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 19, 2016

Yesterday, after a good three-mile walk and a 12-step meeting, Kelly took me to PF Chang’s for a birthday lunch though my birthday isn’t until tomorrow. Her mother and sister are coming to visit us today for the weekend so we took advantage of a day together yesterday. I had the kung pao shrimp…holy cow! I think it was the best shrimp dish I’d ever eaten! That sauce! And the shrimp were perfectly grilled.

My iPhone 5 phone was two and half years old and had started to actually growl at me. Seriously! It began making a growling noise that stopped only when I turned the phone off. I’m convinced that these expensive phones are made to self-destruct after two years.

After lunch we walked over to the Verizon store. Both Kelly and I bought new iPhone 6 devices. Because we’re getting older and more stupid as new devices come out, it took well over an hour for the Verizon people to download, upload, and teach us how to use our new toys. I asked the young saleswoman to consider me her grandmother, that I know nothing, and needed her brilliant assistance. She laughed and said that her grandmother was totally computer savvy, that it was her mother who knew absolutely nothing!

My son Erik arrived last night to spend the weekend in Palm Springs with my niece Ellie and ten of the women in her wedding party. (This grand soiree wedding is in June in Chelan, WA, and should be stunning!) Ellie rented a house for her “bach” bash and invited Erik to hang with the gaggle of bridespeople. Being the proper fashionista gay man that he is, he accepted the invitation. He came to our house first to chat with Kelly and me about some life choice ideas he’s considering. (I love him deeply for that and for so much more. Such a fine man…)

The group of presumably straight celebrants had dinner at Trio then went partying at Hunters (a totally gay bar). That’s where Erik and I met up with them. I went only to see my niece who I love dearly. I was impressed that she was still upright but I suspect it wasn’t for long. Hope they made it back to the rented house before either passing out or getting arrested.

It was a fun day! I’m so grateful for my Kelly and Dooney, for my son and my niece, and for the gifts and pleasures of the day. As the magic number 69 approaches, I’m so clear that 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!)

1953 – The Diana Foundation was founded in Houston, Texas, by a small group of friends. The Diana Foundation is a nonprofit organization and recognized as the oldest continuously active gay organization in the United States. It hosts two annual fundraising events including its Diana Awards.

1982 – Victor Victoria opens nationwide to generally rave reviews. Blake Edward’s farce, based on a 1933 German film, Viktor und Viktoria, features Robert Preston as perhaps the most relaxed and affable homosexual ever scripted into a major Hollywood motion picture. The movie becomes a box office hit and accomplishes what many years of gay liberation had not: an impression on the general public’s consciousness of homosexuals as compassionate and likable people

1987 – The FDA approves AZT for the treatment of HIV /AIDS

2004, Quebec – the Court of Appeal upholds a superior court ruling that same-sex marriages are legal under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Canadian provinces of Ontario and British Columbia already permitted same-sex marriage

2012 – The US Supreme Court declines to hear John Lotter’s case. In 1993, he killed transgender man Brandon Teena and was sentenced to the death penalty. The story is depicted in the film Boys Don’t Cry.

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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 14, 2016

My gluts are reminding me that Kelly and I took a 4.5 mile hike yesterday on the North Lykken Trail in Palm Springs. The wild flowers are blooming, the scenic trail was gorgeous, and the hike overall was perfect for a Sunday morning.

In the afternoon I took the Amtrak bus/train combo from Palm Springs to Ventura. I like riding the train. I sit in the senior car, have an electrical outlet at my seat and a bathroom in the car, and the food car is the next one down….all for $29! Such a deal! The best part is that there is internet and I can write and communicate. Sadly, this morning I saw on the news that an Amtrak passenger train exactly like the one I rode derailed in Kansas and people were hospitalized.

There but for the grace of God go I…

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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!)

1971 – More than two thousand protesters march on the steps of the Albany capitol building demanding an end to laws that discriminate against gays and lesbians; 2006- First time a member of a royal family comes out – Prince Gohil in India.

2006, India – Prince Manvendra Kumar Singh Gohil of the former state of Rajpipla comes out as a gay man making him the first openly gay royal in the world.

2012, Denmark – Marriage equality legislation proposed in the Danish Parliament, goes on to be passed on June 15th.

2012, New York – On behalf of Sexual Minorities Uganda, the Center for Constitutional Rights files a lawsuit claiming that Scott Lively violated international law with conspiracy to engineer a genocide of LGBT people in Uganda. The case is still open.

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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 11, 2016

Our friends Beau and Cecelia arrived yesterday from Apache Junction, Arizona on their way back up to Port Townsend, WA. It’s always good to see them and we had another wonderful time. We walked through the very crowded Palm Springs Street Fair last evening, enjoyed some yogurt along the way.

While we were cruising the Fair, the four of us were stopped in our tracks by a gorgeous piece of art. It was a 24” x 36” aluminum piece, all shiny black with a very multicolored female figure arising from a pool of white. The artists told us that he depicted her as rising up into her own. That’s exactly how we saw her as well and the four of us fell in love with the piece. Kelly and I made arrangements to meet with the artiest a week from Saturday at the Desert Art Fair after we agreed on a place for her in our home. As we walked away, Beau and Cecelia put their arms around us and said, “It’s a perfect wedding present because we all found it together.” And they bought it for us! What a generous, loving thing to do! The artist will deliver the piece in a few days.

For my entire life I searched to belong… anywhere, community, friends, organizations, anywhere. I always felt as if I were always on the periphery, never truly “part of.” I counteracted that with being a well-known activist, author, and educator. Today I have a loving partner, dedicated friends, a precious family, and a sense of place…and, ironically, I’m hardly known by anyone anymore beyond my circle of love. And I’ve never been happier…

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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!)

222, Italy – Elagabalus was assassinated at age 18 in Italy because of his relationship with Hierocles, a charioteer

1998 – Torben Lund and Yvonne Herlov, the first two openly gay and lesbian members of the Danish Parliament, took office

2003 – the first transgender person, Reuben Zellman, is accepted in the Reform Judaism Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rabbi Zellman is now the assistant rabbi and music director of Congregation Beth El in Berkeley, CA.

2007 – first openly LGBTQ person, Rabbi Toba Spitzer, chosen to head an American Rabbinical Association, in Arizona.

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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 26, 2016

I’m writing as I sit with a cup of coffee on the deck of the Gloucestershire Hotel in Montego Bay, overlooking the Caribbean. Regina and I arrived in Montego Bay around 3 PM yesterday, went through their Customs, then taxied to our hotel. Linda Friedman, Jill Bulmash and Susan Gordon along with 25 other Villages (Florida) women were sitting on the front patio as we arrived so there was a delightful welcoming committee for us (though not intentional).

The hotel is very Caribbean, very tropical. The people are lovely and the room is large though nothing about the hotel is elegant. We have a good room that faces the water, with two double (not queen) beds and a tiny bathroom.

After getting settled, we walked into town. Very few shops and restaurants were open because it was election day in Jamaica. They’re electing the country’s leaders.

Montego Bay is a trashy town. Literally, trash is everywhere, the streets are crazy busy, and people drive on the wrong side of the street in the wrong side of the car. But everyone speaks and writes in English which they learn in school. While people are very nice, this is not a place to which I would want to return. I see nothing fun nor romantic about it, so this stopover was enough.

At diner in the hotel last night, I met about 15 gay men from Palm Springs and one from Atlanta with whom I have several mutual friends. This is a gay cruise with many gay men and us 30 lesbians! It’s already fun and we haven’t left for the ship yet!

This morning we will eat the hotel’s magnificent breakfast spread, then go to the ship around noon. It’s a cool day here, not much humidity, and Montego Bay is waking up. So am I…

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!)

1973 – Gay playwright, Noel Coward, dies in Jamaica at the age of 73

1975 – After the local district attorney’s office rules that there are no county laws preventing two people of the same-sex from getting married, Boulder, Colorado county clerk Clela Rorex issues a marriage license to two gay men, Dave McCord and Dave Zamora. It is the first same-sex marriage license issued in the United States. She says in a statement, “I don’t profess to be knowledgeable about homosexuality or even understand it, but it’s not my business why people get married. No minority should be discriminated against.”

1977 – First time openly lesbian and gay people at the White House

1985 – A 4-4 tie vote in the U.S. Supreme Court effectively overturns an Oklahoma law that would have banned homosexuals, or those defending or “promoting” the homosexual “lifestyle”, from teaching in the state’s public schools

1990 – Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt wins the Academy Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary. It is the second Oscar for gay filmmaker Rob Epstein, who received the first one six years previously, for The Times of Harvey Milk

2000 – Hilary Swank won Best Actress Oscar for portrayal of Brandon Teena in Boy Don’t Cry

 2007 – Jewish Theological Seminary of America begins accepting openly LGB candidates

2013 – Gay pride flag flown by Alan Lowenthal (D), in Washington DC.

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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 21, 2016

Kelly and I went to the L-Fund Dance in Palm Springs last night. There are several interesting things about the L-Fund: it raises money for lesbians in need in Coachella Valley; 100% for the funds are dispensed since all officers are volunteers; the dance was co-sponsored by local businesses and organizations so 100% of the funds raised last night will go directly to those in need; and it is absolutely the most racially diverse LGBT group I’ve ever seen. It was a fun event with about 200 women. I extend tremendous congratulations to the organizers. A great evening! If you’re looking for a worthy, responsible organization to whom to donate, make it the L-Fund. Their Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/Palmspringslfund/?fref=ts.

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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!)

1903 – New York City police conduct the first recorded raid on a gay bathhouse in the US, the Ariston Hotel Baths, which had been in operation since 1897. Twenty-six men were arrested and 12 brought to trial on sodomy charges; 7 men received sentences ranging from 4 to 20 years in prison

1976 – A Detroit jury awards more than $200,000 in damages to a man who contends that he was “turned into” a homosexual by a 1975 automobile accident in which his car was rear-ended by another vehicle.

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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 – 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

It’s Good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. February 13, 2015.

As many know, I’m committed to teaching LGBT history as often as possible, and now I’m on a mission to collect snippets of stories from LGBT people. Our young LGBT folks have no idea that we couldn’t hold hands in public, couldn’t safely go out together, couldn’t dance with one another in our own bars. So I am compiling our very real everyday personal stories from our pasts. I’m already receiving those precious snippets as people share their stories with me. My ultimate goal is to compile the stories and publish them in a variety of media, making them available for our young LGBT people as well as heterosexuals who simply have no idea what we’ve experienced. In fact, on March 20th, when I turn 68, my blog will change to focus on the snippets I receive from people.

I came to Palm Springs today in preparation for the Tour de Palm Springs bike ride tomorrow. Kelly and I cruised the bike expo on Palm Canyon in downtown Palm Springs today then went to synagogue this evening to hear my friend Rabbi J. B. Sachs.

It’s almost obscene but it’s 85 degrees here. I feel so sorry for my friends back east who must endure such difficult weather.

Today I’m grateful for an uneventful drive to Palm Springs, for people sharing their stories with me, and for an incredibly glorious day.

My meditation today from A Woman’s Spirit: Mary Norton Gordon said our inner journey is a transformative process. It involves becoming who we already are in essence and letting go of the phony in favor of the authentic self. I will love others just as they are today. I can be honest and loving just by being me.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect: 1972 – The film version of Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret, based on Christopher Isherwood’s writings about his time in pre-WWII Berlin, has its world premiere in New York City. Unlike the stage version, the film version adheres slightly more closely to the source material and portrays Michael York’s character, Brian (based on Isherwood himself), bisexual; 1990 – Thirteen airmen are expelled from the U.S. Air Force after a four-month investigation into homosexual activity at Carswell Air Force base in Texas; 2012 – Washington state becomes the seventh U.S. state to legalize same sex marriage.

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