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Out is an adjective which describes people who are open about their sexuality or gender identity. The process of moving from someone who does not disclose their sexuality or gender identity, or closeted, to someone who is more open about their identity is known as coming Out. Someone who feels positively about being Out is often called out and proud.
Being out is often liberating. It allows people to be all aspects of themselves and live without secrets. People who are out can also empower others in the community to live more authentic lives. Being out can also make forming and maintaining romantic and sexual relationships easier. However, people who are out may face prejudice and social stigma from some sections of the community. Negative experiences may make individuals question whether they really want to be out at all.
Typically once someone is out, they maintain this status. However, they may go back into the closet, especially in certain settings, in some instances. For example, a person starting a new job may be closeted at work but out in their social life. They may also stop being out in some social settings if they are dating someone who is not out. However, most people feel it is worth remaining out in all settings. Laws that protect employees against harassment and discrimination in the workplaces can help members of the LGBTQIA community being out professionally.