Technically I was born "not" a theist, which is what an atheist is. However, without the claim of theists, I would not know the label atheist existed. I first heard about the concept of God at age 12 when our family moved to the bible belt. Before that I never knew the concept even existed. I would only say that I was skeptical and bewildered by the claim after meeting my first christians. While I did not out right reject the claim, I found no apparent reason to accept it either. Years went on and finally in my early 30's I decided to invest some time to doing some research to see if I could find any validity to the claim, studying both history itself as well as the history of several religions. While the topic was fascinating, after my research was done (about two years) I finally owned my atheism in terms of telling others that I was not a believer. During my research, I began as an agnostic atheist before finally understanding why Gods could not exist and took on the label of gnostic atheist. This was almost 3 decades ago.