Women We Love 2022: Mariah Hanson

Mariah Hanson

courtesy Mariah Hanson

For many queer women, making the pilgrimage to Palm Springs for the Dinah Shore Weekend—“The Dinah”—is a yearly tradition. For others, it’s a once-in- a-lifetime experience. Founder Mariah Hanson launched The Dinah 31 years ago “because I felt our community needed a safe space to gather to celebrate our genuine identity and be able to live our lives out loud without judgment or prejudice,” she tells GO. Though we’ve come a long way in gaining acceptance, many in the LGBTQ+ community still live in a world that forces them to hide who they are. For decades, The Dinah has provided a space for queer women to unapologetically be themselves. Hanson says that this is the most rewarding part of her work: bringing queer women together to live unabashedly loud and proud. Her event gives women the opportunity to step into their power without the patriarchal world weighing them down, even if only for five days. The Dinah, she says, “offers us a glimpse of what life would be if every- one was accepting of each other—no matter the size of their body, the color of their skin, or the tax bracket they belong to.” What began as a small one-night party at the Palm Springs Museum with 1,500 attendees is now the largest queer women-focused event in the world, with over 20,000 attending each year. Hanson has turned The Dinah into a cultural and social phenomenon that brings folks from all walks of life together to celebrate. “Every year I am reminded of the importance of connecting our community together,” says Hanson, “and [of] preserving safe, diverse and inclusive places for our LGBTQIA community to come together.” –LC

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