Updated: MAY 8, 2015

Outing is the practice of revealing a member of the LGBT community's sexual orientation or gender identity without the individual's consent. It may occur when the media or members of the public disclose details about a celebrity's sexuality or gender identity or when people discuss the status of others in their peer group.

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It's widely believed that outing someone violates the individual's right to privacy and ability to choose how, when, or if he or she will ever "come out." However, some people feel that it is the public's right to know whether someone is a member of the LGBT community, and that being closeted sets backs LGBT causes. Some argue that outing equalizes homosexuals and heterosexual people because people are typically aware whether someone else is straight. Individuals that take this stance contend that sex itself is private, but that sexuality should not be private.

Many celebrities including George Michael, Queen Latifah, and Portia de Rossi were outed. Other prominent public figures like Neil Patrick Harris, Ricky Martin, and Raven Symone came out when gay rumors began swirling so that they could control the conditions under which the public learned of their sexuality.


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