come out of the closet

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come out of the closet

1. To reveal one's homosexuality after having kept it hidden. Once you come out of the closet, you will feel so relieved.
2. To publicly reveal a secret. After months of tabloid speculation, the young starlet has finally come out of the closet and confirmed her divorce.
See also: closet, come, of, out

come out of the closet

COMMON
1. If someone comes out of the closet, they tell people for the first time that they are gay. She felt that if she came out of the closet as a lesbian, she would be discriminated against. Note: People usually talk about homosexuals coming out, rather than coming out of the closet. I came out when I was still in my teens. Note: Closet is also used in other structures and expressions with a similar or opposite meaning. For example, if you talk about someone being forced back into the closet, you mean that they are being forced again to hide the fact that they are gay. The HIV Aids crisis threatened to push us all back into the closet. Note: You can also use closet before a noun in order to describe a person who hides the fact that they are gay. He was exposed as a closet homosexual. Note: `Out of the closet' was a slogan used by the Gay Liberation Front in the United States in the late 1960s.
2. If someone comes out of the closet, they talk openly about a belief or habit which they have kept secret until now. I suppose it's time I came out of the closet and admitted I'm a Labour supporter. Note: You can also use closet before a noun in order to describe a person who hides their beliefs, feelings, or habits. I'm really a closet greenie who likes to live close to nature.
3. When a subject comes out of the closet, it becomes widely known or openly discussed for the first time. `Prostate cancer came out of the closet,' he adds, `and men started to join self-help groups to talk openly about prostate problems.' Note: You can also say that you bring something out of the closet. The subject needs to be brought out of the closet and dealt with honestly.
See also: closet, come, of, out

come out of the ˈcloset

admit something openly that you kept secret before, especially because of shame or embarrassment: Homosexuals in public life are now coming out of the closet.
See also: closet, come, of, out

come out of the closet

in. to appear publicly as a homosexual; to cease concealing one’s homosexuality. (The phrase has many nonsexual metaphorical meanings.) They say he came out of the closet when he was eight years old.
See also: closet, come, of, out
References in periodicals archive ?
That was 1997--the same year that Ellen DeGeneres came out of the closet and everything changed.
Mel White ghostwrote the Rev, Jerry Falwell's autobiography, But then he came out of the closet, Now the Rev, Mel White is trying to reform the gay movement, "Protest can no longer be on Saturday, with a dance at the end of the day," says White, who is often asked to wear a bullet-proof vest when he speaks at religious colleges, As cofounder of Soulforce, an organization dedicated to gay activism in the tradition of Gandhi and King, White uses old-fashioned nonviolent direct action, "[Pat] Robertson and Falwell are the victims of misinformation, and we must figure out a way to change that through pressure of love," he says.
The Fairbanks resident has forced debate on several gay issues since he came out of the closet in 1982.
As I began to feel better about myself after I came out of the closet and emerged with a stronger sense of myself, my mom responded and became much more accepting of my being gay.