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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
The Celluloid Closet

Closeted or "in the closet" are phrases generally referring to undisclosed sexual behavior, sexual orientation and gender identity. The most common of these concern lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people as well as people who engage in kink sexual behaviors such as BDSM or fetishes.

Related terminology

  • A person who is in the closet may be referred to as "closeted" or a "closet case." Calling someone a closet case is generally meant to be disparaging, and usually refers to someone (male) who seems to go to great lengths to prove or assert his masculinity.
  • "Being out" means living a life in which you do not hide that you are not heterosexual, or more generally that you do not hide your sexual orientation or gender identity. "Openly" as in "openly gay" means the same thing.
  • "Coming out of the closet" (often shortened to coming out) describes voluntarily making public one's sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Similarly, to be "outed" means to have your sexual orientation or gender identity made public non-voluntarily; 'outing' someone without asking permission beforehand is considered extremely rude.
  • Passing refers to the practice of a person pretending to be of a sexual orientation other than their real one, usually a homosexual or bisexual person pretending to be heterosexual.
  • The Glass Closet (Harlow, 2006) refers to those who may not be out, even to themselves, but others can plainly see that they are, in fact, in the closet.
  • The term closet has been extended to indicate any identity or affiliation that a person keeps secret for fear of persecution or exclusion. Acts of coming out are sometimes delayed or prevented because of stigmas still present in today's society (e.g., because of one's religion, lifestyle, political affiliation, etc.)
  • The term "fire hazard" refers to a flamboyant or "flaming" man who is, for whatever reason, not "out" and is still in the closet.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Closeted" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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