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Responsive Reading for Coming Out

close up of two people hugging with a rainbow flag on one hand

This responsive reading is designed to be used throughout the year, as part of a National Coming Out Day service, a coming-out ritual, or a liturgy honoring LGBTQIA+ individuals/history.

Reader: For those who can’t come out because it’s dangerous, whether in the red states, or in very conservative religious environments, or in countries with anti-gay laws,

All:            We see you.

Reader: For those who can’t come out because they’re afraid their families will disown them,

All:            We see you.

Reader: For those who can’t come out, out of fear for their own safety,

All:            We see you.

Reader: For those who want to come out and feel safe doing so, but don’t know how,

All:            We see you.

Reader: For those who want to come out but are not yet ready,

All:            We see you.

Reader: For those who want to come out but are waiting for “the right moment,”

All:            We see you.

Reader: For those who are ready to come out but have not yet found the words,

All:            We see you.

Reader: For those who have had to come out more than once,

All:            We see you.

Reader: For those who came out and had a traumatic experience,

All:            We see you.

Reader: For those who are out in some places, but not in others,

All:            We see you.

Reader: For those who never got a chance to come out,

All:            We see you.

Reader: For those who came out and found peace, love, and acceptance,

All:            We see you.

Reader: For all of us,

All:            We see each other and we honor our journeys and those yet to come.

Hatimah: Barukh atah adonai, eloheinu melekh ha-olam, ha-meikhin mitzadei gaver. Blessed is the Eternal One, who makes firm each person’s steps.*

*Central Conference of American Rabbis, Gates of Prayer: The New Union Prayer Book (New York, NY: Central Conference of American Rabbis, 1975), p. 286.

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