come out of the closet - idiom meaning?

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What is the meaning of "to come out of the closet" idiom?
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Idiom Definition:


"to come out of the closet"
to openly admit to being homosexual
to openly admit a previously secret or hidden point of view (sometimes used humorously)
 
Synonyms:
admit, candid, disclosed, divulged, exposed, honest, open, reveal, show, truth
 
 
This interesting person is literally coming out of the closet. - - - - ->  an interesting "man" dessed in women's clothing is emerging from a clothes closet




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Idiom Scenario 1:


After a two year relationship with Barbara ended, Steve was thinking about why his relationship failed.  Steve examined his inner feelings and beliefs.  He discovered that he had been hiding his true sexuality because of fear.  Steve admitted to himself that he was gay.  Steve decided that it was time to celebrate his homosexuality and...
come out of the closet.
This means that Steve will tell everyone in his life that he is homosexual.
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Idiom Scenario 2:


Jean and Sylvia have been lovers for many years.  They have always been careful not to display affection in public.  Their friends and family do not know the true nature of their relationship.  Jean and Sylvia decide that, in the present day, attitudes towards homosexuals have changed to the point where it is OK to be gay.  They decide to...
come out of the closet.
Jean and Sylvia will tell their families and friends about their relationship.  They will also begin to display affection towards each other in public as well as participate in activities and events that heterosexual couples participate in.
 
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Idiom Usage:

In the imperative:
"Come out of the closet, already!"
This idiom is definitely informal. 
This idiom can be quite controversial as it concerns a controversial subject - homosexuality.
This idiom can be used, in a humorous way, to describe any other type of activity or belief that a person feels the need to hide or be ashamed about.
Alternate form:
"to be in the closet" - to hide your homosexual nature
"to hide in the closet" - to hide your homosexual nature
 
 
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Gerund Form of the Idiom:

Coming out of the closet can be a traumatic and liberating experience.
 
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