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The Story of Olga Talamante

30 Mar Posted by in Robin Lowey | Comments Off on The Story of Olga Talamante
The Story of Olga Talamante

I first spent time with Olga at an NCLR volunteer assignment at a 2011 fundraising event in Palm Springs during the Dinah Shore weekend. Olga and her partner Vola Ruben, Eleanor Palacios and myself worked around the clock helping out with every aspect of NCLR’s event.These women were tireless and I had a hard time keeping up! It was then, during some rare downtime, that I learned of Olga’s story. How she had been imprisoned and tortured in Argentina for her activism, and how—through a grassroots campaign by her family and friends—she gained her freedom after 16 months. When filmmaker Eliza Karlson and I first interviewed Olga—a week before Covid hit—we had no idea how long it would take to finish the short film we had planned. Life got in the way, homes were moved into and out of, parents became ill and died, and careers were stalled. But through it all Olga was gracious and patient while we gathered all the bits we could find and researched our little lesbian hearts out.

I can say that we learned a lot through this process. Olga’s focus on intergenerationality and intersectionality (thats a mouthful!) is inspiring and relevant. Intergenerational involvement is a key component to what Lesbian Game Changers is all about. I understood intersectionality but I had to do a deep dive to really grasp its importance.

By definition, intersectionality refers to the simultaneous experience of social categories such as race, gender, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation and the ways in which these categories interact to create systems of oppression, domination, and discrimination.

But what else does it mean?  We are all affected by systemic racism, sexism and homophobia, but there are many layers to it. For instance, it’s important to recognize that queer women of color are among the most discriminated against populations in the world. The more marginalizing cultural factors a person has in their identity, the less their voice has been heard throughout history.And, most importantly, for those of us in a more privileged group (such as cis-gendered, white, queer men and women) it’s important to use that privilege to lift up the voices of the more marginalized members of our community. This concept is of ultimate importance to the Lesbian Game Changers mission.

Here is the final product, of which we are incredibly proud. Olga’s commitment to her activism is astonishing and she shows no signs of slowing down. One of the main reasons for creating the film is to add more to the Lesbian Game Changers resource library  by including it in the lesson plan (currently in the works). The idea is to teach all students about a generation of lesbians, who, against all odds and having few positive role models of their own, made a real difference in the world. See our first short film about Kate Kendell here.

So—drumroll please—watch and enjoy Olga’s amazing story!


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