I was about to click on this poll to rank how long I've been "out" as an atheist and realized that is a loaded question. How long have I known I'm atheist? Since the first time I set foot in church in my childhood home of Alabama and realized that I'm the opposite of all of the people in that building.
How long has my mother known? I think she's always known, but we don't really talk about it.
How long has my grandmother known? I think she's an atheist in denial so maybe she always has known.
Some of my co-workers know, some don't. Some of my friends know, some don't. Some of my business clients know....and some I can't tell or I'll lose much of my clientele.
So, I guess my point is, I do not have an answer for this poll as I don't believe I will ever be able to be completely "out" and work freely and prosperously in my field and maintain relationships with my extended family of Alabama Bible Beaters.
P.S. I work with children with special needs and many (I'd say most in my experience) of the families turn to their God to explain why their child has a condition. Some of the conditions I see are horrible and ruin families and they often describe belief in God as the only way they can cope with what's happening to them.
Anyone else have trouble answering that pole?