Heather's got a birthday to celebrate....Join us at Partner's Cafe in New Haven on March 11th for another great Diva Social!
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
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Days Inn, Shrewsbury/Worcester - $110, 10.5 miles away
889 Boston Turnpike, Rt 9, Shrewsbury
Motel 6 Leominster - $90, 15.2 miles away
48 Commercial Road, Leominster
Days inn Leominster/Fitchburg - $103, 16 miles away
482 N. Main St, Leominster
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.
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.
So what are you waiting for? Mosey on over to the Maine Event page and register for this year's event! Everyone had such a great time last year, and I'm so excited to be hosting it again. So far, the attendance is pretty evenly split between newcomers and returning attendees. Don't miss out on a wonderful weekend in Ogunquit, ME.
The Maine Event is just over 6 weeks away, and I'm sure some of you are still in vacation mode and not thinking about September yet. BUT! Time is running out on the group discount on rooms for the Maine Event, so I'm here to remind you to book.
We have a phenomenal discount at the Meadowmere Resort in Ogunquit, ME. We are saving $50 off each night for Wednesday and Thursday, and $75 off the usual weekend rate. September is still considered peak season, so any unreserved rooms from our room block will get released on Monday, August 1st. They will take a one-night deposit on the room when you make your reservation; if you need to cancel your reservation, there is just a $25 fee if you cancel with at least one week's notice.
The finalized activity list and registration form will be posted here shortly, but for a really good idea of how the event runs, check out the schedule and pricing so far on the Maine Event page.
To make your reservation, call the Meadowmere directly at (207) 646-9661. If you have trouble booking, just call or text me at (860) 965-5125 and I can help out!
Two great options for anyone looking to get out tonight: Heather Leigh's Diva Social at Partner's Cafe in New Haven CT, or FishNETS LuWow party at Fran's Place in Lynn MA! It's great there are so many options for people who want to get out, socialize, and dance!