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30+ years of The Dinah: A global, queer-affirming celebration

30+ years of The Dinah: A global, queer-affirming celebration

OPED Dinah Shore Weekend Palm Springs
Molly Adams for The Dinah

The Dinah, celebrating over three decades of queer inclusivity, showcases a transformative five-day event that highlights the power of unity, acceptance, and the joy of collective celebration.

Every year, The Dinah shows our guests how amazing we can be together, celebrating our shared bonds and beautiful differences. This is our motto. We live this motto for five magical days. Throughout our time together, we invite our guests to experience how easy it can be to open our hearts to the beauty of each other just as we are.

Producing The Dinah for 33 years now has taught me many things. Still, if I had to pick just one, it would be the lesson of the queer community – that we make room for everyone in the face of any challenge, whether internal or external.

The event became a celebration of the best that we are. It also reflected how vulnerable and strong we are, creating a space where safety and acceptance are paramount. I realized we can make the world we want to live in for five enchanting days. We encouraged guests to embrace this ideology to the point that so many of our customers felt noticeably changed by the end of the weekend, having had a glimpse of how the community can be when we share an inspiring vision of togetherness and acceptance.

We believe that a true community doesn’t leave anyone out, and neither does The Dinah. One of our most recent challenges was an internal one for our larger LGBTQ+ community. Known for decades as an exclusive women’s event, the idea of who identifies as a woman and what that means has taken on an expanded meaning.

OPED Dinah Shore Weekend Palm SpringsMolly Adams for The Dinah

That moment came when I spoke with one of the emerging artists’ managers, who thanked me for being trans-inclusive. “I used to come here years ago as a lesbian,” the manager said. “It means so much to me that you continue to create a space where all are welcome.” The Dinah welcomes any person who celebrates the feminine. That includes our trans siblings and anyone exploring a deeper meaning of being who they are and how they identify.

We are collectively stronger than any assailant of our rights. When you see all those women, non-binary and trans folks and their friends come together to celebrate life in Dinah fashion, you are filled with a level of inspiration and acceptance that carries you through the weekend with a sense of liberation and community.

And the music! Music is a binding quality that helps us cross borders into a land where we all belong. Music and dance are the ecstatic rituals we celebrate as we come together as a community. It’s magical how it evolves over five days. We are committed to offering the best in established and emerging artists, believing as we have for decades that queer individuals deserve the very best of what life has to offer. We will not be marginalized.

But it wasn’t always easy. I remember a time when queer artists were hesitant to play at The Dinah because they did not want to get pigeonholed into being identified as only LGBTQ+. I had such a hard time booking major queer female acts. But the mainstream artists couldn’t wait to play for queer women. And that changed, too. Young artists are now out and proud, and with the help of the internet, creating a career on their own terms with their own parameters. It’s a Dinah honor to showcase these young artists.

The Dinah has become a global queer-affirming celebration and a community bucket list item. I take this moniker seriously as I produce The Dinah yearly to ensure its magic never fades. That magic begins with my incredible staff. I personally interview all of our management team and most of the staff. I bring together women, non-binary, and trans individuals who share a personal commitment to making the world a better place.

OPED Dinah Shore Weekend Palm SpringsMolly Adams for The Dinah

But as magical as The Dinah is, the community we create is its most significant achievement. Over our five days, the collective consciousness of the event is truly where the magic begins, a lasting impression that leaves us thinking about how the world can be when we let go of our “isms” and “phobias.” The Dinah is never defined simply by its parts. As the LGBTQ+ community, we have always been greater than that.

The early years of The Dinah were exciting. Its evolution is an amalgamation of my journey and how our community has evolved. Once a sapphic party with a bacchanalian flare, I began to understand how powerful this platform was and the possibility of changing lives and perspectives within our community.

And after 30+ years of producing this event, I couldn’t be happier or prouder.

Mariah Hanson is the founder and producer of The Dinah, the world-renowned event for queer women and friends taking place in Palm Springs, California, celebrating its 33rd year. Follow The Dinah on social, @thedinahshore.

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