I finally came out to my mother as an atheist. I told the story of coming out to my father (they are divorced) last summer. He gave me the classic line “I would have been less disappointed in you if you had told me you were a faggot”. I knew my mom would not be as unreasonable, nor would she be as quotable, but it’s still something I’ve avoided telling her since.. well.. I became an atheist. 11 years ago.
I had an amazing discussion with her. She reacted supportively, and I had no reason to believe she wouldn’t. Still, the thought of telling the woman who sent me to a Catholic school and to whom “faith” is very important to has always made me anxious. I am closer to my mother than any of my 4 parental figures. She told me about her views.. and her disapproval of dogmas of organized churches. She seems to have settled upon a panentheistic view of the supernatural, a belief that is indeed important to her.
I told her how bitter I was about the Catholic church. A few years ago I had a discussion with my mother and step father about the church. I remember it took place at the restaurant “99”. See, my step father was a former Catholic priest, and left the church for my mother. His own belief is that God had another plan for him. In any case, my mother and step father were not welcome by the Catholic church afterwards. They were willing, however, to take thousands of tuition dollars from them so I could attend and be proselytized at a school run by their diocese. I reminded her of the conversation where they told me all this, and told her that my bitterness about the Catholic church I had already developed was tenfold once I had learned these things. I told her that as the Catholic church collapses and disintegrates in my hometown, and as the Catholic schools keep having to merge (when I was in kindergarten 20 years ago there were 5 in the area, now there is 1), I am secretly cheering it all on even though my aunt and “Godmother”, who I am extremely close to and care for a lot, teaches there and has to go through a job scare each time it happens.
A huge burden has been taken off my back. And I am ready to move forward knowing all my parents now know about something I consider fundamental to my being. On top of that.. my new girlfriend is stunning in so many ways, and I am excited for a relationship that I think has a lot of potential.