Coming out of the closet (as used in the gay community) refers to the decision of an individual to be public about their sexuality. It could mean revealing one’s sexuality to close friends or family, or letting anyone know. It can mean letting only one person know. It’s a process that many gay people undertake. The positive effects of coming out can run deep. For many gay people, no longer having to hide an aspect of yourself from people around you can be a relief. There are others who choose to remain closeted. I’ve seen criticism of gay people who remain in the closet, and it so often fails to realize that the situations each person faces are unique to them. The manner in which they choose to deal with their sexuality should be their choice and no one else’s. That’s part of the right to self-determination.
Sometimes coming out can have a ripple effect in unsuspecting and spectacular ways:
In 2010, teacher David Weston made an incredible decision.
He decided to come out to the entirety of Watford Grammar School, in Hertfordshire, England.
And now, four years later, a former student has got in touch with him to thank him.
Writing on Twitter, he said: ‘I came out as a gay teacher in a whole-school assembly in 2010. Today, four years later, I just received this email. Wow.’
You can read the letter here.