Trans Day of Visibility by Vica Etta Steel

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Visible
By: Vica Etta Steel

Today, March 31, is the Transgender Day of Visibility.

Do you know this day?
 
Or is it invisible in your world, do you see this day? Do you see we who are transgender? Can you hear us over the din of hate spoken in political actions, in loathing statements, and too often in the rational dismissal of our pain by those who claim to be allies. Our voices are unheard. 

Invisible.

I cannot speak for all transgender people. We are as varied as the leaves in the wind, blown in our own arcs, flitting, flying, falling in joyful tumbles. 
I can only speak, 
honestly,
vulnerably, 
from my own truth. 
From hope 
that something about my writing resonates with my family of we who transgress, we who transform, all of us in our fullness of we who are transgender. 
And of all who work to become allies.
And all whom we name allies. 
 

On this day, I call for visibility. 
Visibility of our existence.
 
I ask for visibility, I plead for visibility in your sermons. Share our truth – we exist. God did not make mistakes with us, we are the imago dei too. Humans make mistakes when humans choose to ignore God’s beauty borne in us too.

Visibility in your social media. Share the voices of transgender people. Find us, we who are speaking into the cacophony of so much casual hate. Share our love, our joy, our pain, our weary exhaustion.

Visibility in your circles.
Speak clearly that you know 
Transgender women are women
Transgender men are men
And non-binary people are delightfully, joyfully valid.
Speak clearly that children know who they are. 
Speak clearly from listening to us, we who are transgender. 

Visibility 

that we visibly suffer from those who choose silence, who choose calm instead of 
anger at the outrages of hate become politics in Texas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa . . . so many more, 

like the leadership of Luther Seminary, phrased as the banal both-sides-have-good-people argument uplifting those who exclude, who harm, as they obscure we who are harmed in their rejection of RIC conversations, in their choice to make invisible the pain laid on us by the so many, the too many churches who choose to be the buoys for fear still. 

Reach out. Check in. Be visible in your love.

And in this essay 
this prayer

this scream 

I pray from weary frustration, 
anger
too tired to 
scream above a whisper, 
still I pray 

For visibility.
I pray that you who read, you who listen
Hear our call to hear us, find us. Believe us.
 

 
Transforming God, you who speak now in the world, your voice resonating through wind in the trees, soil decaying into new growth, let the fullness of your voice sing, yell, cry into the hearts of those who embrace hate toward your Queer creations, may their hearts be unhardened and most especially sing love of your transgender children on this day. Let us all who are in this world, all who are this world, cry our love in joyful song. Amen. 
 


TAKE ACTION: In the comment section of this blog post on ELM’s Facebook page, trans, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming Proclaimers will be posting their cash app and venmo tags. If you heard Vica’s call today and want to make your love visible, please donate to one of the posts and when you have, comment under their post with a “heart” or “sent” so that everyone gets a chance to be blessed & so that folks can see where to share the love equally amongst the community. If everyone has been donated to, feel free to double up! If you are still unsure where to donate but wish to support trans, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming Proclaimers, then you can also donate through elm.org and list #TDOV in the comment and these funds will be earmarked for this community. Thank you. 
 

 
Image Description: The background of the image is the Transgender Flag with the words: On this day, I call for visibility. Visibility of our existence. I ask for visibility, I plead for visibility in your sermons. Share our truth – we exist.- Vica Etta Steel



 
Vica Etta Steel (she/her) is a woman, queer, transgender, and unexpectedly a faith leader! She attends Wartburg Theological Seminary. She preaches and does outreach at St. John’s Lutheran in Madison, WI. She keeps a ministry in her blog at Qwest.substack.com and on TikTok (@vicasteel) where she speaks of the voice of God, never silent and always present in the world around us. Vica is married to her powerful wife, Stella (36 years this March!). They live with their little dog, Arabella Longbody, their leopard gecko, Snowflake, and many other creatures and plants!

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