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Coming out

Coming out (of the closet) is a metaphor used to originally describe LGBTQ people's self-disclosure of their sexual orientation, romantic orientation or their gender identity. However it can infact be used to describe self-dislosure of any intentionally or unintentionally concealed stigmatised characteristics, for example relating to mental health or HIV status. Framed and debated as a privacy issue, 'coming out' is experienced variously as a psychological process or journey; a means toward feeling acceptance and pride instead of shame and social stigma. Many LGBTQ+ people reject the notion of 'coming out' as it can unfairly place the onus of others wrongful assumptions about sexual and gender identity onto the queer person rather than the assuming party. Some are now opting for the term 'letting in', as it gives the individual agency over what to disclose, to whom and when.

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