LGBT The origins of "coming out (of the closet)"

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by marxwa99, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. marxwa99

    marxwa99 Boom Squad

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    So im currently researching the social and academic origins of the term "coming out." The academic origins i can do, but i'm trying to see where the phrase originates from or who was the first to coin it. I found somewhere that said it was coined during the 1st gay activist march in 1987, but research (e.g., Dank, 1971) have utilized the phrase prior.

    Thanks!
     
  2. mamoru

    mamoru New Member

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    Read articles and whatnot from Eve Sedgwick's "Epistemology of the Closet"

    That should help you a shitload.

    I'm taking a queer lit. theory course, and did an essay on it...I didn't really look into the origin of the phrase, but the essay does discuss it IIRC...
     
  3. Sam Gamgee

    Sam Gamgee Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right. OT Supporter

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    I'd be interested in knowing the answer to this as well.

    Although I have my theories about the imagery of the closet (a dark, lonely place where only one person could fit... i.e.: feeling like you're the only one in the world who's gay).

    But, I'd like to know the true story
     
  4. Sam Gamgee

    Sam Gamgee Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right. OT Supporter

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    ok, I got intrigued, and did some digging:

    http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/36/messages/941.html


    Here's one that says that "coming out of the closet" was termed at a rally in 1987
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A412570

    Here's one that says that the term "coming out" was termed in the 1950s, so maybe "coming out" was changed to "coming out of the closet" in the 80s.
    http://www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/coming_out_ssh.html

    Here's a discussion about the imagery of "the closet" (structure that encompasses you, privacy, etc)
    http://branconolilas.no.sapo.pt/sedgwick.htm

    This site claims that the phrase was born in 1963 to describe being able to admit something openly and since a closet was considered a "secret room", to come out of the closet meant to be free of a secret (Why 1963, I have no idea)
    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=c&p=16
     
  5. Improvolone

    Improvolone New Member

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    Back in the Victorian days, cloests were often alrge enough to hold multiple people. These dark boxes were often used as places for sodomisitc acts.
     
  6. Team503

    Team503 Guest

    Also consider the thought of letting a "skeleton out of the closet", in which a skeleton is a dark secret.
     
  7. Sam Gamgee

    Sam Gamgee Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right. OT Supporter

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    link to proof????

    That seems a little sketchy
     
  8. Improvolone

    Improvolone New Member

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    [​IMG]
    If buggering didn't happen in there, buggering didn't happen.
     
  9. Team503

    Team503 Guest

    qft on myself, yo.
     
  10. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    WHAO...!! I never realized that you were so well read. Queer Theory-wise, you know? People don't tend to read those core works... I'm happy.

    :wavey:
     
  11. sholnay

    sholnay New Member

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    i'll take the cliff notes... maybe.
     
  12. marxwa99

    marxwa99 Boom Squad

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    thanks im writing out a paper on what i have found. will share it upon turning it in this week or next.

    thanks for all the help.
     
  13. mamoru

    mamoru New Member

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    I'll take it as a compliment, coming from you. But I hate when people assume I'm anything but well read or intelligent. I try my best to read as much as I can on as many subject as I can. People assume because I'm some pretty boy, then it must mean I have nothing but air in my head. It kind of hurts me a lot, which is why I suppose I excel at everything I do and feel the need prove my worth and value.

    It's like my friend "D", who is a black woman that is more intelligent than most anyone I've ever met. Everyone underestimates how prolific her education is because of her skin color. We're kind of in that same boat. Then out of nowhere, we'll argue about something and I'll say "Don't hate me because I'm black!" and we laugh. She can tear me down in an argument, and anyone who has ever seen me argue knows I'm good at it!

    :mamoru:

    Z-man, good luck on that essay. I'm sure you'll do well :)
     
  14. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    Hmm, sorry...it wasn't a comment intended to insult you, or your intelligence. In all truth, it wasn't a you-specific comment. Not that you aren't attractive, but there are certain authors that one doesn't usually find on the typical personal library. Sedgwick simply isn't that read. It's like, I don't expect to find any book by Carter G. Woodson is the typical personal library. Occasionally it happens, and I'm surprised and ecstatic...

     
  15. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    I can relate on several levels... At first glance, I'm usually underestimated.

    And I know what you mean about the debating thing. One of the reasons that made me fall in love with my ex was his ability to out-debate me (no easy task). It got to the point when I simply couldn't argue with him which, admittedly, was rather annoying. Anyway, D sounds fun. And the type of person who would have read Carter G. Woodson... ;)
     
  16. mamoru

    mamoru New Member

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    No no no no...I didn't take it as an insult. I was simply venting my frustrations which your post made me think - but you honey, I know you're not insulting me :kiss:
     
  17. mamoru

    mamoru New Member

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    For me, to fall and stay in love, I need to constantly be learning from my partner. Constantly improving myself, themselves, together, the world, etc. You know? I'm all about monogamy...and I like to think I'll find someone to grow old with. That means raunchy debates about trivial and not so trivial issues, and accept differences without affecting the relationship. It's hard to find people like that, you know? Everyone's so offended. It's because I'm black :wtc:

    :love: I'm going to ask D about Carter G. Woodson. She's sure to have read it! I just finished The Color Purple and (as my professor pronounces it) "Breaf, Eyes, Memory" :mamoru:
     
  18. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    :rofl:

    Oh, and a great Woodson book to check out would be The Miseducation of the Negro.
     
  19. marxwa99

    marxwa99 Boom Squad

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    okay so heres a very very VERY rough draft. I still need to tie some ends together here and there. But other than that, this is what i have found
     

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