Author Bridget Gaudette
I'm an ex-Jehovah's Witness with a focus on Black atheism, humanism, and sex-positive dialogue. | @BridgetGaudette
I’ve never met anyone like me.. and it can be very lonely.
I am a Black female Atheist: a minority within a minority within a minority.
My mother, father and brothers have disowned me.
I am thirty something in a childless, interracial marriage.
I have a graduate degree but make less money than I did as a server.
I’m a nerd; I love video games and I’m a bibliophile.
I was raised in a cult.
I was married in Las Vegas.
I have a fetish for office supplies.
I have a severe case of wanderlust, but have only had one true vacation in ten years.
My IQ puts me in the gifted category, but I ended up with a GED.
I play the violin (badly).
I love hypothetical questions and when people talk about themselves.
I’m a social introvert.
I’m unique, I suppose.. but at what cost?
I don’t have a single blood relative that has anything to do with me. I only have a handful of close friends. I don’t have many people in my life that I love and trust either. How can this be when I am stunningly beautiful, exceedingly intelligent and ridiculously interesting?! Well, part of the reason might be because I am a minority, within a minority, within a minority. Yesterday, I was in a room full of freethinkers and while it was an incredible experience, I was yet again the only Black female Atheist. Others noticed this fact and brought it to my attention and I even I had two people tell me that I had an “extra” responsibility to be highly visible. I was taken aback at first. Why do I have an EXTRA responsibility? Wow.. no pressure there right?
Well.. they were right. I do. Look at any study on religion in the United States and you’ll find that Blacks, especially the women, tend to be the most religious. It’s expected. No one meets me and wonders if I am liberal or Christian.. these two things are so significantly disproportionately true, that they are assumed and not a second thought is given. The sad thing about this is that I’m sure I’ve unknowingly met several Black female Atheists and yet we’ve both assumed that the other was a Christian and didn’t come out to each other because we were making false assumptions. So, compared with, say, the plethora of middle-aged White men who are vocal Atheists, there are only a handful of Black females (and what an incredible group they are!) and all of us have this extra responsibility.
Last year I decided to be more visible. I became an “activist” of sorts (to date I don’t know if I’m doing it right). I’m not a charismatic speaker, I don’t have a dramatic or unique conversion story… perhaps that makes me more relatable? Still, just being seen, without seeking celebrity or fame is enough to help others come out. I doubt she knows this but AJ Johnson, the Development Director for American Atheists, has A LOT to do with my decision to be more active within the Atheist movement. She is the first Black female paid staff member of a major Atheist organization that I had noted after realizing I was an Atheist myself. Since then I have admiringly looked at her and American Atheists, the organization, and wanted to be a part of it. Florida is seriously backwards when it comes to secular issues and I was hopeful that I could have an impact on the state and be more visibile, perhaps as a State Director and have a positive effect on Black females like AJ did.
Now other Black women can SEE me too and think, “I can do that”.
I am the co-founder of Secular Woman, whose mission it to is to amplify the voice, presence, and influence of non-religious women.
Your generous contributions will go towards my travel expenses to secular conventions and help to keep me blogging. Thanks in advance! -Bridget