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Coming out of the closet is a common figure of speech used by those in the LGBT community. This can refer to either the self disclosure of one's chosen (or lack of) sexual orientation or one's gender identity. In some cases, an individual might be partially out of the closet, meaning that the individual is open with some individuals, but the general public is unaware.
Out of the closet refers to a homosexual or bisexual that is open about their sexuality. An individual that does not disclose their sexual preference to the public, or even to oneself, is referred to as being in the closet. Once the individual is comfortable with others knowing their sexual identity, it is referred to as coming out of the closet. Psychologists describe the process as an individual rite of passage. If an individual's identity or orientation is shared with others without the consent of the individual, that process is referred to as outing someone. Outing oneself is the same act done as self-disclosure.