Teo Owang

By: Sajdeep Soomal

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Teo Owang is a 46-year-old queer mom to a nine-year-old boy named Matthew. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Teo migrated to Canada after high school. Transferring to NYU soon after, she lived a different life in New York for several years, marrying a man, de-Africanizing herself and working briefly as a model. Returning to Canada at the age of 30, Teo developed a relationship with a woman that ended rather tragically, but marked the beginning of a new chapter in her queer life. In the interview, Teo talks about 10 photographs, including a studio portrait of her parents, nude pictures of Teo while she was pregnant with Matthew, and a photograph of her kissing her son Matthew when he was a baby. Teo talks about her other queer siblings and how coming out as queer strained relations with her mother.

 Teo kissing her son, matthew. Unknown photographer. 2008. digital image of a dye coupler print behind glass. Gift of Teo owang. Courtesy of the family camera network and the Canadian lesbian and gay archives.

Teo kissing her son, matthew. Unknown photographer. 2008. digital image of a dye coupler print behind glass. Gift of Teo owang. Courtesy of the family camera network and the Canadian lesbian and gay archives.


Teo's photos and interview can be accessed in The Family Camera Network public archive at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives.