Friday, August 27, 2010

Concerning the Idea of Coming Out

Anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time knows that I've tried to remain anonymous. I want my blog to remain a place where I can freely voice my thoughts without worrying about some acquaintance or family member outing me. I also stay anonymous to avoid any possible persecution or discrimination in the event that a customer of my employer or a co-worker find this site and pin it to my identity.

Perhaps I'm worried about nothing. But, I don't really want to take that chance. So, I seriously doubt I will ever disclose my full identity on this blog.

However, I do feel that I need to start making steps to come out of the closet in the real world-- apart from cyber space.

Recently, two bloggers that I follow were outed in different ways-- only days apart from each other. Both seemed very displeased about the whole ordeal, but found that their world didn't totally crumble once the smoke cleared. Yes, they must make adjustments now that important relationships have become strained and stretched. But a bit of relief seems to have come as a result of taking off the mask.

And another benefit may come from being outed.

According to a recent talk given by Greta Christian entitled "What Atheists Can Learn from the LGBT Movement", she states that the number one phenomena that generated more tolerance for the LGBT community was the coming out of members.

Coming out of the closet, according to Greta Christina, causes people who would normally be intolerant of the LGBT community realize they personally know someone from that community. Potential opponents are forced to put the human face of a friend or loved one up against their intolerance. As a result, tolerance slowly displaces prejudice because the members of the LGBT movement are no longer "them". Rather, they are now our brothers, cousins, sisters, fathers, mothers, friends, and children.

As it should be.

The people who were outed by their blogs may wished it never happened, but these outings may actually serve as two more important steps forward for the atheist community as a whole.

In light of Greta Christina's talk coupled with the outing of the two bloggers I've mentioned, I now have a much stronger desire to come out of the closet myself.

Again, not here on this site. Although, I think I might start sharing a few details about myself that I would normally keep private. I'm mulling it over for the moment.

But as for life outside of the blogsphere, I have decided to slowly take baby steps towards coming out to the people from which I've hidden for several years now.

In my next post, I'll share my very first baby step towards coming out of the closet.

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