I’ve always felt that there are a lot of similarities between the coming out process for gays and atheists. It’s certainly gotten easier to come out as either one in recent years, but it’s still really hard. Do a google search for atheist coming out stories, and you might be shocked. People have lost all of their friends and family. They’ve lost jobs. They’ve been ostracized and shunned by entire communities. In severe cases, they’ve been physically attacked.
In the now famous survey from 2006, it was discovered that the average American would rather have a Muslim as president than an atheist. Gays still have it bad, but as things stand now, if an atheist and a gay man ran for president, the gay man would win. The good news is that things are getting better for gays. Things have changed since the 50s and 60s, when “fag drags” were all the rage in Texas. In the last fifty years, they’ve managed to rise from the bottom of the cultural barrel to all the rage on prime time network television. We atheists should pay attention to what they did and how they did it.
Here’s Dan Savage talking about coming out. As far as I can tell, this might as well be directed towards atheists.