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Closet queen is a slang term for a homosexual male who does not admit that he is a homosexual. He may not tell his friends or family members about his true sexuality. In some cases, he might not even admit his true sexuality to himself.
It’s believed that the term closet queen was first used in 1967. It is a combination of the term closet, meaning a state of secrecy, and queen, a slang term for a homosexual man.
A closet queen may also be called a closet case or a closet homosexual.
Closet queens generally act as if they are straight because they do not want people to know that they are gay. They may date women or take other measures to avoid detection. Closet queens may engage in homosexual activities in secret while leading a life which appears heterosexual around people who know them.
Homosexual men may be closet queens because of pressures they feel by society and their loved ones. Many believe that hiding their sexuality gives them greater choices in their professional and personal lives. Some closet queens think that their decision makes it easier for them to engage in bisexual behavior.
The term closet queen carries a weight of disapproval. People who use it generally believe that homosexuals should be honest about their preferences and not attempt to portray themselves as something that they are not. Historically, people have derided closet queens because they felt these men were detrimental to the gay rights movement. Their reasoning was that closet queens did nothing to participate in the gay rights movement, but they benefited from it.