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What happened when you came out of the closet as an atheist?

I'm thinking it might be time to open up to some of my friends but I'm feeling nervous about it.

UpsideDownAgain 7 Feb 11

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follow up q why would you come to an Agnostic site, as an Atheist? ty

Intellectual stimulation.

To help other people to understand why they believe what they do and for support.

@DavidLaDeau ok, but wouldnt an atheist site be more amenable for that? Im curious how agnostic and atheist are being conflated there, here...ty

@bbyrd009 I did not touch the subject of what an agnostic or atheist is here or co flate them. I asked a question to atheist.

@bbyrd009 You're bullshitting is what you're doing. There are probably more atheists on this site than agnostics and I'd be surprised if you didn't already know that. Anyway, I came as an agnostic but didn't feel out of place at all when I realized I really didn't believe in any god at all anymore.

@UpsideDownAgain really just curious. I don't really know what the options are or anything, just struck me kinda funny that so many atheists, as you say, frequent an "agnostic" site. and are pretty much the most vocal. It kinda makes a statement? But then i might be um misconstruing too, dunno

To find the man of my dreams.


You step out with your head held high and strut down that cat walk like you own it.

You're too sexy.


Why the hell do I have to tell anyone .I don’t give a shit about keeping it to myself .People that tell others they are an atheist or whatever are the same as people that tell others they are following a particular religion.They are both a bore .


Well, I had gotten outed to part of the family as bisexual by a neice who showed an Instagram photo of me with an ex gf, so while I was officially coming out as bisexual, I came out as agnostic too. Some were fine with both; had known/suspected. The more evangelical family, it was funny watching them struggle over which thing they should disapprove of the most. My brother said he didn’t believe in LGBT, that it was a ‘chosen lifestyle’. I told HIM that I didn’t believe in god or religion, because THAT is a ‘chosen lifestyle’.

I hope it goes well. People who truly love you won’t stop loving you.

Great word play and point!

@DavidLaDeau I love giving it right back to them, usually using their exact words but substituting god/religion for whatever sinful thing they rake me over the coals for. 😂

@CarolinaGirl60 If it is a chosen life style, then the accuser could choose the other option.( Just as an experiment.) Then choose back again. =0}

@Mooolah You’re exactly right...though Xtian straight people have NO imagination 😂😂😂.


"Mom, I decided I'm an atheist," I said at age 13. "I don't want to go to church anymore."

"That fine, honey," Mom replied. "What do you want for dinner?"

In my 30s, Mom explained she became an atheist in nursing school after being raised Catholic. "I realized a woman cannot be turned into salt," she said dryly and laughed.

My parents didn't have a leg to stand on. After playing jazz trumpet on Saturday nights, Dad never went to church. He slept in. Mom dropped off us kids at Sunday school. She went home and picked us up later.

On dating sites, I select "atheist" for religion. Two Christian men met me to try to convert me. "Martin Luther said there are no atheists," one man said triumphantly, as if that settled the matter.

"I don't care what a Catholic monk said over 400 years ago," I replied, rolling my eyes. I stood up. "I don't want to argue with you. I'm leaving. Thanks for lunch."

That is cool. My wife took the same approach with her kids ... let them explore religion if they want, be neutral, let them make their own decision. She was always frank that she just doesn't "get" the point of religion, but it wasn't some kind of crusade. Her son was an atheist from the cradle, just by disposition. Her daughter flirted with her birth father's Presbyterianism for most of her childhood and my wife used to read to her at bedtime from a children's Bible. But her daughter scandalized her catechism class as a high school senior by concluding that god doesn't exist. As jaws dropped, she shrugged and said, "well, you said this was going to be an open-minded inquiry, and that's my conclusion." I don't think they wanted it to turn out that way. She hasn't shown any interest in church since, and she's 25 now. As the Bible says, "when I was grown, I put away childish things".


My entire birth family and my wife/out-laws outright banished me from their sights, and I was forced to move to another state. I do not have any regrets. Living alone with reality is far more preferable than being surrounded by myth and fantasy.


I had more room in my closet.


I was never in the closet... It's everyone else that is! 😉

I like the way you think!


Big fight with my folks, some happy clapper friends disappointed but not surprised. That's about it, but I was in Australia. Different world to big chunks of the States.


My own personal friends - no problem what so ever. If I lost some friends it wasn't an abrupt thing, just a distancing naturally due to different interests.

I think nowadays, coming out atheist is not such a big thing, with the advent of the internet, diverse communities, and better awareness about respect for all faiths, but decades ago, it was a little traumatic for me and my family, when my kids were young. (I married an atheist man, even though we were both raised Catholic, and raised our kids without god/s.)

I was never in a closet about it - but felt pushed to speak up decades ago when my neighbors (with children who played with mine) kept trying to involve me in religious activities. The news that I was "agnostic" shocked the parents of those kids who enjoyed playing with mine, they couldn't understand how my kids could be so well mannered, fair minded, and likable, without going to church! After being told they couldn't play with my kids anymore, the neighbor kids would stand on the property edge taunting mine, watching for them to "drink blood" so obviously they had some misconceptions about agnostics.

It was many years of that religious feud before the parents of the kids came around and realized we were good people, and they had no reason to fear us. A tearful apology came from one of the mothers, and one of the fathers is now a FB friend of mine, haha!

Also kid-related, some of my daughter's fellow students tried to impeach her (she was student body president) after they learned she didn't go to church, but was "home churched" as my daughter described to one parent, who asked what church we attended, since the kids were so well behaved. (#!&?!)

So many years ago, it was a little rough being the one agnostic family in the neighborhood and school. Teachers taunted my kids, had them go out in the hall for the Pledge of Allegiance, or during the study of holiday stories. (They had made it clear they wished to remain in class for the pledge and for learning about religious holidays, but some of the teachers got a sadistic thrill out of banishing them to the hall any chance they got.)

Now family is another thing - only one of my siblings had a problem with me being agnostic - and would scold her beautiful young children when they would say anything complimentary about me - sneering, "You don't want to grow up to be like Aunt Julie - She doesn't even believe in God!" I think there was some underlying jealousy playing into some of her reactions, no big loss there since we weren't all that close.

It was the in-laws that were the worst! I related that I was agnostic a few months before the wedding (on Christmas Day, a few hours after my dad died, and everyone kept saying religious stuff to me) so that started things off on the wrong foot. -- My wedding (to their atheist son) was performed by a judge in my brother's back yard, not in a church, which was another step into hell in their eyes. -- Then babies were born, and not baptized, and that caused more rifts. Then once the kids were old enough to enjoy the holidays, they were welcomed by the in-laws, but I was to stay home, since I didn't believe... Believe in what I'd ask, in the solstice? In trees, food, gift giving, singing, family games? Anyway, that religious rift never mended, and I divorced myself out of that family a long time ago.

Funny, all these years later, the siblings-in-law comment on what a good job I did as their mother, to bring them up to be such good kids and now adults. (Some of those Christian relatives ended up in a world of trouble.)

Wow. I'm impressed you stayed sane through all that.

@UpsideDownAgain It led me to my current life, as a secular wedding officiant and funeral celebrant, serving atheists, humanists, agnostics and multi-faith families. I wouldn't be so passionate about it - and enjoy it so much - had it not been for the experiences I had in my past. Making being secular okay and something to be proud of is part of my personality now. 🙂

@Julie808 Hallelujah!


My boss at the time asked me why I abandoned my God.

Other than that, no one has really cared.


I tripped over the ironing board!


I found out who my real friends are.
Don't miss any of the ones that weren't.
Don't interact with a lot of family members anymore either.
Life is much quieter and much less expensive.

Just as an addendum:
I was never really "in the closet" with my non-belief. Indoctrination didn't take, and they TRIED. As soon as I figured out how to make it look like I'd gone to mass every Sunday, without actually going, I stopped going.
Breakfast at Dunkin' Donuts with the collection money was delicious.


I'm pretty lucky. When mom handed me my Bible at first communion, my dad handed me The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit and whispered, "Read these first."
Turns out mom was just indoctrinating me because she was, also. So I didn't get in too much trouble when I got kicked out of Catholic school in 5th grade.

Orly Level 5 Feb 11, 2020

I looked around and saw that everyone I knew, bar one good mate, were already atheists and my relationship with that mate didn't change.


My stepfather told me I was "going to split hell wide open" but otherwise we remained friends. My 2 daughters claimed they saw my viewpoint once I explained it to them but they each claimed they "still believe in their own way." That same belief they share is what made Christianity the muddled mess it is today.


Why do people make such a big deal out of this? I was never "in the closet." When I became atheist I just told people if religion came up. My grandmother was pretty upset by it so I never mentioned it to her again but everyone else just accepted it because that was the new reality.

You can always couch it by just saying you're non-religious.


Its not a big deal in nz

I think it’s an American disease!

So I should move to NZ?

@UpsideDownAgain i australian. Its very lush and green mostly...lotz of rain and plenty of water...the fishing is fabulous.. and the govt is inspirational

@DavidRooney That sounds amazing.

@UpsideDownAgain its nickname is godzone or gods own...i havent worked out which.


If you are feeling nervous about it why the heck would you tell them this useless information ,unless you think this defines who you are .Personally I place a persons belief or non belief at the bottom of my list in judging a persons character .


What does one gain by opening up to ones friends .I do not know why people have to tell others what their belief or lack of belief is .I certainly could care less what my friends religious affiliation is .Its the same thing .How does this information change the dynamic of a relationship other than test their reaction and jeopardize your friendship.But maybe you want to use this as a way to edit your relationships

@HarrySlick Maybe he is seeking confirmation or confrontation.But I agree with you, it’s unnecessary bullshit .

@granny Nah. My friends talk religion ALL THE TIME so it gets really awkward.


Nothing happened. The sun came up the next day and and I got up and took a shower. Telling yourself is all you really need to do. The rest of the world will figure it out. You won't have to say a thing.


"""What happened when you came out of the closet as an atheist?"""

I was wearing jeans and a plaid shirt with a paisley jacket. No one recognized me. Those that did told me the patterns didn't match.


My wife told everyone! Eventually, I became active and started a YouTube channel. I did loose one friend. Here is a short video that explains why coming out was not a choice.

Thanks for sharing. I liked it. FYI the words flashed by way too fast to read and I'm a fairly fast reader. You might want to slow them down.


I've never really been in the closet. I came out when I was in the 8th grade. I wasn't very religious in my youth. My parents took me to church when I was a kid, but it was never made to be a big deal. Then we moved to the Bible Belt when I was in the 5th grade. I was constantly being pressured by my peers to go to church. Everyone one told me I was going to hell. I had never heard that until I moved to the South. Eventually I started going to a church near my house and was scared out of my mind by the hellfire and brimstone preaching. I talked my parents, who were reluctant to join, but they eventually caved. Looking back it was a big mistake. When I started to question it, it was to the point that my parents started to make me go, even after I told them that I was no longer a believer. When I was in High School I was very open with everyone about what my beliefs where. They called me a witch and a Satanist because they simply couldn't understand that I didn't believe. I'm still very open about it, though I don't really offer the information unless someone asks me. I still get a lot of questions and I am constantly told that I am going to hell. It can be hard to deal with at first, but in the long run, everyone I know that has come out, has been happier for it. However if it's going to cause severe damage to your lively-hood, I would start by getting to a place where your more comfortable coming out, before you actually do it. Hope this helps you! Wish you the best!

Thanks, that is something to consider.

When people tell me I’m going to hell my response is always: that frightens me as much as me telling you Santa isn’t bringing you presents this year because you don’t believe in him!


I was NEVER in any closet to begin with, have always freely stated what my ideology was, if people did not like it, it was no skin off my back . . . if you are not capable of defending your ideology, what is it worth?


My junior year of high school I realized I was an atheist. Sometimes my family would go to church if there was something special happening at my grandfather's church or the church of one of my dad's friends. My dad would always give us money to put in the offering plate. Well, I didn't put the money in the plate at my grandfather's small church because "fuck that, I'm not giving these idiots money" type of thinking. I gave the money back to my dad after the service was over. He questioned me about it when we got home. I told him I really didn't believe the stories in the Bible. He kind of agreed with me saying he had a hard time believing some of the stories too. In my mind, he understood what I was saying and accepted it. I asked him not to tell my mom because she would immediately come to me and start asking questions that I just didn't want to answer at that time. He said he wouldn't say anything but I figured over time he would.

Fast forward maybe 2 years later, I'm home from college talking with my mom; my dad is a few feet away. I don't remember exactly what we were talking about but it ended with me saying, "You know I'm an atheist." Her eyes got wide and she said she didn't know that. I looked at my dad thinking "You didn't tell her?" My mom saw this and turned to my dad and said, "You knew?!" He responded saying he knew my belief wasn't strong but didn't know it had come to this. He then said I was one step away from being a Satanist. Shocked, I exclaimed, "WHAT?!"

Good times. haha

Did you explain god and Satan come as a package deal, so unbelief in one means unbelief in the other?

Wow, thanks for sharing. One step away from being a Satanist . . . OMG that's funny.

@Storm1752 Yes, I let them know that being an atheist also meant not believing in Satan.

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