In 1974, after 11 years of marriage, she and her high school sweetheart, the captain of the football team, divorced amicably. She left the suburbs behind and moved to San Francisco, where two years she later came out and spoke publicly as a lesbian mother. Lani was active in founding the San Francisco State Women Studies Department, and in 1979 became the first person in her family to graduate from college.
Realizing she was a bisexual in 1980, she came out again, and began organizing bisexuals within the lesbian and gay communities. In 1983 Lani co-founded BiPOL, the first feminist bisexual political action group to “educate, advocate, agitate” in the USA. Four years later, she was instrumental in organizing what would become BiNet USA, the first national bisexual rights organization, and the San Francisco Bay Area Bisexual Network (BABN).
Ka‘ahumanu is a published author, editor, and poet. She and Loraine Hutchins co-edited the groundbreaking feminist anthology BI ANY OTHER NAME: Bisexual People Speak Out (Alyson, 1991), which was listed on the Top 100 GLBT Books of the 20th Century by Lambda Book Report. To date, this book has sold over 40,000 copies, and has sparked at least ten other books. In June, 2007, a Chinese translation of BI ANY OTHER NAME was published in Taiwan. Lani and Loraine are working on a 20th anniversary issue of their book.
In 1992 she conceived and led a successful national campaign to have bisexual people included in the title of the 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation. Lani was one of 18 people invited to speak and the only out bisexual of the day.
For her 50th birthday in 1993, Lani wrote and modeled for Women En Large: Images of Fat Nudes (Books In Focus, 1994).
Lani has facilitated non-judgmental sex and body positive workshops around the country since the mid-nineties. Her innovative safer sex education work with the Safer Sex Sluts was recognized by Ms. magazine in their “50 Ways To Be A Feminist” issue.
She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Bisexuality. As the first out bisexual to be invited and to serve on a national gay and lesbian board, she completed her term with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force board of directors in 2000.
Currently, Lani is working on her next two titles: My Grassroots Are Showing: stories, speeches, and special affections and Passing For Other: primal creams and forbidden dreams – poetry, prose, and performance pieces.
contact lani at aloha2 @ mindspring . com