Latine Icons: Rev. Nicole Garcia

This week we celebrate trans women in Latine culture through the story of Rev. Nicole Garcia of Boulder, Colorado. 

Pastor Garcia, a 61-year-old Latina, is the first openly transgender woman of color ordained as a priest in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). She was born and raised Roman Catholic and often prayed God would “fix” her. Garcia ultimately had a falling out with the Church, but after many years of soul searching, she found her faith again as a Lutheran.

In the early 2000s, Garcia, along with other queer Lutherans, began a long-term struggle within the ELCA, calling on church leaders to formally adopt policy that would allow for queer people to be ordained as clergy. She and her colleagues ultimately won that battle, and in 2019, Garcia was formally ordained as Pastor of Westview Church (ELCA). 

Pastor Garcia’s story of trans excellence and resilience matters. Her voice and contributions to our culture, and the Church, are important and should be recognized. 

Hear from Rev. Nicole Garcia in her own words in the clip below:

Each week we’ll highlight one Latine of importance to LGBTQIA+, non-binary, and feminist culture. Who do you think deserves the spotlight? Nominate an icon, past or present by sending us a DM on Instagram at @callmelatine.