When I was a girl, the term “coming out” was used of debutantes, young ladies of 18 or so from aristocratic and upper middle class families who needed to find a suitable husband. Coming out balls provided the occasion, allowing these well-protected maidens the chance to meet and be matched with an eligible young man. It was also the opportunity for them to be presented at court, a rite of passage marking their entry into society and the beginning of the social season in London. The Queen abolished this custom in 1958, and although the social season continues with its parties and balls, without the Sovereign coming out is no longer what it was.
Coming out nowadays is most frequently used of people coming out of the closet and disclosing their sexual orientation. I’m sorry to disappoint anyone who thought I was about to reveal LGBT tendencies, but my outing is purely a matter of overcoming my initial shyness on this blog. Hiding behind a convenient cat persona gave me the courage to start up, and I added this photo on my Catty Corner page some time ago. Now at last I have enough confidence to show my human face in my gravatar. Thank you to those who have been supportive and to Sophie the Sophisticat for protecting me!