"Coming Out" Applied To Non-LGBT Contexts
In political, casual, or even humorous contexts, "coming out" means by extension the self-disclosure of a person's secret behaviors, beliefs, affiliations, tastes, and interests that may cause astonishment or bring shame. Some examples include: "coming out as an alcoholic", "coming out as a conservative", "coming out as multiple", "coming out of the broom closet" (as a witch), and "coming out about plastic surgery" and coming out as a BDSM participant.
With its associated metaphors, the figure of speech has also been extended to atheism, e.g., "coming out as an atheist." A public awareness initiative for freethought and atheism, entitled the "Out Campaign", makes ample use of the "out" metaphor. This campaign is endorsed by prominent atheist Richard Dawkins, who states "there is a big closet population of atheists who need to 'come out.' "
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