I've been wondering who/when/why atheists come out of our particular closet and those who choose to stay in, why they do. I'll go first.
I am a rather young atheist. I've can really only count 5 years as a fully-fledged one, but skeptical and very frustrated for probably 15 years before that. (I'm 37 so you can do the math.)
I "outed" myself a while back. I sent a letter under my real, full name a couple of years ago to the Charleston's Gazette in response to a request of theirs for atheists to write in about what Christmas means to us (if anything). I am a teacher in Kanawha County and was concerned first about what parents would say. There was no response. I heard nothing. That was eye-opening to me in realizing that maybe either no one really cared but me, or no one really reads the Gazette. ;-)
So I am open when people ask me and I won't lie when students ask me because I've always tried to tell my own children and students that you should act according to your principles.
My family and friends have known longer - my friends were even around as I was going through my rather painful "crisis of faith" and eventually came out the other side of that as a declared atheist. They were my sounding board and made me hone my thinking and arguing about various questions and issues.
As far as my husband and children go - my elder daughter (she's 14 going on 40) seems to quietly agree with me but prefers to be in the back ground. The 10 year old hasn't quite figured out why we don't go to church when everyone else does on sunday mornings. I've tried to explain but since she views church as an opportunity to visit with friends (she's a social butterfly) she doesn't quite get it yet. My husband is loosely spiritual but quite willing to just let things flow with this issue. He's very easy going and is fairly willing to let me take the lead on this with the girls but he's not ready yet to strap on the scarlet letter A. :D
So, I'm interested in hearing other people's stories. Next?