Everybody who knows me knows that I'm gay. But the only ones who know that I'm an atheist are the people on this forum who read my entries, my brother, my best friend, and another friend of mine who is also an atheist. That's it. Everybody else just assumes that I'm a Christian and I never correct them.
So when I say "we're coming out," what I really mean is that hopefully someday I'll feel comfortable to speak openly about my beliefs without fear of being rejected by family and friends.
I open up on an atheist forum called the Rational Response Squad but the Soulforce forum is the only non-atheist place that I talk about my beliefs openly.
The fact that I'm in the closet about my atheism is something I try not to think about much because I feel like such a hypocrite. I ask myself how I can tell LGBT people to have the courage to live their lives openly when I'm afraid to express my life beliefs to anyone but a handful of people?
I have family members that I know would never associate with me again if I told them how I really feel about the world. That's why I speak out about it so much on this forum. It just feels good to be able to talk about what I think to others.
I know that it offends a lot of theists. I know what that feels like. When I was a Christian I thought atheists were lost, disturbed people who were empty inside. I hated their opinions. Sometimes I even hated them.
I remember in the spring of 2006 when I began to question my Christian beliefs; I went to the supermarket one afternoon and a thunderstorm was coming up. I walked across that store parking lot terrified that a lightning bolt was going to kill me.
My best friend is a Christian. He and I talk about politics, family, work, and life in general. But we never talk about religion because it's too touchy of a subject for the both of us.
When my atheist friend comes to town he usually drops by and we sometimes talk about religion. But he's in the closet too and I think it's very difficult sometimes for him to talk about it.
I'd really like to tell my niece. She and I talk on the phone every week. She deals with my being gay just fine but not believing in Jesus is another thing entirely.
I live in the South so being openly homosexual has been a difficult struggle in a world of Southern Baptists. To many Southern Baptists, being an atheist homosexual would be like being Satan himself.
I can't believe I'm actually writing these words. I've always tried to be a man of courage and conviction. How do I dare talk about courage anymore?