20,000 lesbians in the wilderness: welcome to the Dinah, a world without men

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For five days in Palm Springs, Arwa Mahdawi entered an alternate reality where lesbian girls celebrate one another with pool parties, dancing and debauchery

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 Im one of them. Its my second day at the Dinah, also known as the largest girl celebration in the world. Im staying at the Hilton in Palm Springs, which is hosting the famous Dinah pool parties, and the hotel feels like a lesbian harem.

Its a surreal experience: for a few days the world is turned upside down, the minority is abruptly the majority. Everywhere you look, lesbians are smiling, drinking, dancing, kissing. There are a few men around faculty running the event and guys who have been dragged along by lesbian friends but they are hard to place. Its basically wholly queer women in attendance.

The party is named after the Dinah Shore golf tournament, started in 1972 by the eponymous entertainer. Dinah Shore wasnt a lesbian( shed 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 budded up around the golf tournament, and the Dinah was born. Its now in its 26 th year.

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