LGBT Politicians Take Control Of Palm Springs

The Desert Sun reports:

For years — starting with the election of Ron Oden, an openly gay man, in 1995 and then the passage of a domestic partnership ordinance — LGBT voters and their allies had been making slow but steady progress at Palm Springs City Hall.

Then in 2008, after the passage of a statewide initiative to ban same-sex marriage, the community erupted in anger. Hundreds of frustrated residents took to the streets. It was an awakening for many of the area’s gays and lesbians that would transform the city’s politics. They organized and strategized.

Tuesday’s blowout victories by Lisa Middleton and Christy Holstege were the peak of that decades-long climb. The council that will be installed in December consists of three gay men, one transgender woman and a millennial woman who identifies as bisexual. The city’s LGBT contingent is now the dominant political force — and completely in charge.

  • Kevin Perez

    To celebrate, I shall go to Palm Springs in February for International Bear Convergence at the Hard Rock Hotel.

    • Mark

      I was there for Pride – it was quite an incredible weekend and everyone having a great time.

    • Mark

      There was a protest in front of Hard Rock over Pride weekend – something about them hating gays / discriminating. I couldn’t quite get a handle on what was going on but there was a small but might contingent protesting the hotel.

      • Lakeview Bob

        I am glad I didn’t know that. I would have let the parade to show them what real hate is.

  • kareemachan

    Ah, repugs: as you sow, so shall you reap. You try to put your crap over on people, and by golly, they react. Well done, PS!

  • SilasMarner


  • hdtex
    • Nic Peterson

      How’s that gay agenda working for ya now?

      • Kruhn

        If it means street signs, traffic lights, potholes, and all the minutia of city government, fabulously!

    • jerry


      • Peggy

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    • Stubenville

      Needs MOAR GLITTER!!1!1!

  • Ninja0980


  • Tor

    It sounds as if the person who wrote the article doesn’t believe bisexuals really exist.

    • Ninja0980

      Many folks still think that way sad to say, even in the LGBT community.

      • /

        I’ve also frequently been told by many other gay people that, “Bisexuals are nothing but trouble,” and I have been, “Strongly cautioned against them.”

        I’ve been married to a bisexual man for over 13 years now, and after the initial shock of seeing straight porn on a laptop screen in bed with me wore off, he has been worth every grey hair he has caused.

        • Todd20036

          To be honest, I can get off from straight porn, but finding a man to fuck is MUCH easier than finding a woman.
          That’s just how it is.

        • Ninja0980

          Same here with my hubby (also together for 13 plus years.)
          Like you, the horror of straight porn is made up for the fact that in real life, he is a great person (and great in bed too.)

        • shivadog

          I’m glad I didn’t tell my husband I was bi until long after he had got to know me. He said he would have certainly left if he had known when we first met. (along with the general anti-bi bias of a lot of gay people, he had some bad experiences with bi-sexual men) It seems like bisexuals get hate from straight and gay people, I usually just claim to be gay, since I am married to a man. Saves a lot of trouble.

          • /

            I’m genuinely surprised at the anti-bi bias amongst some gay people: these same people disdain being stereotyped and painted with the same brush, but have no hesitation in hypocritically doing so to bisexual people. Indeed, I was talking to another gay guy recently who thought he needed to “warn me” about being in a relationship with a bisexual guy. I think after managing to make it work for 13 years, that was not only rude and condescending of him, but amazingly ignorant.

            I’m incredibly curious what exactly comprises this “wealth of bad experiences” that people report to have had with bisexuals – and bisexual men in particular – that are distinctly different from bad experiences that one might have with gay men or heterosexual men anyways?

            I look at “anti-bi” gay people the same way I look at any other minority group that tries to take what’s theirs while lacking in compassion for other minority groups: they get a big fuck you from me for being so selfish.

    • netxtown

      there are days I wish i were bi. I mean – gay or straight rules out 50% of possible partners, whereas bi gets ’em all! I wonder if there is a bi-therapy….???

      • Reality.Bites

        I think in reality bisexuals have far fewer possible partners than either straight or gay people. There are an awful lot of monosexuals who absolutely won’t date bisexuals.

      • Friday

        It doesn’t mean that , since a potentially *eligible* partner has to be potentially-interested in *you,* so the demographics alone mean you’re basically dealing with adding on a subset of people. And as mentioned that’s before the narrowing down based on other factors, like general biphobia in both gay and straight communities, and contrary to stereotypes, nothing says being bi means you’re actually attracted to and or/attracting a greater number of *individual people* out there, they just could come from either/any sex.

    • /

      I’ve met way too many people who state that bisexuality is the sexual orientation equivalent of “agnosticism” as both apparently comprise some form of indecisive fence-sitting.

      At least these people are good at something: demonstrating their stupidity.

      • Steve Teeter

        If that’s what they think, they don’t know what agnosticism is either.

    • Hue-Man

      This seems to be the usual construction – ABC identifies as queer, DEF identifies as bisexual, but never “GHI identifies as heterosexual”! I don’t read any scepticism into the phrase.

      • The_Wretched

        The usual construction is parallelism. Fixed version “The council that will be installed in December consists of three gay men, one transgender woman and a bisexual millennial woman.”

        To do otherwise comes off as hedging. The author might have thought “bisexual millennial” or “millennial bisexual” was confusing, however.

      • Tor

        I think it is skeptical.
        “…three gay men, one transgender woman and a millennial woman who identifies as bisexual.”
        It did not say that the gay men and transgender woman “identify” as such. Only the bisexual.
        Based on your statement, this represents progress, but we can always improve.

    • Slim Compersion

      It’s stated as though that city council member is more certain to be millennial than she is to be bisexual.

  • ChrisMorley

    OT – a little

    The resistance to Trump is blossoming – and building a movement to last
    – An astounding number of new grassroots resistance groups, at least six times the number the Tea Party could boast at its height, have emerged. That’s incredible
    ‘Locally focused, self-organized, and overwhelmingly led by women, these groups show every sign of digging in for the long haul.’

    We’re not the leaders of this movement: you are.
    – Our mission is to fuel a progressive grassroots network of local groups to resist the Trump Agenda. In every congressional district in the country, people like you are starting local groups and leading local actions. Are you standing indivisible with us? Then sign up for weekly actions and updates.

    • TuuxKabin

      Thank you! Additional reason to throw off the cloak of worry and dread I’d been waking up with every day since 11/9/17.

      We had the opportunity and honor to meet and listen to four Rosie The Riveters at the museum in Richmond, California. Especially meaningful to me as my mother migrated from Bisbee, Arizona with my father, to work in the shipyards.

      • ChrisMorley

        So Jealous !
        Here in Manchester, our People’s History Museum provides a one year programme of exhibitions celebrating LGBT Resistance over the 50 years since the 1967 Sexual Offences Act reform first lifted a corner of the discrimination.

        Lots of us have been the ‘Rosie the Riveter’ in our own liberation struggles and the exhibitions have told our stories, powerfully.

        • TuuxKabin

          That is fantastic! Thank you. Love it!

          Is this part of the celebration?

          • David Walker

            Good lord. I love this song and I love this video. There are a couple of others that take snippets from movie dances that’re also fun. What I’d like to know, though, is whatever happened to Alison Jiear? Maybe she had a career in the UK, but you’d think she’d be a natural in the States.

          • ChrisMorley

            Not a lot in the last couple of years it seems:

          • David Walker

            Thanks for the link. YouTube has a couple of songs from her cabaret act, but the lack of production values gets in the way. And thanks again for recommending “Lamb.” My life would be poorer without it, and it introduced me to his other novels.

          • ChrisMorley

            Yes Indeedy. We go wild at Pride on the long holiday weekend at the end of August.

            This is my favourite ‘pick me up’ – lots more swearing

            2009. Manchester Pride does Lily Allen, ‘Fuck You’

          • TuuxKabin

            And I thought I swore the hell a lot. Thanks. Fun!

          • thank you–I needed that 🙂 I have fond memories of dancing in those parts, but in another century 🙂

        • Todd20036

          “Underground” would be a great name for an after hours club

          • ChrisMorley

            Here, we had the Haçienda which featured many Live Acts (Madonna (in 1984), New Order, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Oasis, James, Blur, OMD and Echo & Bunnymen), and the Haçienda was immortalised in the film 24 Hour Party People. A highlight during the mid-1990s were the huge monthly gay ‘Flesh’ nights.

    • Reality.Bites

      When I see “led by women” I read “thank god no bernie bros anywhere near it.”

    • The_Wretched

      I wonder how long until the Dem party types start to attack the grass roots progressive groups directly.

    • ColdCountry

      A tangent to this: There is a website and facebook page called “amightygirl.” It features women in history and current times who are making a difference, and promotes the empowerment of women everywhere. It also provides links and articles for bully-proofing your little girl, and how to make her, and your relationship with her, strong, as well as books and games to empower.

      An example of the featured women is today’s – Hedy Lamarr. Sure, you’ve heard of her, but did you know she was also a mathematician, engineer and inventor? She and composer George Antheil invented a method of “frequency hopping” that disrupted the radio signals of torpedoes. It is also the foundation on which GPS, Blue tooth, and WiFi technology are based.

      You empower women, you empower over half the people in the world. Is that not a good thing? (Unless you’re an old, straight, rich, white man.)

      • Lars Littlefield

        Yup. Lamar was received politely by the war office in Washington during the beginning of WWII. They pretty much wrote her off, not really taking her seriously. If they hadn’t regarded her as “just a silly woman” with a “hair brained” invention they most likely could have saved untold thousands of lives. Her range hopping detection idea eventually made underwater torpedos fool proof when finding their target. But no. She was just too pretty. 🙁

      • KnownDonorDad

        That’s a great site; friends share articles from it regularly.

      • ChrisMorley

        Thank You. That’s new to me and I give it 5 stars.

        My mum taught me right – she went to university during WWII studying science subjects, was very insistent that women were the equal of men and made sure her boys did at least as much housework as my sisters. I still see one of her university friends who became our much loved ‘foster’ Aunty Irene, now in her 90s.
        Her friends were all significant independent women and I only really got involved as a LGBT activist after first supporting women’s liberation actions through a network of ‘anti-sexist’ men providing creches and child care.
        I continued that by being closely involved in the caring and raising of my close friends’ children, as their gay ‘foster’ uncle. Changing nappies is also revolutionary.

        • ColdCountry

          I salute your mother! Well done, both of you.

      • perversatile

        This is an amazing stand alone site for a thoroughly entertaining book covering various women from history both real and mythic, running the gamut from heroic to warrior queens and their bloody adventures to undercover spies, scientist and ‘girls that kicked ass’
        (don’t be fooled by the illustrations).
        “Women too Awesome, Awful, or Offbeat for Kids’ Movies”

        • ColdCountry

          That looks awesome – downloading to Kindle now! Have to say that when I saw that illustration, I thought of Sybil Ludington, the 16 year old girl who rode farther than Paul Revere to warn that the British were coming.

          • perversatile

            I purchased a copy as a gift for my favorite niece,
            and ended up keeping it (whoops!)

    • foillowing nearly a decade living in exile in the Arpaio-stained county of Arizona, I excaped home to Seattle, where since January, I’ve been active with the Seattle Neighborhood Action Coalition. We’re more locally focused than Indivisible. I’m amazed at how much we’ve been able to accomplish. We have representatives on all sorts of organizations. Each Neighborhood NAC sets its own priorities, and many are focused on dealing with homelessness and affordable housing. I was asked to do Storytelling at an “occupy Seattle City Hall” last week–and to my surprise, when I got home, BBC was covering our event. I’m on the Capital Hill Advisory Board, where (a first) the historically LGBT neighborhood of Capital Hill, is going to build 66 new low-cost homes for senior citizens. Our advisory board is charged with making the new place a safe and welcoming place for LGBTQ Seniors. At this point, nothing similar (such as say, an advisory board for areas that have a high population of south-east Asians, or Ethiopians) is being done for other neighborhoods. Last Saturday, we sponsored a House of Queer Intergeneational Housing Justice Conference.

      Having been in Arizona for so long, I am constantly blown away by how every public event I now attend, will start with someone asking that all present acknowledge “that we are standing on Indigenous land–and that the Duwamish people were here first.” Then I’m often the one asked to do a blessing to start the event. I’ve also in awe of how open and accepting people are of LGBTQ issues and concerns. It isn’t utopia–there are some hateful people out there, particularly in the poorer suburbs, but–yeah–this all was galvanized by Trump’s election and our collective effort to “Trump Proof Seattle. One of the first efforts was to secure alternative funding, under the expectation as a sactuary city. Trump’s administration would try to cut off any source of funding to take care of the poor, the sick, and the needy. The attitude was to be able to tell the feds–“You don’t have the power to threaten us.”

      It’s an odd and energizing time.

  • carrot festival
  • TexasBoy

    No doubt a sign of the End of Times /s

    It was a dark and stormy night at the warehouse in Palm Springs /s

    • /

      OT, but speaking of “it was a dark and stormy night,” my friend found the following graphic that says how every novel henceforth should begin (very appropriate for National Novel Writing Month):

      • Friday’s_cat

        … and then it was splatted on the windshield of a speeding bus.

        • TuuxKabin

          As Ma’ Kettle said to Pa’ Kettle when Lorena Bobbitt threw John’s dick out the car window, and it splattered against their windshield:

          “Would you look at the dick on that bug!”

          • RMJ

            Upvote for the Ma & Pa Kettle reference… damn we’re old ;o)

          • TuuxKabin

            Yeah, I guess so, but we’re damn good too! The joke’s funnier when told by a Southerner or someone with a good accent. The delivery, ya’ know.

          • Robincho

            Remember The (Marjorie) Main!…

          • nocadrummer

            And she had “had a long-term relationship” with Spring Byington. (Some might remember her best as the mother, “Lily Ruskin” from the 50’s series, “December Bride”.)

          • Lars Littlefield

            Percy Kilbride and Majorie Main. Lovely people. The first time I saw The Egg and I (I was like three hours old — actually, I was a toddler and sat in my mother’s lap) I was thrilled to see my grandmother Nanny on the big scree. My maternal grand mother was a dead ringer for Ma Kettle’s twin — right down to the voice and wardrobe.

          • Lars Littlefield


          • Ben in Oakland

            As Jeffrey dahmer said to Lorena bobbitt..

            Ya gonna finish that?

      • ChrisMorley
        • TuuxKabin

          Hello Happy Bug. Wha’ cha’ eatin’?

          • JCF

            Better not be my veggies! {squish}

          • TuuxKabin

            They don’t eat much. There’s room at the table.

        • Reality.Bites

          Pixar couldn’t make a bug this cute.

        • Dagoril

          The beginning of the next Alien movie. And then it transforms into a Xenomorph 😉

      • Palmer

        Oh dear.

      • narutomania

        Too funny.

  • ChuckinTucson

    As a previous manager used to say to me, “Don’t fuck it up.”

  • netxtown

    Yet the 49 dead in Orlando last year cant even get a respectable mention in the CMA opening dedication to the innocent victims of mass killings. We’re still those icky gays….

    • Superman

      All I can think is that the Pulse massacre was more than a year back, and thus didn’t qualify for this year’s CMA in memoriam. But as I watched with the boyfriend and the mom, I asked, “did they mention Orlando?”, and they both said “no”. We all noticed. It still feels raw to me, and if the rest of the world moves on, I will never forget what happened in that club.

  • netxtown
  • Johnny Wyeknot

    With great power comes great responsibility…

    • WKT20

      May they not do anything stupid, and give ammo to the haters.

      • Johnny Wyeknot

        The thing is, at the end of the day they are just human …

  • John Ruff

    That’s fantastic. I still couldn’t live there. I mean, how many pool parties can you attend in a weekend? And, how many times can you be fisted in one night?

    • Daveed_WOW

      You’d be surprised at your capacity…for fun.

      • John Ruff

        I’m a Washingtonian. We’re boring.

        • Lars Littlefield

          Not boring. You just need to stay in Washington where you’ll keep better.

          • John Ruff

            How thoughtful of you /s

          • Lars Littlefield

            No reason to dry out like a prune in the Mohave Desert.

        • Daveed_WOW

          Not in Palm Springs you’re not.

        • Craig Howell

          Speak for yourself, John.

        • mdub in Puyallup

          Went to PS for the first time last March. I have no desire to live anywhere else but WA, but will definitely visit PS again!

    • Keiffer

      I’m assuming that these are not rhetorical questions.

    • Chucktech

      As someone who lived there for a little over two years, I can tell you that this article is right on the money and there are fewer cities on this planet as gay friendly (and beautiful, in a desert aesthetic kind of way) as Palm Springs.

      But, honest to god, it was driving me crazy. every day was a beautiful day. Every,Fucking.Day. I need variability in weather. And starting around May 1st, that town starts emptying out. By June it’s a ghost town. The temp goes to 106, and that’s actually not that intolerable because of the low humidity. But then, it goes to 118.

      I still love PS, and in season, for a couple or three weeks of vacation, it’s paradise. I’ll be returning in 2018 for at least a year, but….. Jesus!

      • Lakeview Bob

        Not really a ghost town but a blessing that it quiets down. At least traffic wise.

        • Chucktech

          Quiets down?! Restaurants close, stores close, city services scale back to a skeleton staff, even getting your car serviced can be a problem. Hubby’s ’98 Jaguar developed a weird problem that we thought only a Jaguar dealer could solve. This was in June. “Well, you can bring it in, but nobody’s gonna look at it until late August…”

          BTW, regarding traffic, I never found traffic to be a problem at all.

          • Lakeview Bob

            Maybe you should leave town. You don;t seem very happy.

            Some high end restaurants may close but you make it sound as if all do. Store closings? Oh yeah, the gift shops on Palm Canyon but none of the larger retailers close. You make it sound like nothing can get done. You are giving a very poor impression to outsiders. Most of what you say is an exaggeration.

            Anyway I hope you find some happiness here. Doesn’t sound like it.

          • Chucktech

            Oh, chill. Palm Springs is very pretty in season. That’s why Palm Springs is Palm Springs. Summer is hell. And, BTW, I have left town.

  • skyweaver

    Well done!!

  • red-diaper-baby 1942

    I don’t know what others here think about this, but I’m a bit allergic to the phrase “openly gay”. Why not simply “gay”? The phrase seems to normalize the notion that there’s something noteworthy about being open about one’s sexuality. Perhaps thirty or even twenty years ago, but surely not any more.
    For the record, I’m a straight woman of 75. I’m also “openly lefthanded”. Two hundred years ago, I would have been shunned and ostracized for that. In fact, just seventy odd years ago I was forcibly “converted” in school to righthandedness. The results are still apparent in my somewhat impaired micro-dexterity and coordination. (Of course, I might have been clumsy anyway; it’s impossible to know.)

    • TominDC

      Why not simply “gay”?

      Simply, it’s because the distinction still matters to voters.

      When it stops being an issue with the voters, the term will naturally disappear.

    • Lars Littlefield

      Yeah, “openly gay” does sort of have the ring of “open heart surgery” to it. But so many of us wear our hearts on our sleeves that it’s probably unavoidable.

    • Chucktech

      I take it to mean out-of-the-closet, not ashamed about it, and sure as hell not going back.

    • ColdCountry

      I suppose as long as some people care about other people’s sex lives, it will matter. Personally, I could care less, but some people feel threatened by gays, and would rather not know. It’s like some people are uncomfortable if they aren’t sure if someone is male or female, because, you know, that’s so important to know about someone who is ahead of you in line at the supermarket.

    • ECarpenter

      You don’t think a lot of gay politicians are still in the closet? Or football players? When we say someone is “openly gay” we are pointing out that there are still a lot of closeted gay people out there – and that matters.

      When it’s no longer an issue, and everyone is comfortable living their lives openly with whoever they are attached to, the phrase will naturally vanish.

      You may think we have arrived at that point now – if so, you are living in a very unusual bubble of gay acceptance.

      • red-diaper-baby 1942

        Perhaps I do live in bubble. I’m an American expat living in Finland. In our last Presidential election, a few years ago, the two candidates who made it to the second round (in a multiparty system) were a middle-aged centrist conservative and the leader of the Green Party, a gay young man living with his partner. The centrist won, but not by a large margin. And no-one paid any attention to the other guy’s sexual orientation; it was sometimes commented on, but simply as a fact, like talking about his hair-color or the kind of ties he liked, For that matter, the Green Party too is a normal, mainstream party; by no means the largest, but represented to some extent in most local governments and often in the national coalition government.
        It’s also worth mentioning that the President before that was a woman, Tarja Halonen, who at the time of the election was unmarried and living with her (lmale) partner. They did get married about half way into her first term, but mostly for convenience; no-one was demanding or even expecting it. I often thought at the time, what if this happened in the US … just imagine the shrieks of horror from the religious right!

    • Diomedes

      The lack of visibly gay people doesn’t mean we’re truly absent. Hence the “openly”.

  • AlternativeQuacks

    Palm Springs really is the gayest city in America, I think, though it’s kept kind of hush-hush compared to other cities. Years ago, a former mayor estimated that gays made up 30% of Palm Springs, then about 7 or 8 years ago, City Hall threw out a rough guess of 40%, but if you talk to all the realtors in PS (and they know), they will tell you that the real number is 55%~60%.

    I’ve seen all those lists where they say this city or the other is gayest, based on -I believe- the number of same sex married couples, but all you have to do is spend a few days in each city and you will instantly recognize that there is probably no other city with such a high concentration of LGBT people as Palm Springs. The lists that the Advocate puts out every year are a joke and I really have to question their criteria. I lived in Columbus for many years before I moved to PS, and I’ve been to Pittsburgh a lot, and I’ve been to St. Louis, Orlando, Long Beach and Oakland a few times, so I know.

    • Lars Littlefield

      I tend to agree. We’ve been slowly taking over that part of the desert in Riverside County for decades. I regard it as the new gay ghetto — for seniors. The majority of gays living in PS are well over 35. I’m fond of the place. We, as a tribal people, have saved yet another architecturally historic piece of mid century Americana. Long live the kidney-shaped swimming pool.!

      • Chucktech

        Another striking feature of the, um…. mature residents in Palm Springs and its environs is that they are far more healthy, mentally aware, and active than their counterparts in, for instance, Florida.

        • Lars Littlefield

          Totally true. I like to think I keep myself in good shape. But the crowd and old friends I visit in PS spend at least two hours at the gym five days a week.

    • Lakeview Bob

      And that 55% to 60% is just the year round people. When the snow birds arrive I am sure that number goes up.

      • AlternativeQuacks

        Well, the year-round people would typically be the people who can vote. I don’t think most of the snowbirds or weekenders list PS as their primary residence.

  • ColdCountry

    All political and religious eyes will be on Palm Springs, now, to see how this “social experiment” will turn out. No pressure, though.

    • Lars Littlefield

      I predict that peace and love will reign in the streets and the daiquiris will only become more fabulous!

  • Chucktech

    Meanwhile, in the neighboring towns of Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, and Indian Wells, residents seethe in their bitter, Republican, Trump infused anger.

  • Slim Compersion

    Funnily enough, this is how the JMG article and attendant ads looked on my browser:

  • Stubenville

    Congratulations to all the newly elected politicians. Palm Springs is now even MORE fabulous!

  • Lakeview Bob

    One other gay man ran but did not do well. I voted for Lisa but was unsure of Holstege. I have become very wary of so called gay allies. But I did not realize she identified as bi. So that makes me feel better.

    Palm Springs is the best place to live. I have been here two years and never regretted my choice to move here.

    • Lars Littlefield

      If you run into a Steve Wibben down there, tell him “Lars says, ‘Hi'”. 😀

  • Lakeview Bob

    This is a good time to ask. What exactly is the gay agenda? I didn’t get that mailing explaining it to me.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada


  • justmeeeee

    There’ll be fucking in the streets!

  • ECarpenter

    This is excellent. I grew up in Indio, 20 miles away from Palm Springs, back when PS was a repressive town which didn’t allow black people to live within the city limits (unless they were very rich), didn’t allow gay bars within the city limits, and kept the local Native American tribe in poverty through BIA collusion with local Anglo lawyers, even though the tribe owned half of Palm Springs. It was a conservative, John Birch Society place.

    I’ve enjoyed watching the transformation over the years. And it gives me great pleasure that the changes in Palm Springs must be causing great angst in all the conservative neighboring towns.

  • Paul
  • Lindoro Almaviva

    Welcome to careful-what-you-wish-for-ville. All the years of you saying LGBT people should stay out of the way are over and now you will see what is like from the other side

  • JCF

    Hello there!

  • Al Prazolam

    Good grief! I live in Palm Springs and I wasn’t even aware of who was running for City Council. Shame on me.

  • leastyebejudged

    Don’t fuck it up.