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“Mom, Dad, There is No God.” Coming Out as a Non-Believer

The increasingly common experience of ‘coming out’ as an atheist carries its own challenges.


As we approach adulthood, there are a number of hard talks people must have with their parents—about sexual orientation, about living your own dreams (and not those of Mom and Dad), about what we really believe. Those moments of truth help transition many of us from being the person our parents thought we’d be, to accepting ourselves for who we really are. But coming out, and opening up, always comes with the risk of rejection.

Christy Meyer was home-schooled with a religiously-based curriculum that taught reading, writing, morality, and that the Earth is 6,000 years old. At age 12, Meyer made her first non-home-schooled friends, and when a new pal, from a mixed Buddhist and Muslim family asked, “Do you think that I’m going to hell?” Meyer had to answer, “Yes.” She soon realized other good people around the world, who by the accident of circumstance were not Christian, would also be damned according to her belief system. “That was so jarring for me. And I really look back at that as a pivotal moment.”

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'As a Gay Man': Coming Out, Quinto-Style

Will actor Zachary Quinto's low-key confession in New York magazine usher in a new era of casual coming-out moments?


Actor Zachary Quinto just came out as gay—not via a proclamation on a magazine cover, not in a curated press statement, but by using one little phrase in an interview: "As a gay man..."

Yesterday, New York magazine ran a profile of the Heroes actor that included questions about Angels in America and his producer role in Margin Call, plus a casual confession of Quinto's sexuality, a qualifier as natural as where he was born or what color hair he has. Among the spate of celebrities who have come out in the last 20 years, this is an unusual course to take. Ellen DeGeneres famously came out on her own sitcom, in an episode that attracted more than 42 million viewers. Country singer Chely Wright staked out the cover of People to make her announcement, and followed that up with a tell-all memoir. After years of speculation, singer Ricky Martin wrote on his website that he was a "fortunate homosexual man."

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The Most Important Gay Icon of All

Pro-gay pop stars and politicians are fabulous. But there's a whole other world of sports that needs a gay role model.



It doesn’t make the street-activist in me feel great, but one sentence from a celebrity is often worth a dozen town square protests. If you can get Justin Bieber to say or do something, anything, it reverberates all over the internet, and millions of ears—particularly tiny ears—perk up.

That’s why a current, major pro athlete needs to come out of the closet. And it will probably happen really soon.

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