Being 69: A Year in the Life of a Fun Old Lesbian – April 4, 2016

Because it was Dinah weekend in Palm Springs, Kelly and I socialized our brains out with people who we didn’t know very well. The dinner-dance Friday night at Desert Willows was absolutely lovely. We each knew a couple of folks somewhat, most not at all, but we were welcomed graciously and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. On Saturday we went to a pool party where I knew the hostesses very well along with some other guests. Kelly knew only one person a tad, but again, we both had a fun time. Yesterday we spent much of the day at the Dinah, watching incredible golfers make us feel even worse about our games!

I’ve been thinking about The Dinah. There are now four versions of what that means. The first is the outstanding LPGA golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club. Singer and TV personality Dinah Shore originated the Ladies Professional Golf Association event that was called the Colgate-Dinah Shore Winners Circle Tournament when it debuted in 1972. Shore, who died in 1994, was a golfer and a supporter of women’s professional golf. Shore’s event, which has undergone several name changes, has been the Kraft Nabisco Championship since 2002. Since 1983, it has been one of the four major championships of women’s golf.

The second is the Dinah Shore partying event in downtown Palm Springs, called the Dinah because it occurs the very same weekend as the golf tournament. Hosted by Club Skirts, it includes heavy-duty partying, drinking, sunbathing, and entertainment. It’s one of the nation’s largest events for women, primarily lesbians.

The third is the Dinah in New Orleans, a break-away weekend hosted by Girl Bar who removed themselves from the Club Skirts arena.

But the original is Dinah herself. The most interesting thing for me is that none of the young women partying at #2 or #3 above have any idea that there was a woman named Dinah for who these events are entitled. According to Wikipedia and Imdb:

Dinah Shore (born Frances Rose Shore; February 29, 1916 – February 24, 1994) was an American singer, actress, television personality, and the top-charting female vocalist of the 1940s. She reached the height of her popularity as a recording artist during the Big Band era of the 1940s and 1950s, but achieved even greater success a decade later, in television, mainly as hostess of a series of variety programs for Chevrolet. Her real name was Frances “Fanny” Rose Shore, and she was born in Winchester, Tennessee. Stricken with polio at 18 months of age, she recovered after receiving the Sister Kenny treatment. She became a cheerleader at Hume-Fogg High School in Nashville and went on to graduate from Vanderbilt University in 1938, where she majored in sociology. She took voice and acting lessons on the side and sang on radio station WSM in Nashville. In 1938 she left Tennessee for New York City and began singing on radio station WNCW in New York. Her first recordings were with bandleader Xavier Cugat, and she later changed her named to Dinah after her success with the song of the same name. She received numerous Emmy awards for television specials and productions and appeared in many films. She earned the USO Medallion Award as the first entertainer to visit GIs on the front lines of WWII. She was the first female star to have her own prime-time TV variety show. She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1994.

Dinah Shore…. As you’re partying over the Dinah Shore Weekend next year, stop for a moment and remember her.

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On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST, Lavender Effect, Back2Stonewall, and/or Wikipedia. (If you are unsure about accuracy, please do your research and let me know. Thanks!)

Today in LGBT history: April 4

1938, Germany – The Gestapo decree that men convicted of homosexuality will be sent to the concentration camps. Between 1933 and 1945 when WWII ended, and estimated 100,00 men were arrested as homosexuals, 50,000 were sentenced and sent to prison. Between 5,000 and 15,000 were in concentration camps. After WWII many had to finish out their sentences because homosexuality was still a crime in Germany under Paragraph 175 until 1994.

1972 – The first LGBT synagogue, Beth Chayam Chadashim was founded, in Los Angeles.

Visit my blog: Being 69: A Year in the Life of a Fun Old Lesbian. at http://purplebookspublishing.com/blog/

(Information from QUIST, Lavender Effect, Back2Stonewall, and/or Wikipedia. (If you are unsure about accuracy, please do the research and let me know. Thanks!)

Visit my facebook page at www.facebook.com/ronnisanlo for daily LGBT history/herstory.

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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 – March 21, 2016

Happy day-after-my-birthday to me! I plan to celebrate for the rest of the month because I can! I started the day with a pulmonary test (because that’s what old people do), then lunch with mom, sister Bebe and Aunt Sylvia, then golf with friends, then cards with the Old Farts (mom, Uncle Jack, Aunt Sylvia = 150-ish years total).

I thoroughly enjoyed the day except for one item: my other sister, my youngest sister Bebe, is having a double mastectomy because of a nasty thing in her left breast. Swell. This year started out sucky with Sherry’s passing. Pile it on. We’re tough. If these crappy things are going to happen, let it all be in one year and be over with…

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On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST, Lavender Effect, Back2Stonewall, and/or Wikipedia. (If you are unsure about accuracy, please do your research and let me know. Thanks!)

1804 – Napoleonic Code went into effect, one of the earliest codes to permit same-sex activity, France

1987, Finland – Pekka Haavisto, first openly gay member of parliament, took office. He went on to become the first openly gay leader of a major political party (Green, 1992)

1994 – Tom Hanks won best actor Oscar for Philadelphia

2001 – Asexual visibility and education network (AVEN) founded by David Jay

2007 – First national Native AIDS Awareness Day.

2009, Morocco – Ministry of Interior Issued statement on crackdown on homosexuality.

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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 – March 17, 2016

Yesterday was such a good day. I golfed with my friends in the Saticoy Women’s Golf Club in the morning, babysat my grandsons later in the day, then drove out to the desert to be with Kelly in the evening.

I struggle with golf and sometimes get really frustrated. I’ve taken lessons, went to golf camp, bought new clubs that promised to improve my game, and play often, and yet my score reflects little more than a poor bowling game! I know I need to let go of the score thing and just enjoy the experience, and most of the time I do, but yesterday I didn’t like having my usual sucky score. I think I need to work on my attitude more than my golf and just understand that I’ll likely not improve anymore than I already have. And I should stop keeping score like the women in The Villages! They just go out, play a round in the fresh air with fun company, and then go to lunch. Done!

Babysitting the boys… The oldest is 5, the youngest is 19 months. Both boys, with their beautiful blonde silky hair (like their dad had when he was their ages), are sweet, thoughtful loving, kind little kids. Big brother is gentle with his little brother, not flinching at all when little brother disrupts whatever big brother’s doing. Little brother is trip! He’s a kissy little guy, running around nonstop, always with a book in hand (his two favorites last night were a thesaurus and a book on liver diseases…go figure!), climbing in and out of a big cardboard box then scooting up my legs and onto my lap for mouth kisses, laughing the entire time. One of the moms informed me that little brother hadn’t pooped in days due to some meds for a cold, so he might be irritable and uncomfortable. The instant the moms were out the door, little brother proudly pooped his brains out… thank you. And big brother once again honored me by asking me to be his potty partner. I accepted. I love these little guys like crazy and always enjoy the moments I have with them, even when I’m p to my elbows in little-boy-poop. I’m so grateful that their moms include me in their lives. The boys are close to the ages of my children when I lost custody. My heart fills with so much love knowing that I get to watch these two little guys grow up…

And this morning I awoke in Palm Springs, with Kelly by my side and Dooney at my feet, as the sun rose and with birds singing in our gorgeous back yard… life is good, indeed!

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On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST, Lavender Effect, Back2Stonewall, and/or Wikipedia. (If you are unsure about accuracy, please do your research and let me know. Thanks!)

1977 – Two years after having repealed its state sodomy laws, Arkansas’s state legislature votes to repeal the repeal and reinstates criminal penalties for homosexual acts between consenting adults

1987 – The White House reveals that President Reagan has undergone AIDS testing out of fear that he may have contracted the disease during blood transfusions after his 1981 assassination attempt

1989 – Actor Merritt Butrick, best known for his portrayal of James Kirk’s son in the films Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, dies of AIDS in Los Angeles at the age of twenty-nine. He was also Johnny Slash from the short-lived ’80s sitcom Square Pegs starring a young Sarah Jessica Parker and Jami Gertz.

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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 – March 12, 2016

I was chatting with Regina yesterday about the issue of aging. We spoke fondly of a person who is 20 years older than I (not my mother who is 21 years older!) and it struck me that in 20 years I’ll be 89. That’s ONLY 20 years! Not very far away, and that’s IF I get to live that long!

I’m going to be 69 next week. How on earth did THAT happen? I feel so much younger (and so much wiser), and I certainly enjoy life a heck of a lot more today than I ever have in my entire life. Twenty years.

Twenty years ago, 1996, I was 49 and still working at the University of Michigan. It was the year I graduated with my doctoral degree from UNF. My son and I had not yet reunited. My second granddaughter and two grandsons were not yet born. My first book was not yet published. My Dad and my sister Sherry were still enjoying life. Twenty years.

In twenty years, provided I am alive and well, I expect to still be sharing life with Kelly, still be traveling the world though maybe not doing bicycle adventures so much, still playing golf, still writing books and screenplays, maybe being a great-grandmother (if the grands have kids by then), wondering who will still be here, and still grateful for the gifts the Universe provides.

Twenty years? Who knows? Twenty years… All I really know is that all I have is this moment. I can’t predict the future nor do I wish to try to do so. The best I can do is live and love as best I can, in this one moment, taking care of my body and my health and my relationships, building moment upon moment, until perhaps one day I will look back and marvel at how amazing the last twenty years – as these past twenty years – have been.

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On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST, Lavender Effect, Back2Stonewall, and/or Wikipedia. (If you are unsure about accuracy, please do your research and let me know. Thanks!)

1976 – At a campaign stop in Los Angeles, Democratic presidential candidate Jimmy Carter tells an audience that, if elected, he would be willing to issue an executive order banning discrimination against gay people in housing, employment, immigration and the military

1995, Cambodia – Same sex couple married in the village of Kro Bao Ach Kok. It was allowed because one of the partners already had children from a previous marriage. If they were both childless, the marriage would not have been allowed because they couldn’t produce children. There were about 250 guests at the wedding including Buddhist monks and high officials from the province.

2004 – The Wisconsin State Senate approves of an amendment to the state constitution (20-13) that would ban both same-sex marriages and civil unions

2004 – Oregon’s attorney general issues an opinion on same-sex marriage, stating that issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples would contradict current state law. At the same time, he also concluded that the Oregon Supreme Court would probably strike down those statutes as violating the state’s constitution. Partially as a result of this, the Wisconsin State Senate voted to approve an amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriages or even civil unions.

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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 – February 19, 2016

I’m sitting in the Miami Airport awaiting my flight back to Palm Springs. I feel good about the hard work we did at the University of Miami this week. I facilitated a two-day strategic planning session with the Student Affairs division as they initiate their LGBT Center development. And the DragOut show last night was a total hoot!

I’ve been reflecting on my road from here (Miami) to there (Palm Springs). I lived here, in North Miami Beach, for most of my childhood, leaving at age 18 to go to the University of Florida. Two years later, in 1967, my family moved to Los Angeles. Between here and there I’ve lived one heck of a life. In a nutshell: music major at UF, closeted lesbian, married, two children, lost children when I came out, activist, homeless, AIDS activist/FL health dept., masters and doctoral degree from the University of North Florida, director University of Michigan LGBT Center, founded Lavender Graduation, wrote first draft of national standards and guidelines for LGBT work on campuses, first publications, director UCLA LGBT Center, children returned to me as adults, grandchildren, more publications, many local and national recognitions, founder UCLA M.Ed in Student Affairs program, way too many relationships over the years, found twelve-step programs, met Kelly, retired, lost my dad, traveled the world, lost my precious sister Sherry, engaged to Kelly. And through it all, my golf just sucks…

I am deeply appreciative of both the highs and the lows of my life. Today my heart is full with gratitude for my body and my health, for the love that abounds around me, and for the gifts the Universe continues to bestow upon me. I miss my sister beyond words but she’s my guardian angel and is with me always, and I share such beautiful love in my life with Kelly, with my sweet friends, with my family. Life is good indeed… and tomorrow begins MY time of year: Pisces Time!

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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!)

1974 – The Pat Collins Show, a morning program on New York’s WCBS, broadcasts live from the Continental Baths. The station only receives one complaint about the episode

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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 – February 11, 2016

What a day! Golf, boating, and good work!

Wednesday is women’s golf day and I played with my club. There’s never a dull moment with these good women. Today I got to play with a 70-something with Alzheimer’s who can still play good golf. I’ve played with her before and I like her very much. During the 18 holes, we had about five different conversations over and over, and her score-keeping is creative because she can’t recall how many strokes she had on each hole. Frankly, I could care less about her score. I’m just impressed that she’s out there, and I don’t mind the repeated conversations. The woman can play golf and she’s a total trip. I’ll play with her any time.

I went to lunch with some of the golf woman. All but one indicated that Hillary is their candidate. When the one woman announced, “Well, I’m voting for Trump and I’m proud of it,” several of the women said that if Hillary isn’t the Democratic candidate, they will vote for Trump! Whaaaat???? How is that even sane thinking? When I finished choking on my food, I asked how that’s even a logical thought process for them. They each agreed that they love the way Hillary powerfully speaks her mind…and so does Trump. This makes no sense to me whatsoever. I needed to clean my karma so I went to my boat for a cruise around Channel Islands Harbor and then to the fuel dock. It was a nice way to clear my befuddled head and spend some time in this stunning warm winter weather.

The remainder of the day was spent preparing for an exciting strategic planning consulting job at the University of Miami next week. I’m looking forward to going back to Miami. I grew up in North Miami Beach and always enjoy returning home even though I have no family there anymore. And it’s always such an honor for me to help an institution prepare for LGBT work in this very intentional way.

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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!)

1965, San Francisco – At the trial of the four people arrested at the Council on Religion and the Homosexual’s New Year’s Ball, the judge orders the jury to find the defendants not guilty. The decision is widely seen as a turning point in the homophile movement’s fight for gay and lesbian civil rights

1967, Los Angeles – In a follow-up action to the Black Cat demonstration on New Year’s Eve, 40 picketers demonstrate in front of the Black Cat in coordination with hippies and other counterculture groups who had been targeted by police for harassment and violence

1977, Florida – Anita Bryant gives her first Save Our Children Press conference. She clains she can prove that homsexuals are “trying to recruit our children to homosexuality.”

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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 25, 2016

The drive out to Palm Springs from Ventura was one of the best I’ve done. Usually it’s a three-hour event in normal traffic, four hours when Pasadena is a mess. But yesterday there was very little traffic anywhere and I made it in two and a half hours including a stop for gas and a pee.

I was excited to see Kelly since we hadn’t seen each other in a week, and I was also excited to see the progress of the work in the back yard. We’ve taken up the grass and are installing beautiful pavers on one side and a pitching/putting green on the other. The hot tub, which will live on the already-existing patio, will arrive in February. I love that we planned this together and will have a cozy, fun, active space for us old farts, hopefully for many years to come.

Not to be outdone by our east coast neighbors, Kelly and, along with Shay and Sally Taylor, took the Palm Springs Tram to the top of Mt. Jacinto yesterday. The views from the revolving tram were beautiful, especially as the snow started to be visible about half way up. The entire area is a state park, wooded, with trails and for hiking, snow-shoeing, and sledding. Higher hills are beyond making it appear is if we’re in a little winter wonderland valley. We took only a short walk because the temp was 40 and the snow has turned to ice. Since we had 5:30 dinner reservations at The Peaks, the restaurant at the top, we headed back indoors, which was fine because the temp was beginning to drop…fast.

Yesterday was Kelly’s birthday. Dinner in The Peaks was a great was to Celebrate. The view was stunning and the food was delish!

A good day, especially with moments of remembering Sher sprinkled in, early morning coffee with Barry, a phone chat with a dear old friend, lovin’ from Kelly and Dooney. I feel a sense of senernity and roundedness this morning as I reflect back…

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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!)

1892, Tennessee – Alice Mitchel, 19, killed Freda Ward, 17, by the docks in Memphis as a result of jealousy. The story made national headlines for months. The two girls had planned to marry but Alice was ragefu that Freda had admitted to romantic feelings for two men

2005 – Alameda County, California’s Board of Supervisors votes 4–0 to prohibit discrimination in public-sector employment, services and facilities based on gender identity

2013 – The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010 released. It’s the first LGBTQ-specific report of kind. Sexual minority respondents report intimate partner violence at rates at least equal to those of heterosexuals.

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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 22, 2016

I love visiting The Villages in Florida. It’s not the place so much as it is the wonderful women who live here. Over the years I’ve met many women, all through my dear friend Helen Schwartz. I’ve known Helen since 1982 when she lived in Key West and I was the Florida Task Force executive director. Because my pay with the Task Force was minimal (sometimes nonexistent), Helen offered me a vacation at her motel in Key West. We’ve been fast and loving friends ever since. Over the years I have visited her often wherever she’s lived, the last ten years in The Villages just north of Orlando. There’s much to do here and a large lesbian community with whom to play golf, pickleball, or bowling, or bike, hike, and dance. The weird thing about this place is that it’s not particularly pretty, although Florida weather is nearly always glorious, at least to me. It doesn’t have the beauty of the desert of Palm Springs nor the majesty of the mountains of the Olympic Peninsula nor the coast of Ventura, but there’s a community here. The community of women who care for and about one another is simply another way of being in family…they love and care for one another, sometimes dating each other, sometimes switching partners, but always in community. I love being here with these precious women who embrace me every time I show up. It’s a good thing…

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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!)

1957 – Cabaret singer and open lesbian Claire Waldoff dies, Germany. She and her partner of 40 years, Olga von Roeder, share a final resting place in Stuttgart

1973 – The U.S. Supreme Court decides Roe v. Wade, legalizing abortion in the United States. Norma Leah McCorvey (aka “Jane Roe”) wrote of her sexual orientation in her 1994 autobiography, I Am Roe. A few years later she claims that she has converted to Christianity and is no longer a lesbian.

1978 – NYC Mayor Ed Koch issues Executive Order 50 which forbids discrimination against gay men and lesbians in municipal government.

1986 – Carl Wittman died. (February 23, 1943– January 22, 1986) Carl was a member of the national council of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and later an activist for LGBT rights. He co-authored “An Interracial Movement of the Poor?” (1963) with Tom Hayden and wrote “A Gay Manifesto” (1970). Wittman was denied hospital treatment for AIDS and committed suicide by drug overdose at home in North Carolina.

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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 19, 2016

I played golf today with three women I did not know. All straight. Lovely folks. It was 38 degrees when we teed off so, needless to say, we were the only people on the Arnold Palmer Riley Course in The Villages. I rode with Fran who had a golf cart with sides and a roof so we were fairly warm as we drove. Two of the women were outstanding golfers, so I understand but didn’t really see as we played. I kept up with them pretty darned well. And they each had a $5000.00 set of clubs called XX10 and each had a $700 driver. I had a borrowed set of clubs since I didn’t bring mine (too much luggage to schlep yet one more thing). I rode in the cart with Fran who played very similarly to me. (Her clubs were the normal $800-a-set that she’d had for many years.) As we played, I thought Fran might have early Alzheimer’s. (None of the women today were under 70 years of age.) As we waited for the other two to drive on the 14th hole, Fran shared with me that she had had a massive stroke two years ago. I was stunned! Dementia maybe, but a stroke never entered my mind. She was a runner and in great shape. She said that’s what saved her, she thought. It took her until just recently to come back pretty darned well from her stroke but she sure did. She also told me that she doesn’t talk about it and doesn’t know why she told me. Even the two women with whom we were playing didn’t know…and she =plays golf with them twice a week! I feel very honored that she told me and I encouraged her to write her story. She said that she does have a great story and thanked me for the encouragement. Funny how life serendipitously unfolds…or so we think.

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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!)

1901 – New York Times reports story of FTM politician Murray Hall. Hall was a New York City bail bondsman and Tammany Hall politician made famous upon his death in 1901, when it was revealed that he was a transgender FTM. Born Mary Anderson, Hall “passed” as a man for nearly 25 years, able to work as a politician and vote in a time when women were denied such rights. At the time of his death he resided with his second wife and their adopted daughter.

1976 – The Vatican calls homosexuality “a serious depravity” that “can in no case be approved of” in its newly released “Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics”;

1982 – On the syndicated “Helen Gurley Brown Show”, the host (and Cosmopolitan editor) asks National Gay Task Force director Lucia Valeska, “Is it true that gay people are sexier than non-gay people?”

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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 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