20,000 lesbians in the desert: Welcome to the Dinah, a world without men

20,000 lesbians in the desert: Welcome to the Dinah, a world without men
Image: Guardian video screen grab

Every year at the end of March, 20,000 lesbians from around the world fly into the Californian desert for five days of debauchery, and I’m one of them. It’s my second time at the Dinah, also known as the largest girl festival in the world. I’m staying at the Hilton in Palm Springs, which is hosting the famous Dinah pool parties, and the hotel feels like a homosexual harem.

It’s a surreal experience: for a few days the world is turned upside down, the minority is suddenly the majority. Everywhere you look, lesbians are smiling, drinking, dancing, kissing. There are a few men around – staff working the event and guys who have been dragged along by lesbian friends – but they are hard to spot. It’s basically entirely queer women in attendance.

The party is named after the Dinah Shore golf tournament, started in 1972 by the eponymous entertainer. Dinah Shore wasn’t a lesbian (she’d be doing somersaults in her grave if she knew what her moniker was attached to now), but golf seems to attract a lot of lesbians. A sapphic scene sprouted up around the golf tournament, and the Dinah was born. It’s now in its 26th year.

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