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What Does It Mean When Someone Is Said to “Come Out of the Closet”?

The term “come out of the closet” often connotes a person who is hiding his or her sexual preference or orientation, thus he or she experiences that challenge of disclosing it or making it known to others especially to his or her immediate family members. Coming out of the closet simply means making people know about one’s personal sexual interest or identity. This often happens to gay or lesbian people who disclose their sexual preference to the public. But coming out of the closet does not only apply to gays and lesbians but also to people who consider themselves transsexuals, heterosexuals, bisexuals and other transgender. There are nowadays, a lot of classifications of sexuality, not just the traditional gay and lesbian groups. Coming out of the closet will apply to all those sexual classifications.

The term was coined during the time of civil rights movement when people fought not only for women’s rights but also human rights. But during those times, gays and lesbians were still discriminated that is why they chose to hide their true sexual preference. Coming out of the closet can occur early or late in life. It depends on the person whether he or she is ready given the disadvantages of disclosing such matter to others. Despite the applicability of human rights to people from different sexualities, those whom the society views as deviant are still marginalized in jobs, in social circles, in professions and in any other settings. Coming out of the closet is still a challenge that many people face.

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