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Reader Response: Visibility

Every. Single. Day.

As a native Minnesotan and Black woman, there are few opportunities to be in spaces where I am in the majority. When I integrate in predominately white spaces I am greeted warmly by others, but I am rarely asked or invited to be part of conversations that reaffirm that my  presence is welcomed and valued. Unless I amplify my voice and assert my individuality, I am rendered invisible. Sadly, this is something I am required to do. Every. Single. Day. This is an exhausting exercise, but unfortunately necessary for me to be visible.

— Stephannie Lewis


Choosing My Perspective

I embrace my invisibility, sometimes. I find it fascinating to walk down the street invisibly. Seriously, people will simply walk into me if I don’t move out of their way. Rather than get angry, I decide that I must simply be living on a different frequency; they truly can’t see me. How cool is that? How weird is that? How nice is it that I can choose my perspective?It teaches me to actively notice and  acknowledge  others. Situational awareness — who is around me? Can I be of assistance? “Let me hold the door for you, your hands are full.” “I heard about a non-profit repair shop, they can help you.” It’s become my spiritual practice. Life is a ‘we’ moment, not a ‘me’ moment.

— Vicki Bauco


Being Childless

What makes me feel invisible is being 44, single, and childless. At my church, for example, my peers are married and have small children. Most of them ignore me thinking we have nothing in common.

— Anne


This Is Just My Body

Don’t make me invisible because I am old.I’ve lived 74 years and my body shows the signs of its age. My skin is thin and wrinkled and sags. My hair is grey and wispy. My knees are stiff and don’t bend easily. I walk slowly and carefully. My hearing doesn’t always hear every syllable you say. Sometimes I have trouble recalling details quickly.But this is just my body. My Spirit is vibrant.I have lived a full human existence. I have learned many life lessons. I am still learning. I want to contribute and matter. I want to see you. I want you to see me. I am so much more than an old woman.

— Norma Bourland


He-peating

What makes me feel invisible is presenting an idea at a meeting that is then later claimed by another person, generally a man. It is often a challenge to be taken seriously or credited for contributions without being loud, forceful or demanding — stereotypical male attributes.

— submitted anonymously


Feeling Small

Most of my life I have felt invisible. I wasn’t part of a group all through my childhood. I wasn’t invited to parties or asked out on a date in high school. I learned to be in the shadows, be small and invisible, and that  persists.

— submitted anonymously