Natalie Moss says moving to Rehoboth Beach, Del., was “always in my master plan.” It just ended up happening a little sooner than she originally thought. And that’s fine by her.
The D.C. native and longtime resident had spent summers at the beach for decades and had her accounting clients — she’s a CPA — established enough that she no longer needed face time with them in Washington. Shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, she made the move.
“I’m so glad I did because if I’d waited, with the housing market the way it was, I never could have afforded it,” she says. “Everything worked out just right.”
The 64-year-old lesbian spent years as a buyer for women’s clothing stores and running an ice cream shop in Rockville. Business was slow in the winter months, so she did taxes and went back to school. Now she spends a lot of her time as a “full-time volunteer” as treasurer for CAMP Rehoboth. She’s been working feverishly again this year as co-chair of its annual Sundance event.
This year’s incarnation — dubbed “Legend of the Silver Rainbow” — is this weekend and features an auction, cocktails and party over two nights (Saturday and Sunday) at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center (229 Rehoboth Ave.). Tickets are $80 for both nights or $45 for one. As always, proceeds benefit CAMP Rehoboth Community Center. Details are at camprehoboth.com.
“We could never do it without the help of the entire team,” she says. “I’ve been helping for about 20 years and it’s amazing, we get most of the same people back each year and everybody just kind of falls into a rhythm and knows exactly what needs to be done. They just fall into place and they get it. The whole thing is totally mind blowing.”
Moss and her partner of 20 years, Evelyn, live with their dog Lucilu at the beach. She enjoys spending time at the beach and great food when she’s not volunteering.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I have been out since I was around 27. I really did not have a hard time telling anyone, once I decided to come out. Being gay just became a part of me, like having brown eyes. I never actually told my parents, although my brother did. My mother passed away before we had a real discussion.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
Ellen as a public figure. Steve Elkins and Murray Archibald for what they have achieved in founding and running CAMP Rehoboth.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
Coming out in D.C. I loved going to the bars and dancing. The best was the Grand Central, soon followed by The Other Side. I do not know too much about D.C. now since I have been in Rehoboth for the last 10 years, but in Rehoboth we always loved happy hour at Cloud 9 and the margaritas at Dos Locos.
Describe your dream wedding.
On the beach, perfect weather, tented catered delicious food and drink, surrounded by friends, great music and dancing.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Finding a cure for cancer. I am a cancer survivor and know so many who are touched by the disease.
What historical outcome would you change?
Not going to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our economy would be in much better shape without our dollars going to support wars.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
I have 65 years to choose from! Ellen coming out on TV. And disco, love disco. And Disney World.
On what do you insist?
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
Invited everyone to Sundance 25th anniversary on Labor Day weekend.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“Wine, Women and Song”
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
Stay the way I am. But I wish they would discover the perfect diet pill.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
I am spiritual enough to “thank god” for things, but not sure I believe there is one.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Concentrate on getting the right people representing the states in Congress. No matter who the president is, he cannot get anything done without Congress’s support. Get the bigoted homophobic people out.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
My lovely girlfriend.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
Overly swishy boys and extreme tattooed dykes.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
The movie “The Children’s Hour” changed my life. That is when it really hit me that I was a lesbian — I was around 13 years old. We have a great film festival here in Rehoboth and we get to see many good LGBT movies every year so I have many current favorites.
What’s the most overrated social custom?
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
I do not really covet any prize. I just want to be known as a giving, generous and nice person.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
I wish I had come out sooner. I wasted almost 10 years being in the closet.
I could go on and on, but the most important thing to me is the gay community and the work that we do at CAMP Rehoboth. If you know about the demographics that have recently been published by the Huffington Post’s “America’s Gayest Neighborhoods,” Rehoboth is ninth most popular for gay men and fifth most popular for lesbians. We have worked very hard to make this a welcoming community where gay and straight work, live and play together.