Being 69: A Year in the Life of a Fun Old Lesbian – January 24, 2016

Today is Kelly’s belly-button birthday. Our friends SDhay and Sally Taylor will join us this evening for a full-moon dinner on top of Mt. San Jacinto via the Palm Springs Tram. I wrote a poem.  I know it will thrill her:

We celebrate your belly-button day.
Long stem roses begin the celebray.
A fun time in your name,
Up the Palm Springs tram.
The Snow and full moon light our way.

Happy birthday, my precious Kel. I love you…

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On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST, Lavender Effect, and/or Wikipedia. (If you are unsure about accuracy, please do your research and let me know. Thanks!)

1975 – Norman Lear’s TV adaptation of Lanford Wilson’s “Hot L Baltimore” premieres on ABC. Though it features a diverse cast of characters, including two gay men and a latent lesbian, it lasts only five months;

1983 – Noted gay director George Cukor dies at age 83 in Los Angeles.

1996, Singapore – Singapore grants gender recognition to post-operative transsexuals

2012 – First “GSA Day” when US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan endorses gay-straight alliances in schools.

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I encourage you to write your stories. If you’d like to see your memoir and stories in print, let’s work together. I can help you self-publish your work. If this interests you, please see my website at http://purpledistinctions.com/self_publishing.html

Write your story! Now is good!

Warmly,

Ronni

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Being 69: A Year in the Life of a Fun Old Lesbian – January 10, 2016

There was a bright red sunrise this morning but now, only ten minutes later, the gray clouds have blown in. It reminds me of the old saying: Red sky at night, sailors’ delight; red sky in morning, sailors take warning. And that reminded me of those days 30 years ago when I’d awake each morning on my boat, feel the gentle sway of the water, the smells of saltwater and coffee intermingling in the air. Was it really 30 years? How can that be?

In 30 years: I lived on a 43’ houseboat in Jacksonville then floated it to Key West when my company transferred me there, and then to Miami when I was promoted; fired from that company because my hetero female VP boss came on to me and I told her I don’t do straight women or married women; depression and suicide attempt during that period of unemployment; hired by the Florida Health Department AIDS program where I stayed for seven years while I obtained a masters in education with a concentration in counseling, then a doctorate in Education from the University of North Florida; hired by the University of Michigan to direct their lesbian and gay office, where I added the words bisexual and transgender to the center name, then founded Lavender Graduation and wrote my first book and articles; co-founded the Consortium of Higher Ed LGBT Professionals; wrote the initial LGBT standards for the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS); recruited by UCLA to grow their LGBT Center, published profusely, created the UCLA Masters of Education in Student Affairs, was the senior associate dean of students and a faculty in residence, was a full professor, and from where I retired; taught at Cal State Fullerton in the Higher Ed program for another two years after I retired from UCLA; saw students become successful, powerful leaders in their communities. During my higher ed years I was honored many times with all kinds of awards including Pillar of the Profession from NASPA as well as being named a NASPA Legacy. I’ve traveled the world, learned to play golf, had a documentary made about me (Letter to Anita). My children returned to me and I now have four incredible grandchildren. Some family members were born and some passed on. And I met my Kelly, my love, and got engaged on the first day of this year that I turn 69.

Life has been busy, productive, scary at times, interesting, emotional, spiritual, and very, very full. I’m deeply grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, both good and challenging. I’m grateful for my health and my body, for my family and my community. Tomorrow I begin the Brene Brown Living Brave seminar, Kelly and I are doing it together. Today is the first day of the rest of my life and I intend to live every breath as fully as I’m able. I intend to suit up and show up, to live vulnerably in love every single day. I hope you do, too…

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On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST, Lavender Effect, and/or Wikipedia. (If you are unsure about accuracy, please do your research and let me know. Thanks!)

1975 – The Chicago Board of Ed. approves a plan that allows, for the first time, the City’s teachers to answer students’ questions about homosexuality;

1977 – The Episcopal Church of New York ordains an openly lesbian woman, Ellen Marie Barrett, as a minister;

1978, Maryland – 35 men in Bethesda who are married to women and have attractions to men meet. They are called the Gay Married Men’s Association.

1980 – The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence forms in San Francisco;

1982 – Paul Lynde, known to many as “the center square” for his years on game show Hollywood Squares, dies of a heart attack in Beverly Hills. He is 55.

2005, Israel – Israeli Supreme Court allows each partner of a lesbian couple to adopt the other’s children

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I encourage you to write your stories. If you’d like to see your memoir and stories in print, let’s work together. I can help you self-publish your work. If this interests you, please see my website at http://purpledistinctions.com/self_publishing.html

Write your story! Now is good!

Warmly,

Ronni

Being 69: A Year in the Life of a Fun Old Lesbian – January 6, 2016

Rain in SoCal, an earthquake near Palm Springs, and a giant idiot in Oregon – what a day! And it’s only 7:00 AM!!!

Yesterday I was so touched by President Obama’s speech, his courage to stand up to the NRA, and his willingness to be emotional. It’s mind-boggling to me that none of the Republican candidates are anywhere near Obama’s equal. Where is the grace, the maturity, the humanity?

Since I can’t play golf today, I’m heading to the gym. I need some “me” time before the relatives and family friends begin arriving for Sherry’s Celebration of Life tomorrow. Really, I celebrate Sherry’s life every day, knowing she’s the good angel on my shoulder…

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On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST, Lavender Effect, and/or Wikipedia. (If you are unsure about accuracy, please do your research and let me know. Thanks!)

1977, Canada – the first issue of Directions is published. It lasts one year;

2015 – Florida recognizes same-sex marriages

2015 – India elects Mandu Bai Kinnar, the first transgender mayor.

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I encourage you to write your stories. If you’d like to see your memoir and stories in print, let’s work together. I can help you self-publish your work. If this interests you, please see my website at http://purpledistinctions.com/self_publishing.html

Write your story! Now is good!

Warmly,
Ronni

Being 69: A Year in the Life of a Fun Old Lesbian – January 1, 1016

Happy New Year! This is the year I turn 69. I graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelors degree in Music, class of ’69. I’m embarrassed to tell you our class motto, but here I am, 47 years later, thinking about that time and place. I expect this year to be one of heartfelt passages. I expect it to be a year of good health and an improved golf game. And I expect it to be full of more of life’s stunning adventures!

And it’s already begun! Kelly and I announced our engagement last night, New Year’s Eve, as we celebrated with dear friends. Even as aging lesbians, Kelly’s and my stories, together and individually, continue to unfold.

It’s important to share our stories, our herstory/history. Our stories bind us together as a community, as a family. Our stories are the legacy we leave to those coming up behind us. I want my children and grandchildren and students to know how and why I did what I did over the decades – good and pretty awful – so that they may live as freely as they do today.

I encourage you to write your stories. If you’d like to see your memoir and stories in print, let’s work together. I can help you self-publish your work. If this interests you, please see my website.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST, Lavender Effect, and/or Wikipedia. (If you are unsure about accuracy, please do your research and let me know. Thanks!)

1533 – Love letter written from Michelangelo to Tommaso de Cavalieri

1962 – Illinois is the first US state to remove sodomy from its criminal code

1965 – Gays and lesbians arrested at a ball in San Francisco. The ball was a fundraiser for Council on Religion and the homosexual at California hall

1967 – raid on the Black Cat Tavern in Los Angeles, fueling the formation of gay and lesbian rights groups in California

2003 – Imre: A Memorandum, first published in 1906, is a one of the first gay novels with a happy ending. Written by Edward Prime-Stevenson, it was republished in 2003.

To start 2016, here’s a meditation from Bishop Steven Charleston:

Walk the sacred way of your own heart, following where you believe you are led. Do not imagine that you are the first to pass this way, or that you have made the path for yourself. Have the humility to see the trail before you, even if the signs for it are few and far between. Remain true to where it takes you, even though it may be a steep climb. Do not fear that you will lose your direction, but be trusting in the holy Guide that shows you where to turn. If you meet another, walk together as long as you can, but if you walk alone then go in love for any who may follow. Stop to rest as often as you can and notice what is around you. Travel well, walk in peace.

Happy New Year!
Ronni

LGBTQ Postcard Project: Snippets from our Past

 

Today’s postcard:

From: Female
Year: 1983
Location: Unknown

I marched in the gay pride parade in 1983 next to a woman who wore a paper bag over her head. She was a teacher and afraid she would lose her job. And I saw a minister place an actual coffin on the sidewalk with a sign that said we were all going to hell. I’m glad those days are over.

 What ‘s your personal history moment?

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The LGBT Postcard Project: Snippets from our Past project documents moments from our personal LGBTQ histories/herstories. I like postcards because they guarantee anonymity. If one doesn’t need the anonymity, emailed snippets are fine. Send your postcards to me at:

Dr. Ronni Sanlo
PO Box 4507
Ventura, CA 93007

Or send an email to me at ronni@lgbtpostcards.com

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Our collective history: (from QUIST, Back2Stonewall, and/or Lavender Effect)…On this day:

2015, Washington DC: The United States Supreme Court ruled that marriage equality is the law of the land!

2015, Chicago: The first conference of the LGBT college and university presidents!

2013, Washington, DC: The US Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in the US v. Windsor case, and also declined to hear the Prop 8 case.

2003, Washington, DC: The United States Supreme Court overturns Bowers v. Hardwick, removing the sodomy laws.

1964, US: Life Magazine runs “Homosexuality in America,” a twelve-page feature on gay men’s culture.

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Is it time to write your story? Click here for Writing Webinars and Self-Publishing for LGBT People.

Ronni

It’s Good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. March 3, 2015.

Such an eclectic day! A good walk with Kelly and Dooney then a pre-birthday lunch with my sisters and Kelly. We ate at the little Italian bistro in downtown Ventura then enjoyed a walk along Main Street. There are at least five antique stores and four second-hand stores, three shops with oils and wine, and at least four Indian restaurants, three Thai restaurants, and a couple of bars. Oh yes, the movie theater, Starbucks, and Baskin Robbins. At the western-most end are a park and the San Buenaventura Mission. It was truly a lovely day.

In thinking more about being a Pisces, I found these keywords:

Pisces Strength Keywords: Compassionate, Adaptable, Accepting, Devoted, Imaginative.

I fully agree!

Pisces Weakness Keywords: Oversensitive, Indecisive, Self-pitying, Lazy, Escapist.

Yeah, well, so what!

Today I’m grateful for the people in my life and for that delightful little Italian café.

My meditation today from A Woman’s Spirit: Three. Betty Mac Donald said time and again I have search for you, not knowing that it was me I needed to find. I pay attention to who I am today. I under the whole of me. I know genuine happiness is found only in this way.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect: 2010 – Congress approves a law signed in December 2009 that legalizes same-sex marriage in the Washington, DC.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

Is it time to write your story? Writing seminars for LGBT people.

www.purpledistinctions.com

It’s Good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. February 25, 2015.

I played golf today with the Saticoy Women’s Golf Club. It was my first outing with them and I had an absolute blast! First, I played pretty well. My score was as good (relative term) as the women with whom I was teamed and I felt good about my quality of play. I even had three pars! Second, I was one of the youngest in the club (I joined). Those old gals are impressive players. Most are in their 70s, and I will bet my iridescent lavender balls that one of the women with whom I played today is at least 80. Finally, in addition to the day being blue-sky beauitful, there were two red hawks flying around us. They have a nest in the trees near the 18th fairway so we were treated to their search for food. And now I’m pooped. The fresh air is a killer!

Today I’m grateful for my body and my health, and for new friends and my 7 iron!

My meditation today from A Woman’s Spirit: No one can tell you which choices to make. We can only show you by good example. I am someone’s example for healthy behavior today. I won’t scare anyone wrong.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect: 1982 – Wisconsin becomes the first state in the U.S. to enact a statewide gay rights statute; 1983 – Tennessee Williams dies at the age of 71 in his suite at the Hotel Elysee in New York City.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

Is it time to write your story? Writing seminars for LGBT people.

www.purpledistinctions.com

 

Write Your Book in 2014!

Happy New Year! May THIS be the year your vision, your words, your book is written!

2013 was a wonderful year for me though the sadness of my father’s passing last January gave me an entirely new perspective on the gift of life. Perhaps that’s why the highs were even greater last year.

I had a book published in 2013, co-edited by my friend Dr. Alicia Chavez at the University of New Mexico. The book, Identity and Leadership: Informing Our Lives, Informing Our Practice, was published by NASPA press in Washington, DC. And I completed chapters which will appear in two books forthcoming in 2014.

Of course the super-highlight was my trip to SE Asia, with a first stop in Beijing so we could climb the Great Wall. Breathtaking beyond belief! Then on to Hanoi, Cambodia, and Saigon with Olivia Travel and AMAWaterways. I saw so many ways of life, so very different from mine. My meditation reading this morning was about visualizing peace. I used to visualize peace based on my understanding of life and the human condition as I understood it. How limited! I was able to see life lived in ways that I could never imagine or understand, and yet I met people who were happy, healthy, and loving though their experiences and mine are definitely not the same. After suspending judgment, as we on the tour were reminded to do, I allowed my mind to open… and to embrace. I now have a much broader understanding of the meaning of peace, and I visualize peace for all people in the myriad of ways in which we experience life all over the world.

File this under things you don’t usually hear in a cruise ship announcement system: If you happen to have extra Depends, please put them in a bag and leave them at the front desk so the requester may pick them up anonymously...

May 2014 bring you joy, love, peace, and a finished book!

Keep writing…

Ronni

 

 

 

My trip to Asia begins…

I am on a plane to Asia: Beijing, Viet Nam, Cambodia. This is a bucket-list trip for me, something I only pondered but never thought could actually happen. The trip began as an Olivia lesbian tour of Viet Nam and Cambodia. Viet Nam was so important in my life when I was in college in the late 1960s. Many friends from high school were drafted and sent to a country on the other side of the world in which there was no declared war. My cousin Jeff was there, too…killed in August, 1969, during his third tour of duty. I didn’t understand the war and spent many, many hours picketing, demonstrating, and otherwise creating havoc as a student at the University of Florida.

During my tenure at UCLA, I met many dear precious students who were from Viet Nam. I listened to their stories and the stories they learned from their parents…very different experiences from those of my friends who served during the Viet Nam war. I began to feel a dull nag, a tug, a growing desire to see the place that had such different meanings for people in my  life.

And now, I sit on  Delta flight 192, with cousin Jeff’s military information in my pocket. When I get to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, I will hold my own private memorial for him, to remember that he was there, serving his country in a war that made no sense to anyone…not to us, not to them, not to me. And I feel honored to be setting feet on a land that gave so many beautiful students to me. The family/friends connection to Viet Nam has been strong and now I am lucky enough to see and feel and know….

But first, a hike on the Great Wall during a three-day visit to Beijing with Kelly…

 

What travels are on your bucket list, and what’s stopping you from going?

Keep writing!
Ronni