some of the best advice I have ever encountered which was written by HambyDammit who also lives in the bible belt.
You can find other tips on how to live an inspired life as an atheist reading narratives on web sites like exchristian.net, or any of the other dozens of recovery sites. My memory is not very good, but surely there is a web site devoted solely to living a secular life and coping with all the awkward moments that can bring.
Maybe someone should start a blog here on Atheist Nexus. I think the biggest insight I take from Hamby's piece is that you must recognize the problem is with the person who is trying to make you uncomfortable, not with you. You had to learn how to walk and talk like a Christian. Now you have to walk and talk like an atheist. Atheists are viewed as a threat because most believers have big doubts they have to keep at bay. As far as I can tell, they are all neurotic as hell.
Atheists may be the most hated and feared people on the planet, but we are also the brightest people in the room. Some of us even go by the name Bright.
Be bright my brother, be bright.