My video is included in a patchwork of video responses compiled by the Human Rights Campaign for National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11. You can watch my personal coming-out story in the one-minute video by clicking the button in the middle of image above. Or visit HRC’s YouTube page to view it along with more than 30 other video responses. “I dared to come out, and suddenly the world seemed much bigger and full of beautiful colors,” I say in the video as I step out of a real closet wearing a quilt of rainbows. “Telling the truth transformed my life. I’m free!” One viewer at YouTube left this comment on my video: “Oh this is a beautiful video. I’m glad you have been living in this colored world for many years. I have been for 6 months by now, and I’ll never regret to have came out. You’re so inspiring, thank you for that.” My coming-out experience inspired me to write Hide and Speak: A Coming Out Guide. The book offers a powerful program of self-acceptance and appropriate disclosure for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people -- and anyone else with a story to tell. Hide and Speak tells positive ways to come out to yourself, create a circle of supporters and deal with family, job and school. Each chapter includes real-life examples and tested, highly effective exercises that I used in coming-out workshops nationwide. My goal is that readers will learn how to live proud, free and balanced, no matter what happens. Hide and Speak is not just about homosexuality. The book is useful for all people who struggle with secrets and their consequences. Originally published in 1991, Hide and Speak was recently updated and released by AndroGyne Press, a new queer studies press based in Berkeley, CA. The joy of coming out is what inspired me to write Hide and Speak. May you be blessed today by truth, joy and freedom. ___ This post is part of the LGBTQ Calendar series by Kittredge Cherry. The series celebrates religious and spiritual holidays, events in LGBTQ history, holy days, feast days, festivals, anniversaries, liturgical seasons and other occasions of special interest to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people of faith and our allies. Copyright © Kittredge Cherry. All rights reserved. Qspirit.net presents the Jesus in Love Blog on LGBTQ spirituality.