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Ronni Sanlo

Age: 70


  • Playwright
  • Editor
  • Essayist
  • Historian
  • Blogger
  • History
  • Historical Fiction
  • Author
  • Books


Author, LGBT historian, and playwright Dr. Ronni Sanlo is the Director Emeritus of the UCLA Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center (LGBT) Center and a frequent keynote speaker and consultant on LGBT issues in Higher Education. Now retired, Dr. Sanlo directed the UCLA LGBT Center, was professor and director of the UCLA Masters of Education in Student Affairs, and was a Faculty in Residence in Deneve Residence Hall. Prior to coming to UCLA in 1997, Dr. Sanlo was the director of the LGBT Center at the University of Michigan. In a previous life, Dr. Sanlo was an HIV epidemiologist in Florida from 1987-1994. Ronni earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Florida, and a masters and doctorate in education from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. She developed the initial standards and guidelines for LGBT work with the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS), was founding chair of the Consortium of LGBT Professionals in Higher Education, and was presented with the Legacy Award from NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Ronni is the originator of the award-winning Lavender Graduation, a commencement event that celebrates the lives and achievements of graduating LGBT college students. Ronni continues to research and write with a focus on LGBT history which is the foundation for the award-winning documentary Letter to Anita and the play Dear Anita Bryant.  While Ronni has over 100 academic publications, her post-retirement books include her memoir The Purple Golf Cart: The Misadventures of a Lesbian Grandma and an historical novel about the last five months of WWII entitled The Soldier, the Avatar, and the Holocaust. Her current projects include Readers’ Theater plays with LGBT and/or historical themes. She and her wife, UCLA alumna Dr. Kelly Watson, are working on a lesbian history project. Ronni and Kelly have been deeply involved in the current Resistance movement, travel and bike ride in interesting places both internationally and domestically, cruise on their boat Strait Knot in the Puget Sound area, and both play really bad golf and pickleball. They live in Palm Springs, CA and Sequim, WA. Ronni may be emailed at ronnisanlo@gmail.com


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