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Defining a YL

There have been many controversies over the definitions of YL versus XYL. The term YL was first defined in a Traffic Report signed The American Radio Relay League by E. C. Adams on May 13, 1920 to Miss M. Adaire Garmhausen, 3BCK. He was replying to her submission of an article submitted to QST on “How to Build a Wireless Station”.

In it he called her “My Dear YL–“ and stated, “We have had to coin a new phrase for your benefit as you will readily see that OM will not fit and OL [Old Lady] would certainly be most in applicable.” Even though Miss Garmhausen wasn’t the first YL ham radio operator, this is when the term was first applied specifically to label all women as Young Ladies no matter what their age.

The article was published in the July 1920 issue of QST and a second article of hers followed in May 1921, but it wasn’t until the October 1922 had the column “Who’s Who in Amateur Wireless” that M. Adaire’s picture was printed as she was honored along with another YL, Miss Winifred Dow, 7CP, from Tacoma, WA.

Many OMs have used XYL (meaning Ex-Young Lady) to describe a wife versus a single lady, but some women, though not all, take offense at this term feeling that getting married does not mean a female is no longer a Young Lady.

In May 1940, the YLRL set forth the policy for YL-Harmonics and YLRL that the term “YL” was to be used of all licensed amateur operators of the feminine sex. This meant they were all young ladies no matter what their marital status was. A licensed woman is a YL while an XYL is a non-licensed wife.

YL on the radioYLRL Encourages

The YLRL (Young Ladies' Radio League) exists to encourage and assist YLs (Young Ladies) throughout the world to enter into the Amateur Radio Service. There are a variety of interests to offer licensed YLs: Traffic Handling, Public Service, ARES, Contests, Awards, DX, etc., on AM, CW, SSB, FM, RTTY, AMTOR, Packet and Satellite. Of course, there are the infinite benefits derived from just plain gal-to-gal rag-chewing and the resulting friendships. You are always welcome in any YLRL activity. Come on in—the YLs are anxious to meet you!

YLRL Sponsors

The YLRL provides scholarship funds to worthy YLs to continue their educations, with preference given to those in the academic study of communications and electronics or related arts and sciences.
YLRL sponsors and otherwise carries out programs to promote YL interest, appreciation, and understanding of radio communications and electronics. Through these programs, it encourages YLs to advance and improve their skills as Amateur Radio operators.

YLRL Contributes to International Goodwill

YLRL offers YLs the opportunity to host foreign YLs during their visits to the United States and to sponsor their participation in YLRL activities.

YL Nets

You may know about local YL nets in your area, listen in, and join up. YL nets are fun. Among the larger nationwide nets are YL Open House, Wed., 1900 UTC (1800 spring and summer) on 14.288 MHz; YL Tangle Net, Thurs., 1800 UTC on 14.298 MHz; and YL Roses Net, Mon., 1800 UTC on 28.433. Of course, these frequencies are approximate. Tune around the band and you will hear YLs chatting away. If you miss the call for your area, break in between transmissions and DON'T GIVE UP if you're not heard the first time. We Want YOU!  Nets provide the easiest way for you to meet other YLs and give you a chance to qualify for the various YL awards.

Competition Awaits

YLRL encourages Amateur Radio competition between YLs by offering certificates, trophies, etc., for demonstrated excellence in such operating competitions. All the dates and rules are published in YL Harmonics. Following is a list of our contests, giving the length of the contest and the months in which they are usually held:

  • YL/OM—24 hours—February
  • DX / North American YL Anniversary Party—24 hours—October

Specialized Services Offered

The YLRL offers a program of specialized service to blind YLs through the Tape Topics program. YL Harmonics is sent to the visually impaired members upon request. For more information, contact the Tape Topic Librarians.

Cooperation Appreciated Each year, more than 30 members give their time and energies to the necessary jobs of administration, publicity, editing and writing for YL Harmonics, contest log checking, certificates custodianship, acting on committees and as District Chairmen in the different areas. Since the administration of YLRL (a non-profit organization) is by unpaid volunteers it is always appreciated when members cooperate.

Your Talents are Always Appreciated

To reach prospective members, YLs introduce the hobby to friends and relatives.
To fill an office, YLs say "Yes" when the Nominating Committee asks them to run for an office. This is a good way to become a working part of YLRL.

Constructive criticism is always welcome When you have any such suggestions to offer, just contact the YL in charge of that area. All officers and committee chairmen are listed inside the front and back covers of YL Harmonics. Just forward your ideas to one of them. Don't be surprised when you are invited to participate in the development of your idea. Who would be better to implement an idea than the one who conceived it?