If you’ve spent any time on YouTube or Facebook, you’ve probably seen some pretty awful videos of responses from families when individual members “come out”. Very recently, there was a sad story about a transgender girl who killed herself after years of religious-based “therapy” and her parents’ denial of permission to start conversion therapy. Often, atheists and agnostics coming out as non-believers and skeptics to their families isn’t as spectacular, but if you browse this blog, you can easily find deconversion stories in which the religious segment of the family cuts off, denies, or shuns individuals who no longer believe as the family feels they should.
Now there is a place for these hurting individuals to turn, especially the most vulnerable among us. Secular Avenue (SAFE) is a 501(c)3 licensed charity helping those in need of a safe place and help, whether in need because of a violent relationship, coming out lgbt, or being kicked out for religious reasons. They offer counseling service, financial and legal assistance, and can assist individuals in need with finding the resources to help them get safe. If you or someone you know is in need, or in danger, visit them or share the information.
If you are personally not in need of their assistance, they may be in need of yours. All donations made to this much needed program are tax deductible, and this is a great service filling a desperate hole in our societal safety net. It can be difficult to find good causes to donate to that aren’t somehow tied back to a religion, or where your donations won’t go to “operating costs” and lobbying, but atheists want their world to be a better place, too. Let’s support people making a difference!
Find Secular Avenue on Facebook facebook.com/secularavenue or on Twitter @secularavenue