Gender and Language, Vol 14, No 1 (2020)

Metaphors we come out by: how structural metaphors construct coming out in internet advice texts

Deborah A. Chirrey
Issued Date: 21 May 2020


This paper uses critical metaphor analysis to explore the main source domains of cognitive metaphors in online coming out advice for LGB individuals. It highlights how the ontological metaphor to come out (of the closet) is remetaphorised by a number of structural metaphors, especially coming out is movement. Noting that Queer theorists have critiqued coming out both as a concept and as an imperative, the paper argues that the coming out advice examined here perpetuates this discourse through the use of coming out is movement (esp. a journey) and coming out is conflict and suggests that other structural metaphors could be more useful to the readers of coming out advice.

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DOI: 10.1558/genl.37378


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