Patrick Mitchell has written a lengthy guide to coming out as an atheist on his website Coffee Shop Atheist. The first part deals with actually coming out, the second focuses on how various kinds of believers will react to your deconversion, and the third (upcoming) will talk about the different kinds of atheists.
Regarding coming out of the closet, I thought this suggestion, in particular, was a good one:
Don’t: Put it up on Facebook First
This was a tremendous mistake on my part. It was dumb dumb dumb. My parents heard about my deconversion secondhand, after my entire extended family was viciating over it. I could have easily saved a lot of pain if I had explained myself first, but I didn’t.
If you plan to go public, do so after everyone who will ‘freak out’ already knows. If you already hate everyone close to you and don’t care what they think, still call them anyways.
You don’t have to fight the stereotype of an immoral atheist if you don’t want to, but if you really want to help change people’s minds, a good first step is to be strong and tell them, even if you couldn’t give two shits what they think.
Anyone else have a “Do” or “Don’t” to add to Patrick’s list?