This past New Year's, I made a resolution to come out as an Atheist to my Fundamental Christian parents.
Easier said than done.
We've always been a somewhat non-confrontational, passive aggressive family. The "Big Conversations" often never happen, and when they do, it is usually after years of painful silence.
I am even more non-confrontational than my parents. I would rather chew broken glass in most situations than be faced with anger, tears or family drama.
As such, I've been struggling with this coming out thing for months. How can I do this without the drama, and without causing undue stress and pain to my parents? Should I go the "Dan Barker" route and send a letter? Should I have an unheard of "Big Conversation" with my parents, which in no scenario in my head ever ends well?
I decided that "easing" them into the subject in an indirect way might be the best option.
I am VERY "out" on my social networking pages and personal blog. I am somewhat vocal about my lack of belief even at work, though for obvious reasons try to avoid causing excessive offense to my coworkers and superiors.
My parents have internet access, and have mastered email, instant messaging and to some extent, online games.
Yesterday, I took a big step. I queued up my Facebook page, typed in their email addresses and clicked "Invite Friend". As we speak, an email is sitting in their respective in-boxes; a gateway to revealing my whole self to the people who gave me life, and a catalyst for dialogue in which I can possibly explain my positions and why I hold them.
When they click that link and register an account, they will see a representation of who I am. They will see that I am a liberal. They will know that I am an Atheist, a Pastafarian and a Secular Humanist. If they stick around for a few days, they will see my opinions, my thoughts and my rants about plenty of subjects, including religion. They might even see my Show-Me Skeptics and Show-Me Pride Facebook groups, which further indicates my ideas and my activism.
If they choose to refrain from clicking the link, I will be back at square one: figuring out how to have the "Big Conversation".
Now begins the waiting.