By Megan Wadding, April 2020 Issue.

The largest lesbian

event in the world is once again about to take over Palm Springs, filling the

desert with over 20,000 women ready to have fun in the sun.

Club Skirts presents The Dinah, the annual

music festival and pool party weekend. Follow thedinah.com for event dates.

The

five-day-long event is held annually and includes various performances by

nationally-renowned recording artists, shows by iconic comedians, wild pool

parties with world-famous DJs and go-go dancers, red carpet events with

celebrity guests and musicians, and meet-and-greets with lesbian celebrities.

The parties and shows will be held at

various locations throughout Palm Springs. The weekend’s pool parties will take

place at the Hilton Hotel & Spa’s main pool during the day, the concerts

and night events will be at the Palm Springs Convention Center and the opening

and closing parties will both be held at AsiaSF — Palm Springs most fabulous

new supper club — to both kickstart and close the weekend.

Fun-filled weekend

The Dinah weekend has become a rite of passage within the lesbian

community since it was first held back in 1991 in the Palm Springs Modern Art

Museum. It has grown and evolved into what has become an oasis in the desert

for women from around the world.

The biggest events of the weekend include a

Dinah Comedy Night , a Black and White Ball, The L Word Pool Party, and

the Dinah Comedy Show.

The line-up for the weekend is full of

talented, diverse women ready to have attendees partying into the night.

Musical hot-spot

Over the past three decades, as well as being known as an enormous party

for lesbians, the Dinah has also grown into a globally-recognized music

festival. Event founder Mariah Hanson is famous for picking the next big thing

in music. Year after year Hanson has tapped the most promising up-and-coming

talent that have gone on to become world-renowned performers and recording

artists.

While in its earlier years, the Dinah

events centered more on its pool parties, the Dinah of the past decade has

focused more on not only making the pool parties and comedy shows even more

amazing and extravagant, but also on by drawing in huge superstar artists such

as Lizzo, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Chaka Khan, Meghan Trainor, Iggy Azalea, and

Salt ‘N Pepa, most of them while they were just on the cusp of hitting it big.

Hanson has done it again with the musical

performances this year, which all promise to be amazing. Headlining the Friday

night Black and White Ball is rapper Saweetie who has been exploding onto the

scene with her recent singles “ICY GIRL” and “My Type.”

Ally Brooke, breakout star of the

multi-platinum group Fifth Harmony, will headline the Saturday night Hollywood

Party. Brooke is preparing to release her debut solo album this year.

Throughout the festival, attendees can also

expect performances from Layton Greene, Lion Babe, Madison Paige, Umi, Yung

Baby Tate, and several world-renowned DJs, taking various stages, some

poolside.

As always, Hanson picks incredible line-ups

for the weekend, including a knack for finding the next hot performer to hit

the airwaves.

“The line-up this year as about as exciting

as it gets,” said Hanson. “The representation is diverse, empowering, exciting

and ever so talented. I would not miss one performance this year.”

What’s new?

For the first time

in 30 years, The Dinah is officially collaborating with the Ladies Professional

Golf Association, which is holding the ANA Inspiration tournament the same

weekend.

The Dinah Shore Weekend began as a

gathering of women who trekked to Palm Springs for the annual women’s golf

tournament and has grown into the largest gathering of queer women in the

world.

“[The cocktail reception will feature]

three players currently playing in the tournament which is really exciting,”

said Hanson. “What a way to showcase women in sports, women in excellence and

women as role models.

The three players, including Mel Reid,

Cheyenne Knight and Alena Sharp, will be making a special appearance, meeting

with Dinah attendees and hosting the cocktail party in collaboration with

Showtime.

Reduced prices will also be offered to

Dinah customers who also want to attend the golf tournament.

Lots of laughs

The Dinah Comedy

Night will be held on Thursday night and will feature the hilarious and

brilliant Dinah veteran comediennes, Gina Yashere, Dana Goldberg, and Dinah

Leffert.

On Saturday night, for the first time ever,

the Dinah is holding An Intimate Evening with the Legendary John Waters, the

iconic filmmaker, photographer and comedian. The special performance will

include a Dinah-specific show, and a 20 minute Q&A afterwards. A

meet-and-greet and an autograph-signing event are included with the Dinah VIP

weekend pass.

“I’m happy to be the comic relief in a sea

of partying, ‘all-girl’ music festival fans. Thanks to The Dinah, I will

finally be a true outsider!” said Waters, who proudly calls himself a “lezbro.”

Hanson said she had caught wind that Waters

dedicated about ten minutes to The Dinah in his one-man show in 2017 in Palm

Springs, and immediately though how great it would be to have him perform at

The Dinah.

“I loved the idea of showcasing a man at

The Dinah, especially one who has done so much for our community to further

equality and to normalize those of us who in the past may have felt on the

fringe. So I contacted him, and he loved the idea. I’m excited to include him

in our 30thanniversary programming,” said Hanson. “So many women bring male

friends and while we retain about 98% female attendance, if someone who has

transitioned or is a male ally wants to attend, we welcome them. As such, it’s

also a message of tolerance and acceptance.”

Attendance — and Arizona girls

Thousands of women

from all over the globe flock to the desert for The Dinah each April, and many

make the short road trips from surrounding states, easily making it the largest

lesbian event in the world. Arizona women always make a big showing each year,

happily making the drive or short flight to join the festivities.

“We have so many women who attend from Arizona as it’s so easy to get

here,” said Hanson. “Our Arizonians know how to “bring it.”

This year, Hanson said the attendance is

about 10% bigger than last year.

“So many women want to celebrate our

milestone year and are proud to have been a part of creating one of the

longest-standing musical festivals in the nation,” said Hanson.

Many fortunate attendees have so much fun during the weekend that they

come back for more. And the even more fortunate and faithful attendees attend

multiple years in a row.

Hanson attributes it to the friendships and

connections made during the weekend.

“I find our customers experience profound

connection during the weekend — to other women, to higher ideals of community,

to each other — and this becomes life-changing as if you can do it here, at The

Dinah, why can’t you do this everywhere?” said Hanson. “The event serves as a

reminder that what we bring to every situation is also what we receive.”

Thirty years of Dinah

What started off as

a weekend for women back in the 90’s has become a globally-recognized event,

that has evolved and grown and morphed into the iconic weekend it is today.

Palm Springs was specifically chosen by

Hanson back in the early 1990s as the perfect city to host The Dinah. The city,

which is known for its beautiful, warm weather, gorgeous mountains, palm-lined

streets, and welcoming attitude, makes for an ideal place to hold the event,

which is full of sun-bathing, dancing, floating in the pool and more.

Hanson calls the “welcoming vibe” of the

city the “perfect backdrop” for the Dinah.

Looking back over the past three decades,

Hanson admitted that she would not change a thing.

“I love how the event has morphed into such

a powerful statement of empowerment for women. I never imagined it would be

quite this spectacular, but I am so pleased with what it has become, what it

stands for and what it will continue to evolve into,” she said.

Producing the Dinah year after year and

turning it into a famous lesbian rite of passage has been a beautiful journey

for Hanson and she fully grasps what it means to the attendees.

“It’s been a personal journey of

transformation for me,” she said. “I take responsibility for this event and

what it means to the community personally and am dedicated to being the best

steward I can be. That means always changing and evolving to present the best,

most empowering event for women possible, which means I have to be the best,

most empowering producer possible.

Along with the Dinah continuing be an

iconic and fun annual party for women, as well as music lesbian festival — that

is always brilliantly and strategically ahead of the curve in terms of talent-booking

—  Hanson said she also wants it to be an

event that continues to unite women.

“I want it to be a place where we can share

our stories and experience the beautiful bond of strength when we share our

humanity with others through our storytelling. Who are you? Where are you from?

Why are you here? Those three questions asked all weekend long will create a

profound catalyst for personal change if we really listen to the answers,” said

Hanson.

No special event marking the anniversary

will be held during the weekend, because Hanson believes that the event is the

special event in and of itself.

“The event is a celebration; the 30th is

just a number,” she said. “What we do every year in our coming together is a

celebration of the best within us and of us, as we show year after year that

the most diverse people can come together and create a community that shares a

strong bond of womanhood, of higher ideas, of the importance of being heard.”

Looking toward the future and into the next

decade of Dinah, Hanson predicts that the event will continue to become an

“incredibly powerful catalyst for female empowerment and celebration”.

According to Hanson, she believes that core

of The Dinah will always remain true to itself and continue to grow and evolve

with the years.

“The core of The Dinah shall always remain the same: a dedication through musical performances and a gathering of like-minded women to celebrate our lives, empowering, supporting, connecting, in a joyous celebration of our lives for a powerful five days,” Hanson added. “We are excited to have everyone with us to celebrate out 30th and plan a five-day extravaganza that will outdo any Dinah produced before. I am one blessed woman being able to produce this event.”


Photo courtesy of Michael Feinstein.

Michael Feinstein


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I think it’s fair to say we all want that #fitlife, especially with Spring around the corner — as well as Gaypril on the way. Whether it’s pool season yet or not, everyone would choose to look fit over not looking fit, if they could have it with a snap of their fingers. OK, the vast majority of us would.

If you’ve met me, or have been reading my articles, you know that I live, sleep, eat and breathe fitness; it’s my heart and soul. That being said, I’m here to tell you that the concept of “fitness” is oftentimes tragically misunderstood.

Before you get too aggressive with your goal for pool season, let’s dive a bit deeper into what fitness means on the inside versus what it looks like on the outside, and common misconceptions around this concept.

1. Beware of the cultural pitfalls and misleading information around fitness.

Most of the bodies you see in the media are probably not real, they just look very convincing. As a trainer who also moonlights as a photographer and Photoshop wizard, I’m telling you that it is incredibly easy to alter pictures in materially misleading ways. Once you know the tricks of the trade, the imposters are easily spotted. But that’s not what this is about.

The point is: to the untrained eye, it can be devastatingly defeating to see such impossible standards. It seems as though the cultural pressure to look a certain way, to look perfect, has spread all the way from runway models to fitness novices with the help of smartphone apps.

The truth is that we fitness models look that cut, and that lean for only a couple days at a time. That’s it! In many cases, months or even close to a year of training, dieting and programming all go into looking like that for ONE day. Let that sink in for a second. Day to day, I am less cut, less tan and much flatter muscularly than what you see in some of my pictures. That’s just the nature of the beast. So, when you have a bad day on the scale, in the mirror or in any other scenario, remember that we’re all human and that the most legitimate photos you’re comparing yourself against were from someone’s very best day. That should help to keep things in perspective.

2. Most people want the results, without actually doing the work.

Fitness is not six pack abs, it’s not superficial, it is not temporary and it’s not an isolated phase in your life. Further, fitness is not something you do for someone else, do to spite someone else or even to impress someone else.

Fitness is confidence, toughness, dedication, coordination, power, balance, speed, strength (both literally and figuratively) and persistence in the face of all obstacles. This includes control over your attitude, your mood, your sleep, your schedule, your diet and other aspects of your life. This means getting that workout in when you least feel like it.

It’s not easy, and it’s definitely a grind that has good and bad days. You must show up and keep working on the days you’re tired, stressed, rushed, defeated, doubtful, afraid and so on. The days you actually have to overcome something instead of just checking your workout off your to-do list are the days you have the greatest opportunity to really make progress, push your body and see the most improvement.

3. Fitness is really an internal mindset. The external physique is the fringe benefit.

I’ve said this time and time again, and it might sound strange coming from such an aesthetic-focused trainer, but you are not your body. Your body is a tool, it’s a means to an end, to express your internal mindset, belief system, discipline and dedication to your workout program. Your physique will come and go. Your strength will come and go. Your abilities will wax and wane depending on what you’re training for at the time.

The outside will, and should, be always changing, but the inside is what we’re really after here. Good trainers want to train you to believe in yourself when sh*t gets hard. We want to train you to be resilient in the face of injury, obstacles and other setbacks. We want you to set ambitious goals and shoot for the moon because you can get there with smart programming and relentless will (do yourself a favor and ditch the crash diets and the photo editing software).

So, as you make your spring preparations for swimsuit season, try focusing on developing a sterling, unshakeable internal character and the muscles will come along the way, this I promise you.

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