Outing is the act of revealing that another person is a boylover, often done against that boylover's will. When the boylover does so voluntarily, it is known as coming out. Outing might for instance be revealing his real-life information to other boylovers online, or revealing the fact that he is a boylover to his real-life friends, family, or community.
The term originates with the expression "coming out of the closet" (shortened to coming out) as used in the gay community from the late 1960s. In the 1990s the gay media routinely forced celebrities "out of the closet", calling the practice "outing". In boylover usage, the media need not be involved.
Outing may be deliberate or involuntary. Deliberate outing may be a weapon used by anti-boylove vigilantes or law enforcement officers to punish the boylover (often simply for living as a boylover). Involuntary outing may occur when another person thoughtlessly links a boylover's nickname with another nickname, known as nick linking, or with a real-life person, or unwittingly supplies information that can be used to locate a boylover or identify him as such.
Most boylovers regard their anonymity as important, and try their best to protect it against either deliberate or involuntary outing. Outing cannot be reversed, and can possibly have some of the following adverse effects on a boylover's life:
- The knowledge may be used against the boylover to falsely accuse him of sexual crime.
- People formerly considered friends may react with fear or anger.
- A person who is known to be a boylover is likely to be unemployable and therefore unable to financially support himself.