Two and a half years ago, I told you, my readers, something that I had only ever told one person before.
I am an atheist.
I was a closet atheist in every sense of the word, and I had yet to come out to anyone. Because of that, I kept my secret blog absolutely separate from my real life. It was like I was two people. I was a Christian at home and at college, but I was an atheist online and at heart.
Shortly after beginning The Closet Atheist blog, I came out to my two college roommates. Months later, I announced that I was an atheist to an entire classroom of my peers. I then came out to another close friend, and, as the convoluted story goes, over the following months and years I told my mom, then my sisters, and then my dad, that I’m an atheist. Once they knew, I didn’t make an effort to hide my unbelief from anyone, even if I hadn’t officially “come out” to them.
Without any deliberate revelations from me, my family eventually found this blog. This was the point when the line between me, Rebekah, my real-life self, and The Closet Atheist, blurred. CA was still some sort of 2000’s online alter-ego, but it was also just me, except a version of me that was always talking about atheism. My husband, my family, a handful of friends, and new acquaintances knew me as both Rebekah and as The Closet Atheist.
But the name had become part of my identity. No, I wasn’t a closeted atheist, but I was The Closet Atheist. My life and nearly everything important to me was documented on theclosetatheist.blog. That URL was my online home and sanctuary.
My identity as The Closet Atheist began to deteriorate for two reasons. One was that I knew, at the back of my mind, that several of my family members were reading many, if not all, of my blog posts. When they would come to me saying things like, “I didn’t like what you said about me as The Closet Atheist” or “So about that blog post….” I felt like “Rebekah” was my real and normal self and “The Closet Atheist” was this raging anti-theist who secretly wrote anti-religious rants online about why Veggie Tales is mind control and why Lutheranism is a cult. I hated that this blog that was and is so dear to me was seen so darkly by those closest to me.
The other reason I no longer felt like The Closet Atheist happened when my husband and I became active members of the Pittsburgh Freethought Community about two months ago. It was confusing and strangely embarrassing to have to explain to people (including Dan Barker of the FFRF), who knew me in real life and by my real name, that I have this blog called The Closet Atheist and that “Well, haha, yeah, I’m not in the closet anymore, but that’s just what it’s called, and I know it doesn’t say my name, but I promise it’s me!”
So I’m rebranding. I am embracing the fact that I don’t have two lives anymore. I’m not a fake Christian some of the time around the people I know in person and this edgy closeted atheist around my followers who read my private thoughts online. I’m Rebekah, and I’m an atheist. I’m also a blogger: not an anonymous blogger, just a blogger. I’m an atheist online, at home, and even in my local freethought community.
This leads me to the renaming of this blog. As much as it may seem, not that much is actually changing. I’ve changed my logo, my header photo, and my Twitter hande (@Curi0usAtheist) but it is still the same blog. All that’s changed is the title: The Curious Atheist. You can still feel free to call me CA, but The Curious Atheist is the name of only the blog itself, and not my username. My name is Rebekah, and I am freely seeking truth through writing, reading, and meeting like-minded people.