I've mentioned atheism and the closet before, I support Richard Dawkins' Out Campaign, and I was very interested to read Greta Christina's piece "Being an Atheist in the Queer Community" describing "a lot of parallels between the atheist community and the queer community:"
I think that the two movements have a great deal in common -- the importance of coming out of the closet, an ongoing family argument between the more diplomatic and the more confrontational activist philosophies, being a scapegoat of the religious right, etc.. [...] I think the two communities could learn an enormous amount from each other, and I think that they're natural allies.
She finds being queer in the atheist community to be far easier that the reverse, and offers suggestions to her LGBT friends in "How to Be an Ally with Atheists." I found this passage especially intriguing:
As someone whose name I can't remember recently said: Religion has been discussed in hushed tones for so long, that when people talk about it in a normal tone of voice, it sounds like we're screaming. But most of us are not screaming. Most of us are talking in a normal tone of voice... for the first time in our lives.
Not just for the first time in our lives, but for the first time in their lives. This explains why theists often get so unhinged at being questioned or challenged--they've never dealt with a rebuttal before, so they often over-react. (The quote she describes seems very familiar--Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris, perhaps?--but I haven't been able to find it.)