Dave Muscato, the public relations director for American Atheists, has announced that he'll be transitioning into a transgender woman in the near future, and has chosen the name Danielle as a new identity.
"I consider my gender identity to be personal and, despite my passion for PR, don't intend to do much in the way of interviews about my personal gender identity if I can help it. I fully support intersectionality and working together with LGBTQ activists on mutual goals, but I'm first and foremost an atheist activist, and that hasn't changed," Muscato wrote in a blog post on Monday for The Friendly Atheist.
"There are many other people who are significantly more educated about trans activism than I am and who are already doing great work in that area. I support them and obviously have an interest in their success, but it's not my area of expertise. Exposing the harms that religion causes and making the world a better place for atheists will always be my passion."
Muscato noted that she's (formerly he) grateful for the full support of American Atheists President David Silverman and Managing Director Amanda Knief, as well as other co-workers.
Muscato added that gender identity and gender expression don't always go hand-in-hand.
"While I have identified internally as a woman for a long time, for now, I will be presenting more-or-less as a man; that is, I will continue to wear mostly traditional men's clothing, speak in my natural lower voice, and so on," the American Atheists public relations director wrote.
"Transitioning is a slow, painful, and expensive process and can take many months to several years. As I begin to take bigger steps to change my appearance, I will also begin dressing differently and changing other aspects of my gender expression.
American Atheists, one of the largest secular organizations in the U.S., launched the world's first ever TV channel dedicated exclusively to atheism earlier this year.
"Atheist TV," as the channel is called, is shown through Internet-streaming service Roku 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and has partnered with other notable atheist groups, such as the Richard Dawkins Foundation.
"There's a glut of religious TV programming out there, from televangelists to Christmas specials," Muscato told New York Daily News in May. "But there's no atheist channel. We wanted to fill that void. ... We'll have shows about philosophy, science, history — a critical examination of the facts."