Behind the scenes....

I've definitely been a bit of a slacker this summer.....or so it would appear.

It would appear correctly.

But not a total slacker.  Though coming a bit later than usual, the Maine Event information is all set up and I'm ready for registrations!  Just head over HERE to get all the information and download the registration form!

I'm also pleased to announce another Triangles Reunion on September 22nd at the Portuguese Cultural Center in Danbury.  Looks like Heather and I are going to try to do this twice a year, folks!

I've also been busy planning Ghoul's Night Out.  Official contract hasn't been signed yet, but details are coming soon, I promise.  We'll be trying out a different venue this year.  Though the Manor was a beautiful venue, there were some drawbacks (like a lack of close hotels).  Hopefully this year's spot works out a little more conveniently for everyone.

I'm very pleased to announce I am going to continue a long-running weekend event in Rehoboth Delaware.  Formerly called Beauty at the Beach, the new working name is Fantasea Escape.  Again, the official contract hasn't been signed, so I have no details to share, except that I am aiming to keep it around the first weekend of November (when it's traditionally been held), so barring something unavoidable getting in the way, mark your calendars for November 1-5th.

I'll have many updates over the next couple weeks, so check back frequently!

Consignment shopping tips!

Just two more weeks until the annual Spring Bling!  Does everyone have their new outfits picked out and accessorized for maximum sparkle?  

Can you tell my dress was a consignment store find, but Katie's was not?

Can you tell my dress was a consignment store find, but Katie's was not?

One of my favorite things to do for an event like Spring Bling (coming up on 4/29!) is go on a hunt through consignment and thrift stores for something new, but affordable.  My dress last year cost $35, and fit me perfectly right off the rack.  

Here's my top tips for scoring a great deal!

1)  Find a Store
Do some research to find a handful of consignment stores that carry styles you like.  Many stores have a particular focus (for example home goods or children's clothes) and sometimes that's hard to tell just from a web listing.  Additionally, many stores have their own personality based on the items they receive and the neighborhood they're located in.  Time of year counts too; with prom season starting in May, stores will accept more formal wear in early spring than they do in, say, autumn.  For an event like Spring Bling, call stores in advance and ask what they have for cocktail dresses and formal wear.  

2)  Try it on!  
Go around the store and pull anything that looks interesting.  Items may look better on your body than they do on the rack (and vice versa!).  Remember that previous owners may have had alterations done, particularly to formal wear.  Formal wear is also sized differently from everyday clothing, so just because an item is your size doesn't mean it will necessarily fit you. 

3)  Have a shopping buddy
Extra important if you are prone to impulse purchases, or will make a bad choice because "it's such a great deal".  Bring along a shopping buddy that will keep you to your goal and will be honest about how garments look on you.  If you don't have a buddy to come out with you, phone a friend - don't be afraid to take pics of yourself in a mirror and send it off to a level head for evaluation from afar.

4)  Be focused, but be flexible
It may not be exactly what you envisioned, but when a great find comes along don't pass it up.  If you have your heart set on a strapless, hunter green cocktail dress with beading but no sequins, you're almost certainly setting yourself up for disappointment.  Knowing that you'd ideally like a strapless cocktail dress, however, will help focus your search.  Being open to that floor length gown that highlights your best features is crucial.  

5)  Alterations can enhance a purchase
It's great if a dress can be worn right off the rack, but alterations can really make it perfect for you.  Just be realistic on what can and can't be done.  Garments can usually be taken in to fit better, but not let out.  Hems can be shortened, but not dropped.  The more layers a garment has, the more difficult tailoring can be.  Ask someone working for the store if they think something can or can't be done; they will usually be honest about their knowledge of alterations.

NELA's Fetish Fair Fleamarket

FFF #48 starts tomorrow, with programming starting at 6pm.  I'm so glad I can attend this year after several years of conflicts on the weekend.  I haven't attended the Flea since it moved from Providence to Warwick several years ago, but I used to have a blast perusing the vending area and attending presentations on topics of which I knew nothing previously.  What I love most about the Fetish Fair Fleamarket, though, is the environment of total acceptance.  Regardless of age, body type, race, fetish, kink, gender presentation....all are welcome.  

I'll have my kit with me at the La Quinta near TF Green if anyone needs some makeup.  Please call or text (860) 965-5125.  If not, I'll just enjoy the weekend meeting new friends!

More information can be found here: https://nelaonline.org/fetish-fair-fleamarket/winter-fleamarket

Calendar updated for 2017!

If you've been looking for some events to attend, or wondering where I'll be as far as conferences and parties, go check out the Events page...I've updated it to the best of my knowledge at this point.  Just a reminder, I post the events and parties I'm planning on personally attending to this page.  If you're looking for a more comprehensive list that includes parties I may not make it to, you should join my Meetup page.  The Tiffany Club also posts a wide variety of t-friendly or t-oriented places and events.

Take particular note of the following eventsin 2017 that I'll be attending or hosting:

I will be available for makeovers before the Fetish Fair Fleamarket February 17-19.  I am not an official vendor, nor am I at the Crowne Plaza where it is being held, but I have a room to work out of at the La Quinta in Warwick (about 10 minutes away).

Fish-NETS will be hosting their annual Winter Blues party on February 25th at Bobby's Place in Taunton, MA.

I will be at the Keystone Conference next month for the sixth time.  My schedule is already taking shape, so if you're interested in a makeover contact me soon!

Heather Leigh and I will be co-hosting a Triangles Reunion on May 12 at the Portuguese Cultural Center in Danbury.  Make it a double-header weekend by heading to New Haven on Saturday for Heather's monthly Diva Social.

I am please to announce I will be making it out to the west coast for Esprit this year!  Super excited to reconnect with the wonderful people I met in 2015.

Scarlett's Maine Event is scheduled for September 6-10 at the Meadowmere Resort in Ogunquit, ME.  The Maine Event page will be updated as information is available.

 

Counting down to Ghouls' Night Out!

Ghouls’ Night Out is now less than one week away, so get ready to join me at The Manor! 

As a reminder, the party is at The Manor at 42 West Boylston St, W. Boylston MA on Oct. 21st from 8pm until 1am.  DJ Edwina will be keeping everyone on the dance floor, and Kendra will once again be helping to capture the evening with her photography skills.  

Some additional details and reminders will help you all prepare for the evening.

The bar is CASH ONLY!  There is an ATM on site, but try to come prepared.

Tickets are still available at the discounted price of $15 if purchased before 10/19 from www.scarlettsgno.brownpapertickets.com.  Tickets at the door will be $20, cash only.  The check-in table will be in the lobby.  You will be asked to remove any full-face mask when approaching the registration table.

The nearest hotel, Classic Suites and Inns, is sold out, so listed below are some other great options within a 10-20 minute drive.

Heather Leigh and Mandi will be available for makeovers in the bridal suite at The Manor starting at 3pm.  Please contact me directly at scarlettssexymakeovers@gmail.com for an appointment with either artist.

There will be another Halloween party in the other ballroom that will be ending around 9:30pm.  Please be mindful of this, and respectful of others in common areas.  There is an alternate entrance that allows for a quick walk to the Grecian Room without passing the restaurant or the other ballroom.  When looking at the front of the building, the entrance is on the left (there is a white railing and a small patio). 

Keep costumes appropriate for a public venue, and be conscientious of others when taking pictures at the party.  These parties have always been safe, friendly, and problem-free; let’s strive to keep them that way so everyone can have a great time!

Extended Stay hotel - $118, 5.2 miles away
50 Oriol Dr, Worcester
508-852-2801

Days Inn, Shrewsbury/Worcester - $110, 10.5 miles away
889 Boston Turnpike, Rt 9, Shrewsbury
508-842-8500

Motel 6 Leominster - $90, 15.2 miles away
48 Commercial Road, Leominster
978-537-8161

Days inn Leominster/Fitchburg - $103, 16 miles away
482 N. Main St, Leominster
978-537-2800

SCC Programming

I just returned from the Southern Comfort Conference, now located in Weston, FL.  SCC was held in Atlanta for 24 years before moving down to Weston in 2015 for its 25th anniversary. I’ve attended as a vendor every year since 2010, but decided, for many reasons (but primarily because of the timing of my Maine Event), to skip last year.  After the conference concluded, I heard mixed reviews from attendees I knew.  Some people were pleasantly surprised by the change of venue, and some were disappointed when comparing 2015 to prior years.  I decided to bite the bullet and see for myself how SCC would be in its second year in its new home, and I have to say I fall into the latter camp.

There were several issues I saw, both with the conference, and with it being located at the Bonaventure Resort.  Some are fixable, some are not (at least, not without another location change).  My main concern though, is in the programming.  I saw very little for people not planning to transition, and nothing specifically aimed at people who are gender fluid, non-binary, or crossdressing part-time.  I was asked by one first-time attendee if all the conference seminars are basically doctor infomercials.  I also heard of several presenters that simply didn't show up, and those presentation slots were not rescheduled.

I had offered to do a makeup demo when I signed up to be a vendor, and was told I’d be contacted by the presentation coordinator.  I never was so I assumed, apparently incorrectly, that maybe someone else was already doing something along that vein.  I know other events I’ve been to, notable First Event and Keystone, seek out presenters when they see a gap in content for their scheduling.  It always behooves conference coordinators to try and make sure there is something for everyone at any point in the day.

There was also a noticeable lack of vendors.  There were plenty of tables with resources for attendees, but very few selling either products or services.  Again, there were no vendors with wares for the part-time crossdresser. 

So that leaves me wondering how SCC will sustain going forward.  In my experience, many people stop attending conferences after transition, or at least scale back their attendance of seminars.  If that segment of the TG community is where SCC is placing all their effort, it means constantly finding new attendees for the conference.  There are so many other ways to find resources outside of conferences; how long will people continue the expense of travelling to and attending SCC if there’s not a more diverse offering?

There’s a big part of me that doesn’t want to see Southern Comfort go the way of Be All or Gold Rush, or any of several other conferences.  I want to try and make it better, offer presentations on foundation garments, makeup, and deportment.  The feedback I've offered regarding the future of SCC has been met with a resistance that makes the other part of me just want to focus on supporting other events or direct my focus on organizing my own.

Feeding into my decision will definitely be an awareness that next year could be the last, or any year after that.  I usually plan my travel for the conference season in June or July, so I have plenty of time to decide whether to attend.  For now, I’ll keep my focus on Ghouls’ Night Out, followed by the Lake Erie Gala, and First Event on the more distant horizon. 

Bathroom Laws in New England

As the discussion of gender-identity and bathroom laws sweep the nation, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss what the legal guidelines in New England are.  I mean, when you gotta go, you gotta go, but when you’re cross-dressing it can be a little confusing as to which restroom to use.

First off,  if you’re cross-dressing from male-to-female, you should consider using the women’s restroom. If you’re at a TLGB bar or event, you’re free to use any bathroom you identify or express yourself as. Obviously, not all private businesses are open to this idea, so exercise your judgment. There are no specific bathroom bans in New England as of yet, however, the ability to use public accommodations vary by region.

Connecticut and Rhode Island added gender identity and expression to its anti-discrimination laws in housing, employment, public accommodations, and public schools. There have been a few attempts to exclude public restrooms from this list, but they have failed. Connecticut defines gender as something you are either assigned at birth or you physiology, and they may require a person provides evidence such as medical history, birth certificate, etc. Rhode Island, on the other hand, defines gender-identity and expression as something that can be perceived by their gender related appearance or self-image.

Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont provide specific protections for transgender individuals. These laws also extend to a person’s gender expression when using public accommodations.

As for New Hampshire, there are no state laws prohibiting the discrimination of transgender individuals.

Now it’s time to talk about being able to actually to use a restroom. Simply because public accommodations may extend to someone’s gender expression, that doesn’t necessarily mean that private accommodations are required to offer these same protections. Some cities across New England, may have ordinances protecting a person’s gender-identity or expression in private accommodations. This is not the case for all cities. The safest bet would be to use restrooms at companies that are either trans friendly, or have specific policies allowing a person to use a restroom according to their gender identity. Companies such as Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, Target, Ikea, the Home Depot, JCPenney, Sears, Nordstrom, Disney, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Macy's, CVS, and Walgreens.