"Coming out" as atheist and LGBTQ?
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03-12-2013, 10:29 AM
"Coming out" as atheist and LGBTQ?
Thanks again to everyone who responded to my previous thread.

As mentioned, I'm experiencing some problems with "coming out" as atheist. And now as bisexual.

This entry is getting rather long so I'll cut to the question first:

As a woman, will coming out as bisexual to female friends rock the boat too much?

What are your experiences?


I'm really afraid of losing more friends.


Recent incidents have propelled me to think differently about my approach to friendships and relationships in general.

I realize that a friendship, even a very close one can only go so far -- meaning it can get stuck at some point. I have never seen religion or sexual orientation as an issue in relationships until recently.

Perhaps it has something to do with the city I currently live in?

I used to live in a very diverse city, and evangelism had never been an issue for me there. There was a diverse range of organizations that I could get involved in, and I never found the need to join a specifically atheist organization or an LGBTQ group.

In fact, I never felt the need to "come out" publicly when I lived there, because it didn't quite matter in my relationships with people.


Where I live right now, the problem arises when people I meet actively try to evangelize me, take a sectarian stance and tell me that they don't believe in LGBTQ rights. These people can be professionals who have high social standing.


All in all, however, I am afraid of losing my closest friends. With disclosing my views on religion, I feel that I've reached a certain point with my close friend here.

With actually admitting that I'm bisexual, I'm afraid that I will lose more friends.

I mean I don't intend to parade around with a certain label. I'm able to form heterosexual relationships and can very well stay in the proverbial closet forever.

I'd like to hear about your experiences in coming out.
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03-12-2013, 10:49 AM
RE: "Coming out" as atheist and LGBTQ?
(03-12-2013 10:29 AM)Aika Wrote:  Thanks again to everyone who responded to my previous thread.

As mentioned, I'm experiencing some problems with "coming out" as atheist. And now as bisexual.

This entry is getting rather long so I'll cut to the question first:

As a woman, will coming out as bisexual to female friends rock the boat too much?

What are your experiences?


I'm really afraid of losing more friends.


Recent incidents have propelled me to think differently about my approach to friendships and relationships in general.

I realize that a friendship, even a very close one can only go so far -- meaning it can get stuck at some point. I have never seen religion or sexual orientation as an issue in relationships until recently.

Perhaps it has something to do with the city I currently live in?

I used to live in a very diverse city, and evangelism had never been an issue for me there. There was a diverse range of organizations that I could get involved in, and I never found the need to join a specifically atheist organization or an LGBTQ group.

In fact, I never felt the need to "come out" publicly when I lived there, because it didn't quite matter in my relationships with people.


Where I live right now, the problem arises when people I meet actively try to evangelize me, take a sectarian stance and tell me that they don't believe in LGBTQ rights. These people can be professionals who have high social standing.


All in all, however, I am afraid of losing my closest friends. With disclosing my views on religion, I feel that I've reached a certain point with my close friend here.

With actually admitting that I'm bisexual, I'm afraid that I will lose more friends.

I mean I don't intend to parade around with a certain label. I'm able to form heterosexual relationships and can very well stay in the proverbial closet forever.

I'd like to hear about your experiences in coming out.

I would not see a need to proclaim bisexuality unless I was in a lesbian relationship.

I do end up telling people off who try to convert me or are homophobic, just because they irritate me to no end. I suppose it depends on how much it bothers you.

Might be a better option to just look for like minded friends instead...

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03-12-2013, 11:02 AM
RE: "Coming out" as atheist and LGBTQ?
My opinion on this is sort of alongside Dom's, but moreso regarding my decision on my choice to abandon Christianity.

I have nothing to gain by telling people, and nothing to lose by not telling them.

I really don't want my parents and family trying to convert me, and I especially don't want them legitimately fearing for my soul. I may not believe in Hell, but no parent wants to think their son is going to Hell for eternity.

I can't help much on the sexuality issue, but I will tell you that many people, ESPECIALLY religious folk, don't understand the concept of bisexuality, and many (myself included at one point) just kind of lumped it in with girls being sexually promiscuous, or attributed it the druggie girls in high school that always claimed to be "bi" as an attention thing, while not actually having any understanding of what it meant.

Again, thats not a 100% truth, but you've got to be careful who you tell, and that you understand your sexuality enough to make it clear to others what it means.
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03-12-2013, 11:37 AM
RE: "Coming out" as atheist and LGBTQ?
you need better friends

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03-12-2013, 11:55 AM
RE: "Coming out" as atheist and LGBTQ?
Hahahahaha, maybe. We'll see about that.

(03-12-2013 11:37 AM)nach_in Wrote:  you need better friends
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03-12-2013, 12:04 PM
RE: "Coming out" as atheist and LGBTQ?
Personally, I think that anyone who would judge you or discontinue a friendship over your religion or sexyal preference us a scumbag not worth associating with.

But I also know where you're coming from in that you live in a conservative area and open minded friends might be hard to come by.

My advise would be not to really say anything unless there's a need. If it comes up in conversation, don't lie about who you are, but you don't have to be the one to bring it up unless you form a relationship with someone of the same gender and feel like telling your friends. Maybe this will happen a little further down the road when they've had some time to come to terms with your atheism.

Good luck!

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it- not even if I have said it- unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. - Buddha
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03-12-2013, 12:27 PM
RE: "Coming out" as atheist and LGBTQ?
I'm not a person who is big on 'announcements'. It just seems to go better when the topic comes up in normal day to day conversation. I just feel like over time you get to know people better and you learn more about them.

Did you ever tell them that you weren't bi?

I would just deal with it in a casual way. Tell them you are going on a date, when they ask who, be honest. Be prepared for the 'oh-I didn't know that about you' and others to not really care.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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03-12-2013, 12:53 PM
RE: "Coming out" as atheist and LGBTQ?
If your friends leave you because you are atheist or bi then they were not your friends in the first place.

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03-12-2013, 02:54 PM
RE: "Coming out" as atheist and LGBTQ?
First: I feel for you and your situation. It's difficult to know how far you can "be true to yourself" without also losing every friend and/or family member you have. It's not easy, and I certainly wouldn't wish the situation on anyone else.

Personally, I have no issue with the sexual orientation of anyone else, friends included, and this was even before my deconversion. I've viewed sexuality and gender identity as a sliding scale rather than absolutes for quite some time. I'm not going to say I was enlightened by any means: no -- I've had my own issues in this arena too, and for many years had to try and reconcile what the Bible/God said about it vs. how /I/ was. Thankfully with deconversion, I don't have to make /that/ justification any more, but having experienced a "coming out" in the past with regard to my gender identity (I'm transgendered), I know just how painful and frightening and illuminating and freeing the process can be.

Since you're asking about our experience: my community at the time was heavily fundamentalist Christian. Although all my friends at the time were /initially/ accepting, it didn't take very long for all my very close friends to all to turn against me (and for this, I blame, somewhat, their parents). A few who were older and had their own minds about them were different, but they weren't in the closest circle of friends, either. [I also don't cast all the blame on my friends here: I did my fair share of nuttiness too. Two sides to every story, as they say, and I was young and stupid.]

My parents were far more accepting of the issue -- my mom was the first to accept, and my dad came along shortly after. My sister was on-board whole-heartedly with a single discussion. My extended family, on the other hand, were vehemently opposed with the exception of an aunt (for whom I'm ever grateful). Some of what they said was extremely hurtful and heart-breaking. It took years before those relationships mended in any form or fashion, and there's still tremendous walls on my part that come up around those individuals in order to reduce the potential damage. I will give credit, though: they have eventually tried to be somewhat accepting.

That particular coming out took place in 2001, so that's been 12 years ago. There are parts of me that will never fully heal from some of what was done and said, but even with all of what happened, my life now is better than it was. For one: I'm able to be myself, and that's far better, in my opinion, than almost anything else. That doesn't mean the journey has been easy -- far from it -- but it's better than the alternative (which I think would have been suicide many years ago).

Now, of course, I've deconverted from Christianity, and that's causing its own share of friction. So far the only person whom I've actually told is my mom -- which was a conversation I tried desperately to avoid because I didn't want to hurt her -- and it went about as well as I could possibly expect. I apparently believe in "nothing", and have "nothing to live for without God", but the relationship is still loving and hasn't been terminated in any way. She's tried to argue more than once about things -- and I would expect nothing less from someone who loves their child and fears for their eternal soul. I've not explicitly indicated anything to my dad -- he probably /knows/, but makes no effort one way or the other. This is pretty typical of our relationship in most things -- we just don't connect well. The extended family has no real clue, although I'm sure they think I'm bound for hell already given my previous coming out. Revealing this would simply seal the deal, so-to-speak.

As I'm self-employed, I don't have to worry about telling my coworkers. I do have many clients (some of whom are religious), but the topic never comes up -- and so I don't indicate it one way or the other. In dealings with people around the area (I live in southern Illinois), I don't broach the subject at all.

In general, that's probably the best advice I can offer: if it doesn't come up, don't offer it (but do be yourself). My gender identity was going to be an issue no-matter-what, and so that had to be breached at some point (and the earlier the better; yet it wasn't as early as it should have been). My atheism came up with my mom only because we tend to have deep and wide-ranging discussions about religion and the nature of Christianity, God, and the like. The subject was going to come up eventually as my own views changed. It's not come up with my dad yet, because we don't connect well in that area. The extended family doesn't know AFAIK, since I've not made any overtures about it on social media or when they've been around. Had I been able to avoid the atheism issue with my mom, I would have done so to spare her feelings (failing to bring up their child right; worrying about eternal damnation).

Now, as to your friends: if they have a problem with you after you have come out (in whatever fashion that may be), then I would argue that perhaps they weren't great friends to begin with -- they liked the idea of you, not the actual you. But that's also a bit trite: I still miss my friends to a huge degree, and until coming out, I do think we were very good friends. Had it not been for the religious angle, we probably would /still/ be good friends, but that pesky religion thing got in the way.

Unfortunately there are no easy answers. Some individuals who you think will have a problem with your disclosure may turn out to be your biggest allies. Some individuals you least expect to have an opinion will severely disappoint (and even hurt) you. Every situation is different, and is difficult to judge accurately. I will also say that being "out" is incredibly freeing and so far has been worth every loss. Only you can judge if the benefits can outweigh the risks.

~ Kerri
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Recovering from Christianity, slowly, but surely.
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03-12-2013, 03:15 PM
RE: "Coming out" as atheist and LGBTQ?
Oh my gosh finally somebody else yay ! Well anyway I never cared about coming out as an atheist, I flipped my hair and said "fuck you" to anyone who didn't like it. But I'm have issues with the "b" word as well, I usually put down to a need to know basis. My best friends know, peeps on forum know, I haven't told my mother but I think she knows and is in denial. As far as friends go if they can't accept you for you then you don't need them.
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