Check out last year’s exclusive ‘MARIAH’ Interview. Looking forward to Dinah 2014. Check back soon for your chance to win DINAH tickets on Epochalips!
I’ve known Mariah since the early Club Skirts days when we were fresh-faced blondies in our early twenties. both of us were ready to take on the world. But our paths took very different routes. Mine included a long-term relationship, two kids and a career in advertising. Mariah’s path was one that would change the face of lesbian nightlife as we know it today—she blazed a trail toward what would become the biggest lesbian event in the world. The Dinah. And by doing so, she helped make the world a better place for the LGBT community.
Last year, I went to visit Mariah at her new home near Idyllwild, in the majestic mountains above Palm Springs. I thought it would be fun to interview her on horseback—and after an extensive grilling as to my horsewoman capabilities, I was finally deemed worthy. So this is what happened on top of that mountain, amongst the steep trails, rattlesnakes and granite boulders.
E. We both grew up in Marin County, CA. Why did you decide to move down here from Norcal?
MH: I was in Sonoma taking care of my mom for the past few years. Now the caretaking needs have shifted to other members of my family. I’m enjoying a long needed respite in the mountains. as it turned out, I love it here!
E: Tell us about this years’ Dinah.
MH: it’s really important to me that the passion and commitment that myself and my team bring to the Dinah is conveyed in what we do—we are planning a year like no other—we are offering another exciting entertainment line up. As a team, after so many years, a cohesiveness begins to take place, and we all have come to think of The Dinah as an extended family. We all love producing it. We get excited every year. I hope that community feeling we form as a planning unit becomes pervasive throughout the weekend for our guests
E: My pal Meredith Baxter speaks highly of the Bickerdyke book club. Really? You are in a book club? Bickerdyke? lol.
MH: Yes! Mary Bickerdyke was a real person! We’ve got an eclectic group of lesbians—gals like Suzanne Westenhoefer, Leyla Farah, and Randi Barnes among others. I’m the party planner trying to keep up with the intellectuals. Meredith has been a great addition. Her regal presence alone inspires us to drink less and discuss more, lol.
E: I’m excited about The Dinah coming up in the Spring. You have a history of booking emerging artists like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, and I’ve heard that you’ve taken some heat about those choices, because people think you should stick with ‘out’ lesbian acts. What’s that about?
MH: I am very proud of the choices I’ve made in entertainment for The Dinah, and this year’s line-up will be another great one! What people don’t understand is that many out lesbian artists don’t want to play The Dinah for fear of becoming pigeon holed.
E: What’s the buzz about the other “Dinah Shore”?
MH: I try not to pay too much attention. For me, the Dinah Shore is branded in Palm Springs and to try and take it elsewhere and promote it as if it has moved from Palm Springs generates unnecessary confusion for customers who do not know better. But we are confident that most people understand the World Famous Dinah Shore weekend takes place in Palm Springs and we’ll just have to work harder to get that message out so that at the very least women are making an informed choice.