Daniel Florien at Unreasonable Faith wrote a great article this week about handling criticisms with friends and family (http://unreasonablefaith.com/2009/04/27/dealing-with-criticism-from-friends-and-family)
That is great advice for once you've already come out, but how do you come out when you know you will be flatly rejected? When I came out as an Atheist my Mom exploded on my telling me she was going to force me to go to church and that I had no say in it (I was 15 or 16). She came back half an hour later and apologized and said she understood my reasoning and we have been cool ever since. My Dad never cared, but since I came out we have fantastic discussions about religion.
As great as my parents have been, the rest of my family is not so easy. Specifically I have two very religious, very conservative uncles. They are great to me, and fantastic hosts when I visit. However very often I listen and grit my teeth when they talk about politics, which ultimately leads to religion (we don't have enough good Christian politicians). I never speak up, because they have said incredibly flammatory things about Atheists. A couple times I have said little things "I have Atheist friends who are good people", but ultimately anyone who supports abortion is evil in their eyes. I know when I read stories about family members it is easy for me to think "just forget them, they're not worth it". But I love my uncles, they have been great to me, and there for me in hard times. Ultimately I don't know that they would shun me if I told them my beliefs, but I am very scared that they would. I could handle discussions (even if they become heated), but I want to avoid being shunned by them at all costs.
Further making this difficult is my girl friends family. My girlfriend was raised in a VERY conservative christian household. And although she still is a Christian, she has eased up and many of her beliefs (same-sex marriage, abortion,etc.). She is just fine with my beliefs, and I am just fine with hers. Her father is probably neutral, but we rarely talk to him (for completely unrelated issues), and her Mother would use this to prove how terrible a person she is (not a great relation there either, for other issues). However she is very close with her grandparents, and they are very similar to my uncles.
The grandparents have been a huge outlet for my girlfriend, they have helped her through some really, really tough times, and are all around good people. However, they come from a very conservative area where Atheists are a clear enemy (Liberals too). If I were to come out to them it would be a disaster. The last thing I want to do is put a distance between her and her grandparents, but sometimes its hard for me to reconcile that if they knew who I really was it would be a huge problem.
This is a long winded post, but I'm just curious as to how the members of TA deal with these situations.