Crimson Chronicle Reporter
This month, a documentary called LA QueenCiañera was shown at the Spanish Resource Center featuring Bamby Salcedo -a nationally recognized, undocumented, Latina transgender activist-, and the quinceañera that she had for her 50th birthday. The documentary showing was attended by Salcedo herself and Ana Estangui’s Spanish class.
The documentary follows Salcedo’s life and how her quinceanera was the symbolism for how she overcame it all in order to get to where she is now. Being a former sex worker, HIV positive, and recovering addict, she managed to become an internationally recognized activist, even being invited to the White House to meet President Biden to be recognized for her work in the trans community.
“More than anything, the hope is that it’s inspirational, for people to understand, particularly young people, that they don’t have to go through all the challenges and horrible experiences that I went through,” Salcedo said.
Director Pedro Peira, a Spanish filmmaker, discussed the difficulties that the documentary had in Spain, “In Spain, you have to give the film the rating, and the film was rated for people over 16 years old. I think that’s wrong because I don’t think that there’s any kind of problem in the film that could be seen as to not be shown to people under 16.”
Also present in the audience was Estangui’s AP Spanish Language and Culture class. “It captivated the essence of struggle when recognizing the issues that surround the trans community, more specifically trans women,” Juliana Molina, SAS junior, said. “Overall I enjoyed it and would recommend it to other people.”
In the end, Salcedo and the director hope that students are aware of their ability to cause change for good, “It really is about bringing awareness and consciousness to who we are as people and how young people can influence what comes next,” Salcedo said.
The Spanish Resource Center, which is actually just one location in a network of resource centers across U.S. schools, is sponsored by the Government of Spain’s Ministry of Education and Vocational Training. It is located near the school’s Orange Gate on the left side of the NMA building. The center features its own library and is a place where many educational and cultural events, such as Spanish film festivals and workshops, take place. It is open to Spanish teachers, bilingual students, and anybody “interested in the knowledge or diffusion of the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures” according to the Hollywood High website.