I've been struggling, for several weeks now, with coming out publicly. Today, I did...kinda. I posted a picture someone made with a picture of Adam Savage with the last bit of his RR speech this weekend and changed my profile picture to one of our noodly creator. I didn't come out and say it 'cause I'm a total wuss like that (#disappointment). I think I'm trying to test the waters because that's not the forum where I want to debate the existence of god. I've had social network profiles go boom on me before and it felt horrible. That wasn't even something I cared very much about, but it still sucked. Then again, maybe this is something I just can't be brave about...
I'm not at all worried about my immediate family. My dad (he came out as gay when I was 15. only fair I get to do it back, right? lol) and sister both have known for a long time and my mom probably already knows, but I haven't come out and said it to her. I know she wouldn't care. She'll probably have a "Okay...and?" kind of response. Anyone beyond that little bubble is a complete question mark with the exception of one friend of my alter ego, who came out publicly several months ago, two or three other people who I'm sure won't care either way, and probably my brother-in-law. He's a nuclear engineer and a highly intelligent individual. However, he comes from a Catholic background.
The people I'm pseudo-concerned about are the other 165 or so people on my friends list that includes almost all of my extended relatives, friends from high school, and a couple of important contacts I was lucky enough to make. *Penn Jillette voice* And then there are these assholes: Some of these people are fundamentalists or creationists or both. You know, the kind that capitalize every letter in god and jesus on their Facebook statuses? At Christmas and Easter, they're the ones posting pictures of praying hands and crosses proclaiming "Jesus is the reason for the season!" and "Here's the real story of the candy cane!" They got that totally wrong and I had to correct them, but it was still about jesus so that wasn't really a victory for Atheism there. It was a victory for truth, though, so that works too. The best I can hope for is that they just delete me and it's over with and I won't have to talk to them, but, I'm afraid, it won't happen that way. My mom's sister, in particular, will be problematic. After observing the evidence, I've concluded that there is a high probability that she will start a "debate" with me. Her status updates and comments annoy the hell out of me. I posted something about Abraham Lincoln once and she commented with scripture. I deleted the post. This "coming out" feels like I'm just doing it to show her and I don't really care what anyone else thinks. I don't really "care" what my aunt thinks, but only in a superficial way. Does that make sense?
I refuse to let my alter's Facebook page become a bomb. She has posted things about Atheists wanting to live immorally and that's why we don't believe in gods. She is a god/jesus capitalizer. She has publicly said "How can people NOT see the intelligent design in nature?" As I said, that is not the forum I want trashed with a bunch of literal garbage about how god made everything. I can defend myself, no problem. That's not what I'm worried about. I have reached the point in my very short Atheist life where I'm not willing to waste time talking about something with someone who knows nothing about what their arguing for. The lack of understanding of basic scientific principals makes it difficult for me to be motivated to "debate the issue". My usual response when the "debate" turns to the "there are missing fossils" or "why aren't apes still evolving into humans?" section, I usually say, "I'm not doing your thinking for you." and end the conversation. Just imagine the most annoying person you've had "the debate" with out in the world or online. Now pretend that person is a close relative. That' how I anticipate this going with her...and maybe a couple others.
Second problem with my aunt: She lives in a different state, just down the street from my mom and is the type of person who would probably bug my mother about it if I refuse to respond in that forum. What should I do? How do I approach it? How do I keep my mother from getting entangled in something she could probably care less about? Why can't I just smack some sense into my aunt? GRRRRR!!!
I'm obviously getting agitated and that's when I do my worst writing, so I'll close it up for now. Thanks for listening and I appreciate any advice!
Noodles be with you! R'Amen!