I am an atheist and I have only really told my immediate family. This is mainly because my sister is an atheist to so we talk about it pretty openly in my house. However, when it comes to social situations and religion is brought it can get a little awkward. Most the time people will ask if I am Catholic or Christian and I normally just say no and leave it at that. How would you tell people that you are an atheist?
I'm a firm believer in the idea that we won't be more accepted until we're more open about the fact that we exist. If people knew that so many of the people around them were "nones" then that would be consciousness-raising for them. So when someone asks I just tell them I'm an atheist. And then I often do some more consciousness-raising when they respond, shocked, "You're an ATHEIST?" I reply "Yeah, why, aren't YOU??"
When the topic of religion comes up I simply say "I'm an atheist." Then I let the discussion unfurl from there.
I usually don't identify myself as atheist unless someone specifically asks, but if I hear someone in conversation being swayed by woo or superstition, I speak up for rationality, and offer facts to counter fallacies.
I paint an "A" on their chest like fucking Zorro and ride away.
Seriously, though, I normally just announce it if someone asks regardless of whether I know them or not. I also point out that unless they are into some kind of polytheism which encompasses every diety in (non) existence, they are also atheists.
I love telling people I'm an Atheist. I'm very proud to be one and since I have come out to my family I feel as if I've joined an elite club of people made up of the greatest minds on the planet. I feel more pride in being an Atheist than when I passed the MENSA exam.
I tell people whenever possible and bring it into conversations baiting people to debate me on the subject of religion.
I feel the same
If I'm asked I just up and say "I'm Atheist" and if I sense a bemused idiotic look or ingratiating tone from the theist, I usually follow with something like "Why? aren't you Atheist regarding Ra?"
In a year I've never said it to anyone except to my atheist husband. It just doesn't come up. Mostly people here (Indiana) just want to know if you are a Christian or not. How silly is it that I don't go the extra step after saying "no" to say "I'm an atheist". Maybe I will just try it and see what happens.
I shamelessly state that "I'm an atheist."
I have to go with the crowd here, I have no problem saying I'm an atheist, I am very proud that I freed myself from superstition, wish craft and self delusion.
I also wear a an assortment of gel bracelets "no gods no masters" "Atheist" "Reason not Religion" if people take the time to read these it kind of an introduction it as well
I think you can tailor your response to the audience. On one hand I agree with Nelson that we have to make our presence felt to stem the tide of the religious right. The other day I visited my new cardiologist. His nurse asked me my religion. Rather than responding catholic, which would be a lie, I said "none." She was taken back. I literally saw her pull back as if she was going to catch something from me. When she recovered she said something to indicate acceptance and moved on. I felt good about waking her up to the reality that we are here, get use to it. On the other hand I have an 87 year old aunt. She is very religious. I never go to church unless it is a funeral or wedding so she must suspect I've lost my faith. I don't bring it up and neither does she. I'm don't want to cause her any unnecessary anguish. She is the only family I have left. Most of my friends know I have no use for organized religion. At my last college reunion, a Mass was on schedule. As we discussed our plans, they all looked at me to see my reaction. I said I wasn't going but "don't let that stop you if you want to go." I don't think any of them went.
So for me it depends on the situation.
That's my favorite response.