Recent Comments

    Still Serving After All These Years


    By Judy Dlugacz

    It sure has been an amazing ride, hasn’t it? When I think about what Olivia means to me, I find myself thinking about the ways Olivia has grown and changed over the past 42 years. I also think about my own growth within that time, as it has mirrored Olivia’s. When we first started back in 1973, we wanted to create community for lesbians through music. It’s something these women—that we—were yearning for, something that would remind us that we were not alone in this, that we were all in it together. In my 20s and 30s, we watched the movement grow with each record we produced; we saw thousands of women find the community they’d been searching for through word of mouth, through organizing, through willpower. It was incredible to be a part of something so moving and watch it turn into something so much bigger than ourselves.

    With each passing decade, both Olivia and I grew. Although I loved producing records and putting on large concerts, I was intrigued when someone suggested that we consider a concert on the water. In 1990, Olivia Travel was born and a wonderful community of lesbians came together to travel the world. Back then, being out for every second of every day for a whole week was a new thought for many lesbians, and I was grateful to work with co-founder Rachel Wahba to provide a space where we could all be free to be ourselves.

    Olivia has always been about giving back to the communities we serve, and throughout the years we’ve supported both the local communities we visit on our travels and the communities of which we are a part. We’ve supported national LGBT organizations such as the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and so many others. In recent years, we’ve taken our efforts internationally, helping found the American Red Cross LGBT Haiti Relief Fund and teaming up with the Nepal Youth Foundation to help end the practice of Kamlari, the enslaving of young girls. I am also on the Democratic LGBT Leadership Council and co-hosted six lesbian Roundtable discussions with First Lady Michelle Obama.

    Though Olivia has evolved since its grassroots days, one thing remains constant—we have never stopped serving the LGBT community. Whether you are traveling the world in the company of women, or listening to music made by women, for women, the feeling of being free to be yourself has informed all that Olivia has done. It is why we do what we do. It remains a great privilege to be part of Olivia, working along with our amazing staff, to conjure up ways to serve you for decades to come!

    Judy Dlugacz is the President and Founder of Olivia.