The Cultural Phenomenon of Palm Springs Dinah Shore Weekend
PALM SPRINGS, CA - Still considered taboo in many countries and among many cultures, the acceptance of homosexuality is something which some people in certain parts of the country and the world are still having trouble coming to grips with.
Despite the mass acceptance in some of the more cosmopolitan cities such as Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Paris or London, being gay is something you just can’t put on display everywhere.
There is still a majority of gay women who live in hiding having to pretend to be someone other than who they truly are simply because their environment forces them to.
It’s hard for those of us who have the freedom to walk the streets holding hands and kissing our partner to fathom the fact that our lifestyle is not the same for a majority of others but rather is the exception. We take for granted the fact that our reality is still a dream many wish would come true.
But once a year this dream does become reality because of the legendary Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend in Palm Springs.
The Dinah Shore Weekend offers gay women from all over the world the opportunity to escape for five days from the rest of their 360-day life of make believe, in the closet, and provides them the freedom to be who they are.
What the Dinah offers is a glimpse of what life would be if everyone was accepting of each other - no matter what the size of their body, the color of their skin and/or the tax bracket they belong to - and, on a universal scale, how perfect the world would be if we could all be free to feel free!
A cultural phenomenon that has over these past 23 years reached epic proportions, The Dinah Shore Weekend doesn’t just attract lesbians, but also straight women who come to the event to have the peace of mind to feel safe and also gain an extraordinary amount of self-worth.
It has also become a new hot party trend among many female celebrities who get themselves a girls’ night out partying in a sea of women. From Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Natasha Bedinglfield, Chaka Khan, Colbie Caillat, The Pussycat Dolls, India Arie, Chely Wright to Lady Gaga, among many others: these celebrities have all done it.
The largest lesbian event in the world, the Dinah Shore weekend is an annual monumental 5-day weekend packed with not only non-stop activities, spectacular comedy shows, live concerts, activism and legendary pool parties, but also premier talent in music, film and television.
Where is The Dinah Shore Weekend? Nowhere else but in the beautiful city of Palm Springs, CA.
Created and produced by Mariah Hanson under her Club Skirts marquee, The Dinah Shore Weekend, popularly known as "The Dinah," is now not only an event celebrating the tapestry of women around the world but also stands as a seminal Mecca for lesbians.
With some 20,000 (and counting) women from all over the world (gay and straight) making the pilgrimage each year for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, The Dinah Shore Weekend is a one-of-a-kind vacation spot where women of all ages, interests, ability, relationship status, cultural background and profession come together for a long weekend getaway to meet and connect with other women, make new friends, reunite with old ones, and yes, find their dream girl!
A Cultural Phenomenon: How The Dinah Changes Lives
The Dinah is a unique vacation destination for lesbians because it brings women together for one big giant celebration of the community and women in general.
It’s about sharing a mutual respect and understanding for the different lives women live, the struggles they face, the obstacles they’ve overcome, the battles they won, and the successes they have accomplished.
Yet none of this universal unity, love and solidarity would have been possible if it wasn’t as well for the host city of The Dinah Shore Weekend, namely the City of Palm Springs, the number one LGBT travel destination.
A Marriage Made in Heaven
There is something truly special about Palm Springs beyond its beautiful oasis setting in the arid Southern California desert. The city, dubbed "the new gay mecca" boasts more gay and gay-friendly restaurants, nightclubs, hotels, retailers and other businesses than any other one gay destination in the world.
Nowhere else in the world do lesbians get such a strong sense of community, solidarity and acceptance, feeling as much as home within the walls of the event as anywhere else on Palm Springs’ playground.
Palm Springs is a magical place where unforgettable memories, camaraderies and unbreakable bonds are created and cherished forever.
The Dinah’s Impact on the Media:
The Dinah has certifiably come to represent an ever-growing movement that has crossed over to mainstream bringing more and more visibility to the lesbian community - one that had never existed before.
It’s no surprise it also served as the main location for Season 1 and 3 of Showtime’s hugely popular hit reality TV show, "The Real L Word" - Showtime’s top-performing unscripted show in prime time, which according to a recent poll conducted by the network, primarily pulls in an audience predominantly composed of straight women.
Lesbians are no longer lagging behind their male counterparts on trendiness. They have taken the lead as the new trendsetters having the influential power to start an infectious trend that spreads to mainstream.
And they have done so with the Dinah Shore Weekend in Palm Springs becoming one of the hottest celebrity hotspots but also a trendsetting event that entertainment industry insiders watch and jockey to book their artists’ performances.
A Star-Studded Hot Spot:
Building on its reputation as the ultimate entertainment hub, in less than two decades, Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend has positioned itself as an event the entertainment industry’s most elite go to.
Looking to rub elbows with celebrities? The Dinah features a phenomenal line-up of talent ever to perform at a lesbian event:
- Lady Gaga
- Katy Perry
- Jane Lynch ("Glee")
- Neon Hitch
- Chely Wright
- Colbie Caillat
- India Arie
- Natasha Bedingfield
- Chaka Khan
- Salt’n Pepa
- Wanda Sykes (CBS "The New Adventures of Old Christine")
- Meredith Baxter (NBC "Family Ties")
- Oliver Stone ("Platoon", "Wall Street", "Savages")
- Fortune Feimster (E! "Chelsea Lately")
- Sarah Shahi (USA Network "Fairly Legal")
- Jessica Clark (HBO "True Blood")
- The entire cast of Showtime "The L Word" & "The Real L Word"
What to Expect for the 23rd Anniversary of The Dinah
Held April 3-April 7, 2013 in Palm Springs, CA, The Dinah Shore Weekend, now in its 23rd year is expected to be the biggest it’s ever been.
New this year is the "one ticket for two pool parties" admission offering Dinah-goers the unique and fun opportunity to travel through two different ambiances and to fully experience the legendary Dinah Shore Pool Parties.
This is part of the five-year plan that will see the transformation of the iconic mile-long stretch Tahquitz Canyon Way into a Dinah Shore Weekend block party. One ticket gets Dinah goers into everything: pay once, play over multiple days.
Twenty-three years is certainly a milestone for an all woman/all-lesbian event, and speaks volume with regards to the tight bond between not only The Dinah and the City of Palm Springs, but also between the two entities and the thousands of lesbian travelers (either returning or attending for the first time) who uniquely create The Dinah family.
A successful marriage that year after year is going stronger than ever! "It’s all about celebrating our formidable community, and the wonderful experiences as well as exceptional accomplishments we have created and shared together with our Dinah family members over these past 23 years," says Mariah Hanson, founder and producer of The Dinah Shore Weekend.
Official website: www.TheDinah.com
Watch The Dinah Shore Video featuring exclusive Glee-Like rendition of the Dinah song by Jane Lynch. Warning: contagiously catchy!
This article is part of our "Winter 2013" series. Want to read more?
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