You often hear these words, “Closeted” and “Coming out” in lgbtq+ community. Like He/She is still in the closet or He/She Comes out of the closet as Gay/Lesbian/ Trans etc. In the news we see many of our favorite celebrity come out as gay/lesbian/trans etc.
What is “in the Closet” ?
Closeted and In the closet, Keeping something secret, Describes any lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and any LGBTQ+ person who has not disclosed their sexual orientation or gender identity. It can also be used to describe anyone who is hiding part of their identity because of social pressure.
A closeted gay man or woman keeps the fact that he or she is gay secret from most people. Then we say He or She is still in the closet. let’s take an example of my friend Jennifer. She is a lesbian, but she hasn’t told anyone. so it means she is still in the closet.
Little bit about Gender identity and Sexual orientation : Gender identity refers to a person’s internal sense of being male, female or something else. Simply: Gender identity is about who you are. Sexual orientation is about who you want to be with. lesbian, gay, bisexual, or straight etc are terms for sexual orientation. Being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or straight describes who you’re attracted to and who you feel yourself drawn to romantically, emotionally, and sexually.
What is coming out?
The term “Coming Out” is a shortened form of “coming out of the closet”, which is a metaphor for revealing one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The process in which a person first acknowledges, accepts and appreciates their sexual orientation or gender identity and begins to share that with others.
‘Coming out’ means telling someone about your sexual orientation and gender identity, this means sharing with others that you are lesbian, gay, bi, trans (LGBT+). Coming out includes both exploring your identity and sharing that identity with others.
Coming out is not a single event, but rather a life-long process of understanding, accepting, and acknowledging your own identity. The first person you have to come out to is yourself. Later stages involve coming out to others, such as friends, family, co-workers, etc.
e.g. When Jennifer realized She was lesbian, She first came to understand and accept her sexual orientation by coming out to himself but not to anyone else. When she is comfortable she will decide if and when she wants to come out to others.
The process of coming out can be very different for everyone and it can take some time to get to a point where you feel comfortable and confident enough to have those conversations with people. It can be a long and difficult process because it involves confronting the society also confronting discrimination and homophobic and transphobic attitudes along the way.
Ultimately, coming out is a freeing experience that allows LGBT+ people to live more openly and happy, and develop more genuine relationships with others.
- Also Read: What Does Transgender Mean? Gender Identity
Why come out?
People just want to be honest about who they are, especially with the people they love. By coming out, the person is able to share with others who they are and what is important to them, rather than having to hide or lie about their identity. Hiding who you are can be a big struggle.
Coming out allows the person to develop as a whole individual, and makes it easier for an individual to develop a positive self-image. Coming out helps the person to not live a double life anymore, which can be extremely stressful and demoralizing.
Someone may decide to come out to family or friends only but not to the rest of the world. It may take them a while to get to a point where they feel ready to come out. which is absolutely fine.
If you are one the these person, The main thing you have to remember is, not to put pressure on yourself and to only come out when you feel ready.
I hope now you understand the terms “Coming out” and “Closeted”.