|Club Med, Dominican Republic|
Yes, a few of those women are topless
Alsaka and Africa to Turkey and Tierra del Fuego.
My ex, Barbara Evans, and her partner Patricia -- for their picture, see "Friendly
Connections" below -- told us about their plan to go on the Olivia 40-year anniversary cruise in March. Becky and I were still in Mexico then, but we signed up for the anniversary resort week in May. Olivia generously offered me a mid-afternoon workshop slot and announced a publication party for the newly revised Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence.
|Passing the microphone at Lesbian Nuns event|
But I was wrong. Within minutes of the starting time, all the removed chairs were back in the circle. Latecomers sat on a stone wall or leaned against pillars.
|Empty chair next to me belongs to Becky, who took this picture|
|We felt safe to express affection all week|
The workshop was one of many highlights of a remarkable week. As Becky and I relaxed into the safety and freedom of a women's community, we felt more expansive, more loving. By mid-week, it seemed that most of the 1,000 Olivia women were experiencing something similar, as if a current of trusting, open-hearted energy embraced and connected us all. My only other experience of this phenomenon was at the week-long Michigan Womyn's Music Festival.
|White night dance, for Olivia's 40th anniversary|
|NanBec with Chris Williamson the day after her Olivia concert|
The all-inclusive resort, a first for us, was expensive. But Olvia does things other travel companies don't. Olivia reserves an entire resort or cruise ship, whether 500 or 1000 women sign up. Prominent feminists like Edie Windsor, Maya Angelou, Lily Tomlin, Melissa Etheridge, and Martina Navratilova offer workshops. Olivia bring their own staff, who facilitate excursions and other activities as well as handle any challenges that arise. Resort and ship employees are given sensitivity training. Guests can relax, knowing that for at least a week, they won't have to deal with homophobic attitudes and behaviors. For some, it's the first time they have ever held hands or kissed in public.
Judy Dlugacz, has even organized three round-table discussions with Michelle Obama, who apparently enjoys having breakfast with a group of politically astute lesbians.
Becky and I hope to join the "LADIES OF OLIVIA" again someday.
|A pina colada on a Caribbean beach with Becky and|
a thousand other lesbians. Life doesn't get much better.