Women Who Reign: Viveret Steele

My Coming Out


I came out silently but surely,
Afraid of overwhelming intensity.
I came out against the negativity,
I had no insecurity.


Life’s Gift
Life’s best gift is a loving embrace,
Where you can show your true face.
A beautiful, intricately painted, fragile vase.

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I have anxiety and depression but have worked hard to make myself happy. I’m transgender, agender, and femme. I enjoy cooking and making art in my free time.

Fun fact: I’m also a socialist and intersectional feminist.

15874818_1677931652498367_38985326238184969_oWhat are your pronouns?
They/them/their or she/her/hers

But they/them/their is plural?
It can be used as a singular, like “I wonder why they did that”. Shakespeare (a major role in English) used it as a singular pronoun.

How do you pronounce your name?

How are you agender and femme at the same time? Aren’t those, like, opposites?
Gender is like a 2D gradient between masculine / feminine, as well as intensity. Agender is the lack of gender, but I still resonate with femininity.

What # would define your life journey?

16179439_1346175298766478_1808984753200747121_oFavorite website / app:
I really enjoy the raspberry pi for being a cheap but effective computer that I believe has the power to revolutionize tech accessibility, and FaceBook + Google for helping me connect with people like me as well as be resources for everything from code snippets to life saving answers.

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
My professors Janet Ash, Erin Fernandez, Monika Sobolewska, Emma Rose, and teachers Angela Mattson, and Tim McClung for truly believing in me and giving me the confidence to be what I want to be and to do what I want to do. I wouldn’t be here without your kindness.

And finally, Nadia Morris for being the light at the end of the tunnel. You matter so much to me as a model of where I can get to with hard work and who I can be as an educator, activist, and innovator.

Song that makes you want to dance:
Down, Run the Jewels

16143818_1346165432100798_2916154561298517788_oChallenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
When I was in elementary school I remember having letting my imagination run free and wild with my best-est friends. Whenever I think of what is pure bliss I remember these moments. What I also remember is how I was bullied out of “playing with girls” or doing “girly things”. Not only did it not make sense to me, I internalized it, and very soon forgot it. I did get used to repressing feelings from fantasizing about male presenting schoolmates or growing out longer hair.

For the record, these in no way define what it means to be female or feminine. They were merely precludes to what I would finally realize.

I’m not male.

I’m not straight.

15843954_1676765159281683_2889969923528873282_oSince coming out, I’ve lost life-long friends and family. I’ve faced homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, as well as the combinations thereof. Less job opportunities, heightened risk being harassed, assaulted, or murdered. Dating is out of the question. Job opportunities have shrunk by who knows how much. Colleagues have treated me unequally.

But I’ve also made friends, exes, and lovers. I was able to continue my academic career in computer science and was able to start a software engineer career. I’ve blossomed as a person and am outgoing and open.  I’m not nearly as dysphoric or have nearly as many suicidal thoughts. I’ve become a mentor and idol for people. I’m going to be changing the world and be an activist for those who can’t be.

My challenge has been life itself and I’m happy I’ve gone through it.

Ideal Job:
I would love to manage and work on projects that help those in poverty, or people who struggle with isolation and lack of resources for trans people.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Take up space. Be a feminist killjoy. Don’t let the egos and comfort of men outweigh your comfort or what’s right. And to my trans women and femme friends, you’re valid and deserve the world, and you are your gender regardless if you present or look like it. Take over the tech world.

Also everyone should be going to hackathons and have side projects! Don’t neglect it – it is what makes or breaks your experience.



Learn more about Viveret:

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