The Women’s Final Four: The weekend’s other lesbian gathering

OK, everybody going to the Women’s Final Four instead of Dinah, follow me.

Wow. That’s a whole lot of women. And I’m very happy about that. This weekend will be my first trip to the Final Four and I feel like I’m going to Lesbian Wonderland.

Playoffs earlier this week settled which teams would be in San Antonio: Baylor vs. UConn and Stanford vs. Oklahoma are Sunday night. If that sounds familiar, it’s because UConn, Stanford and Oklahoma were at the Final Four last year. Can anyone beat the undefeated-for-76-straight-games Huskies? We’ll see. I know a certain 6’8”center who thinks so.

Brittney Griner

The games themselves are enough for me, but Jody Sims, a San Diego women’s basketball fanatic and event producer, wants to make sure the lesbians gathering in San Antonio this year have a place to party. On the night before the Final Four semifinal games, Sims will host The Final Four Fling, an event that she hopes will become the Dinah Shore weekend of women’s basketball.

The Fling will be on the top floor of the Rio Rio Cantina on San Antonio’s Riverwalk and includes TexMex food (of course), drinks, dancing and entertainment — plus a generally fun atmosphere for WBB-loving lesbians and their friends. The incredible (and adorable) Michelle Mangione, who was featured on AfterEllen.com’s All Access Pass, will perform.

Sims has gathered an impressive group of women to be part of the Honorary Committee of the inaugural Fling. Among the “big names” are Rosie Jones, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, Sue Wicks and Kate Kendell. Sherri Murrell, head coach at Portland State and the NCAA’s only out lesbian Division One WBB coach, is honorary chair.

The most notable sponsor may be the San Antonio Silver Stars. This is the first time the WNBA franchise has reached out to the lesbian community — let’s hope it’s the start of a trend. And the start of a lot of personal appearances by Becky Hammon at lesbian events. (I’m not saying Hammon is a lesbian. I’m saying she’s hot.)

You can get tickets online or at the door, and a portion of the proceeds go to the National Center for Lesbian Rights Sports Project, which combats homophobia and transphobia in women’s sports. For all the details on the party and other weekend events for lesbians, visit the Final Four Fling website.

Are you going to Final Four this year? Will UConn reign supreme yet another year? Do you plan to attend the Final Four Fling?

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