Yeah, sounds like about the same situation that our one organizer was in, before he moved down here. I take it you aren't even out as an atheist, since they already have enough to freak out about, with you being gay?
Reminds me of a call they had on one of the atheist call-in shows. One poor guy was a black, gay, Jewish atheist ... living in Mississippi. I'm not sure he can stay in the closet about being black, but everything else was kept well under wraps, until he could get the hell out of there.
Hmm, and I don't suppose that it helps much, driving the half an hour to Charleston. It isn't really big enough to support much in the way of diversity.
Jeeze, I just took a look at Charleston, on google maps, to see how far out from it you are. I've only ever blown through it on the highway, on my way to Chicago. I didn't realize that it was such a thin strip, going along the river. I thought I was seeing just a small piece of it, what I could see from the highway. Looks like it only extends a mile or so to either side of 64.
There probably aren't even any gay clubs/bars. We have one in Chapel Hill, one in Durham, three or four in Raleigh ... hmm, looks like the one in Cary closed. Plus, the area is just generally much more friendly towards minority groups, as long as you stay within a major city.
I can imagine how that must be, being an atheist way out in rural West Virginia. Loner, yeah, I can imagine ... alone in a sea of religiosity. Meh.
One of my local atheist group leaders is originally from the outskirts of Charleston, and he's relayed a lot of the hell he went through up there. Well, and he's gay, so you can imagine how that made it that much worse for him, back in the 80's and 90's, in rural West Virginia.