Privileging the disclosure of a homosexual identity, or “coming out,” blinds researchers to negotiations of the closet that do not resort to the confession. Drawing from Spanish grammar and from ethnographic research among Dominican immigrant homosexual men living in New York City, this article proposes the concept of tacit subjects to suggest that gay men and those close to them may be complicit in relegating information about a person's sexuality to the realm of what is tacit and/or understood. By stressing the structural and relational variables that people negotiate as they sustain their family and other kin networks, the concept of tacit subjects underlines the collaborative nature of identity negotiation and the forms of knowledge that make social collectivities viable.

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