World's Biggest Lesbian Gathering Is a Giant Desert Party

The Dinah Shore Weekend is now in its 26th year
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2016 3:40 PM CDT
World's Biggest Lesbian Gathering Is a Giant Desert Party
Pool party at the Dinah Shore in Palm Springs, California.   (YouTube)

What's it like when thousands of lesbians from around the globe drop everything and head out for nearly a week of partying in the California desert? "Gaypocalypse" is the word Arwa Mahdawi of the Guardian came up with. Mahdawi attended the 26th annual Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend, which ran March 30 through last Sunday in Palm Springs. "It’s a surreal experience: for a few days the world is turned upside down, the minority is suddenly the majority," Mahdawi writes. "It’s basically entirely queer women in attendance." The Dinah is named after famous entertainer Dinah Shore, who started a golf tournament in Palm Springs in 1972, according to the New York Daily News. As Mahdawi explains, Shore herself wasn't a lesbian, "but golf seems to attract a lot of lesbians. A sapphic scene sprouted up around the golf tournament, and the Dinah was born."

The Dinah is the biggest girl festival in the world—it had 20,000 attendees this year—and brings with it a "sense of liberation," as Mahdawi puts it. There's lots of flashing, very few clothes, and hookups abound as some attendees adjust to suddenly having an unusually large dating pool. There's also increasing interest from national advertisers and celebrities, showing the growing acceptance of gay culture. This year's attendees included Lady Gaga, Samantha Ronson, and two stars of Orange is the New Black. But no matter how big the Dinah gets, "the message is always the same: Here’s a space for you to celebrate your life, live out loud, and simply love," founder Mariah Hanson tells Curve. If you aren't a lesbian, LA Weekly has tons of photos to show what you're missing at the Dinah. (Anderson Cooper was shocked by his mom's teenage lesbian romance.)

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