Here’s why. I got lots of help with this book, and working on it felt very much like a collaboration, a community effort. (To some extent that’s true with any book, but it was even more true with this one.) Because coming out is really different for different atheists, it was hugely important to get detailed feedback on the book, so my personal perspective wasn’t completely skewing my depiction of other people’s experiences. So I asked lots of friends and colleagues to give me detailed feedback on the book: either on the book as a whole, or on particular chapters about atheists with very different experiences from mine (such as the chapters on parents, students, clergy, people in the U.S. military, and people in theocracies). Many people were very generous with their time helping out: they put a whole lot of time and work and thought into a project that wasn’t theirs, because they thought it would benefit the community. And, of course, I had the help of the hundreds of people who wrote in with their coming-out story, or who told their coming-out story in one of the books or websites I cited, or who just told me your coming-out story in person.
The Atheist Community of Austin is organized as a nonprofit educational corporation to develop and support the atheist community, to provide opportunities for socializing and friendship, to promote secular viewpoints, to encourage positive atheist culture, to defend the first amendment principle of state-church separation, to oppose discrimination against atheists and to work with other organizations in pursuit of common goals.
Their flagship activities include:
The Atheist Experience TV show
The Non Prophets Podcast
Godless Bitches Podcast
The ACA Lecture Series monthly public lecture, usually the 2nd Sunday of the month
The Atheist Experience Blog
Atheist Eve Cartoon updated at the beginning of each month
The Austin Atheist newsletter
A number of community service activities
A voters guide, published bi-annually for races in Texas
The Atheist Community of Austin is a 501(c) nonprofit, and donations to them are tax-deductible. If you want to support them too, here’s their donation page!