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Closet, Underground, Out

Definition - What does Closet, Underground, Out mean?

Closet, Underground, and Out are all terms which express one's level of comfort or openness with their sexual preference. "Closet" and "underground" refer to those who are private or secretive about their sexuality; while "out" describes people who are more open about their sexual orientation.

These terms are typically used to refer to people that are homosexual.

Kinkly explains Closet, Underground, Out

People are said to be "in the closet," "closeted," or "underground" if they attempt to hide their homosexuality. Those who are in the closet or underground might date or even marry people of the opposite gender. They might avoid having intimate relationships altogether or they might pursue their desired relationships in private while behaving another way around people who know them well. In some cases they may even be able to disassociate themselves from their homosexual lifestyle. People who behave this way may be called Closet Homosexuals, Closet Gays, or Closet Queens.

Being "out" is the opposite of being closeted or underground. It comes from the term "out of the closet." Someone may come out voluntarily or be outed by others who discover their sexual identity. This may happen to gay celebrities who are spotted engaging in homosexual relationships by the paparazzi or other members of the public. "Out and proud" is a common term describing a person comfortable with their sexuality, especially in regards to homosexuality. For many LGBT individuals, coming out is a lifelong process.

The decision about whether to be closeted, underground, or out is a complex one. Homophobic attitudes from society and loved ones can cause people to hide their sexuality. Many people who are in the closet even struggle to admit their sexual orientation to themselves due to these attitudes.
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