coming out

(verb) The social, psychological, or political process and act of recognizing and acknowledging a sexual or gender identity within oneself and disclosing this to others.

Audio Pronunciation: (com·ing out)

Download Audio Pronunciation: coming out.mp3

Usage Notes:

  • Coming out typically occurs in stages and is nonlinear.
  • A person may come out multiple times to different people and groups throughout a lifetime.
  • Coming out is not always by choice, some people are outed.
  • This term is typically used in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community but is not limited to it.
  • Also called:
    • come out
    • come out of the closet
    • out

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