One day in July, Gail Davis, 58, and her partner, Janyce Bender, 64, sat down at their computer to find an email from Olivia companies. They were already anticipating their upcoming Olivia cruise – but when they clicked to open the message, their excitement was overwhelming.

“Oh my gosh,” Davis said as she read the message in disbelief. Olivia, the lesbian-owned women’s travel company and record label, had finally come through with a decade-long promise: to open what may be the first large-scale lesbian housing development in the country.

Bender turned to her partner and said, “I absolutely want to do this.” Less than a week later they sent a $10,000 deposit and their registration was secured.

“Nobody really knew this was coming,” said Davis, “but then they send us this email that said ‘Hi, we’re ready to start taking reservations.’”

Olivia Communities will be a 334-unit resort-style living community in Tuscon, Ariz. Although anyone can purchase a home, the company is targeting lesbians.

“My whole vision of this has always been about creating community and creating a place where we can not only be free… but also the kind of community where you’re really connected with the people there and feel comfortable and happy in your environment,” said Judy Dlugacz, president and founder of Olivia Companies.

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