Coming out atheist vs. LGBT
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01-06-2017, 01:01 PM
Coming out atheist vs. LGBT
Do you think atheist and LGBT people in the closet share similar feelings and/or experiences? What about coming out experiences? I've heard people say that coming out atheist is often worse actually. Not sure what I think about that. Anyone have any experiences that could shine some light on the subject? Or has anyone here come out as both atheist and LGBT?
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01-06-2017, 01:10 PM (This post was last modified: 01-06-2017 01:13 PM by Vera.)
RE: Coming out atheist vs. LGBT
I would imagine coming out in the original sense might be worse - one can (at least theoretically) go back to the fold. One cannot, however, "outgrow"* their sexual orientation.

I would imagine it really depends on the people you're coming out to. I know homophobic atheists and religious people who don't care about this but would freak out if your immortal soul was in danger.

I also wish people didn't have to come out; like, no one asks a straight person "when did you find out (or worse - become!) straight" and "how did you know"? Hopefully one day it'll be like being left-handed or something like this, just a minor part of who you are, no big deal, nothing to make a fuss about (and by then religion would be long dead, too)

Did I sound too optimistic there? One can but hope, can't one? Blush


* Obviously NOT how I think about it, just contrasting going back to religion and "going back" to being straight. Obviously, one is not possible.

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01-06-2017, 01:16 PM
RE: Coming out atheist vs. LGBT
I have come out as an atheist, then as bisexual, then as transgender. Coming out as trans was by far the hardest and worst.

Most people in my life know I'm an atheist. My super-religious dad didn't like me being an atheist, but accepted it. We've had several friendly debates over the years, and they were pretty fun! But I wasn't in a place where my home and family were at risk of punishing me. I was already financial independent of my parents, so my dad couldn't do anything about it except try to win me back for god. My wife was already an atheist, so no risk of her being upset either. She was quite glad.

Coming out bi- eh, kind of a stretch to say I "came out" as bi, but in some ways I did. I told some friends, and I told my boss. Of course, first I told my wife. She was okay with it. It wasn't altogether relevant because I was already married and monogamous. I told my boss with my friend because we both wanted her to know that there were LGBT people in the office. It wasn't really that big a deal in any place. In my case, it totally wasn't the same as someone coming out as gay.

But coming out as trans was another story altogether. This was the first time I was really worried about losing my wife, my job, and my family. And it was difficult for my wife to accept and adjust. Hell it was difficult for me, too. It was difficult for my co-workers, some more than others. And my dad pretty much disowned me.

It's going to be different for every person. You can't categorically say one is worse than the other. It depends entirely on the situations you are in. But for me, coming out as trans was absolutely the hardest.
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01-06-2017, 01:19 PM
RE: Coming out atheist vs. LGBT
(01-06-2017 01:10 PM)Vera Wrote:  I would imagine coming out in the original sense might be worse - one can (at least theoretically) go back to the fold. One cannot, however, "outgrow"* their sexual orientation.

I guess they're talking from an American perspective, which is completely alien to Europeans as far as religion is concerned.

I wouldn't hesitate a single moment to declare myself an atheist if asked, which happens very rarely. LGBT people on the other hand face ridicule and hatred from all kinds of groups.

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01-06-2017, 01:20 PM
RE: Coming out atheist vs. LGBT
(01-06-2017 01:01 PM)GMSkeptic Wrote:  Do you think atheist and LGBT people in the closet share similar feelings and/or experiences? What about coming out experiences? I've heard people say that coming out atheist is often worse actually. Not sure what I think about that. Anyone have any experiences that could shine some light on the subject? Or has anyone here come out as both atheist and LGBT?

I don't think in terms of labels when you talk about having to live in silence out of fear of reprisal.

There are also parts of the world where Christians live in fear. I speak in terms of a majority vs a minority is geographical, not a label issue.

Even in the Middle East some Muslims, especially more moderate or liberal Muslims have to live in silence out of fear of a more conservative majority. In the West in places like America Muslims even liberal Muslims have to fear more than say a conservative Christian in America.

But a Kurdish Christian or Koptic Christian is more of a minority in the Middle East, even in Christians in Turkey or Morocco have to live differently than they do in a majority Christian America.

So yes, any minority can be living in some degree of fear, greater or lesser depending.

But again, it is more a geographical thing than it is a label thing.

Atheists and LGBT have a harder time in more red states, and have an easier time in more blue states. But so would a Muslim.

I think non Muslims and gays living in the east have a much harder time than they would in the west. But our far right conservative Christians in America are crybabies and have no idea what real oppression is.

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01-06-2017, 01:30 PM
RE: Coming out atheist vs. LGBT
Exactly, abaris. That's why I clarified that it depends on the situation. Not the same, obviously (none of these people really matter to me) but I have no problem telling people I'm an atheist here, in a very religious country (or in another, equally - even more - religious one in Africa). I don't think I would be afraid of saying I were gay, but only because I don't handle having to hide and to pretend very well.

I absolutely understand though why some people have to do it even if it makes me so incredibly sad and furious at the same time. No one should have to hide parts of who they are just because the society they're forced to live in refuses to leave the Middle Ages. And no one should have to hear ugly things said about who they are without being able to respond (in the case of people living at least somewhat in the closet. And what an expression, ''in the closet"!). It is very very wrong and unfair and just WRONG Censored

Emma, I admire your wife (and you, obviously Rolleyes ) greatly. She must be a great person. Also, from what very little I know about the subject, I kinda suspect everywhere would be hardest for trans* people. Still cannot fathom why there is SO much hatred aimed at them in particular... but there are so many other things I don't understand either...

I'll never tire of saying it - for all we know we might very well be alone in the universe, and even if we are not, we are still all we've got. And yet, even though we are all inherently the same, we still insist on focusing the 0.000001% of things that are different between us.

It just isn't right Sadcryface

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01-06-2017, 01:36 PM
RE: Coming out atheist vs. LGBT
(01-06-2017 01:30 PM)Vera Wrote:  I don't think I would be afraid of saying I were gay, but only because I don't handle having to hide and to pretend very well.

I would be afraid, since that can still have very negative consequences. Homophobia is still pretty much an issue. Homophobia can still cost you your career, as opposed to religion, outside of actually working for a church. The times are certainly changing on that issue too, since the former mayors of two large capitals, Berlin and Paris were out being gay, but it's still a way to go.

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01-06-2017, 01:48 PM
RE: Coming out atheist vs. LGBT
(01-06-2017 01:36 PM)abaris Wrote:  I would be afraid, since that can still have very negative consequences. Homophobia is still pretty much an issue. Homophobia can still cost you your career, as opposed to religion, outside of actually working for a church. The times are certainly changing on that issue too, since the former mayors of two large capitals, Berlin and Paris were out being gay, but it's still a way to go.

I know. But, hell, I'm not going to pretend I'm someone else because of illiterate, vile bigots.

Of course, it's easy saying this as a straight person from a European country (even if not the most tolerant in Europe) Were I living in Indonesia (I am not posting another link to the story about that couple whose home was invaded by "vigilantes" and who were sentenced and CANED in public just last week. God, it made me literally sick then and makes me sick now) I would probably hide it, too. Or in South Africa, where, apparently, there is such a thing "corrective rape" (not posting a link either)

All we can hope for is that everything's changing much faster in this globalised world than ever before. Because, frankly, it's taken way too long already and I don't want the world to have to wait for generations until all of us catch up.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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01-06-2017, 03:23 PM
RE: Coming out atheist vs. LGBT
I never had a proper coming out as atheist. People just know I don't believe. I am not making it a secret. So while I don't start debates or conversations on the topic, if people ask my opinion, it will take them less than 5 minutes to figure out about me being atheist. Simply from the way I talk about religious and spiritual topics.

As bisexual I only formally came out to my mom and her answer was "I don't care". So that was that. It didn't matter for my mom. Everybody else (brother, husband, friends) just know because I simply don't make it a secret. If I see a fine female body, I will make a comment on it. If I see a fine male body, I will equally make a comment on it. Don't care.

But the trans part... My husband knows, my best buddy knows, my therapist knows, TTA forum knows. That is it. There are a few random people that I have lose contact with who know because they are trans as well. Soon I will start volunteering with at an LGBT+ thing here in Ireland and they will obviously know because I will tell them (mainly because I feel save with it there).
But my family doesn't know, my in laws don't know, most of my friends don't know, work doesn't know. At work I am on the LGBT comitee. My workplace is very openly pro and supportive when it comes to LGBT and that is great. But I just don't feel comfortable coming out there, especially because if I come out, there will be an expectation that I transition and I am not transitioning. So I am in this weird position where I mainly am not coming out because I am not transitioning, otherwise I would probably already have come out. My friends, all of them, are super accepting and there are LGBT people in my circle of friends. My mom I don't know, she'd probably think it's a phase until my voice changes and my boobs are gone, my brothers, no clue how they'd react but probably indifferent, my father absolutely no idea. But yea, other than my family, things would probably go fine.

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01-06-2017, 03:40 PM
RE: Coming out atheist vs. LGBT
It's not so much what you come out about, but how that thing is regarded where you happen to be.

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