The word ‘closet’ holds two distinct but related meanings. On the one hand, a closet is a space where things are stored. In this regard we might say, ‘Your clothes
are in the closet.’ But when we observe, ‘Joe has been in the closet for years,’ we are not recounting his efforts to match trousers and tie. Instead, we are describing how he makes himself known to others. In this sense, the closet refers to a way
that identity, and particularly gay identity, is concealed and disclosed. Concealed and disclosed because gay identity is not quite hidden by the closet, but not quite displayed either. Rather, it is represented through coded gestures that sustain uncertainty.