Probably one of the best places to connect with the resources you need on your journey, for education, medical, or just to connect friends, are the various conventions that come together through the year. I just had an amazing time at First Event which is put on by the Tiffany Club here in Massachusetts.
These conventions offer a great many resources. Many offer workshops that will cover various topics that may help you on your journey. Many also have workshops and resources for spouses. I will speak from the perspective of First Event, as that is the only one I have been able to attend. Keep in mind, that Keystone is coming up March 7-11th in Harrisburg. There are links to some of the conferences towards the end of this missive.
This as my third year attending First Event. The first time was overwhelming at first. I was fortunate to know a few people so had some guidance. My wife joined me and we either sat in on workshops together or she went off to one and I to another so we could cover more ground. While I knew quite a bit already, it was an eye opener for Cindy. I have to admit, she was making friends in no time. Everyone is usually pretty welcoming.
Probably the key is the informative workshops that go on during the day. Workshops are there that cover many aspects from surgery, hair removal, and makeup courses, to working through coming out to spouses, families and friends, and most importantly, work. There are some that cover spirituality too, so most bases are covered. One of the most helpful, I found, was the one on how to navigate changing your credentials. Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition also has a site that shows how to change over various documents in Massachusetts.
Freedom Massachusetts, https://www.freedommassachusetts.org/, runs a workshop on the current legal standings as well as the order in which you should go about changing over your documents. There are other workshops that also go over law changes especially in the current political environment.
There are also a number of workshops geared towards the kids. These are geared for Parent’s and Families, Young Adults, Trans Teens, and Trans Youth and is hosted by Greater Boston PFLAG & First Event.
When not in workshops, you might stop by the vendor area and meet with some of the vendors that work with transgender folk. There are vendors like Sephora who are doing makeovers, wig purveyors, jewelry, as well as booths for the various surgical facilities, hair removal, etc. There was a woman who made beaded jewelry there and I picked up some nice earrings.
At First Event, they close out Friday night with a Fashion Show. This one is lots of fun as it has music, singing, and lots of models. They had various categories such as Hobby, Night of Elegance and Fantasy. This was my first year trying the Fashion Show and I chose the Hobby (Alpaca Farmer) and Night of Elegance (Victorian Style).
Saturday night ends with a banquet dinner and keynote speaker. This years speaker was Raffi Freedman-Gurspan. Raffi is the Director of External Relations at the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), where she oversees public education and field organizing operations. She was both a Senior Associate Director for Public Engagement, where she served as the primary liaison to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, and Outreach and Recruitment Director for Presidential Personnel at the White House from 2015-2017. Raffi was the first openly transgender staffer to work at the White House. She also currently sits on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council as an appointee named by President Barack Obama.
Keystone appears to follow the same format somewhat, their Keynote Speaker will be Carmen Carrera. Carmen Carrera is a mother, actor, advocate and one of the world’s highest profile transgender women. As a model signed to Elite, she has been photographed by David La Chapelle, Mark Seliger and Steven Meisel to name a few. As an actor she has recently appeared on shows and films like HBO’s Outpost, Jane the Virgin, The Bold and the Beautiful and Ricki & The Flash with Meryl Streep.
There are dance parties most nights and there was an Open Mic night at First Event. Each year, they just seem to be improving and reaching out to more people. The resources available are amazing, sometimes it can be overwhelming. So if you are in the area of one of these events, you might just want to take a mini-vacation. You never know who you might connect up with. I know, for me, First Event is a great chance for me to finally get together with many of my Facebook friends.
There is also these others:
|Provincetown, RI||Oct 14, 2018 to Oct 21, 2018|
|Heartland TG Fall Party|
|Oklahoma City, OK||Nov 2, 2018 to Nov 4, 2018|
|Transgender Spectrum Conference|
|St. Louis, MO||Nov 9, 2018 to Nov 10, 2018|
|Lake Erie Gala|
|Erie, PA||Nov 14, 2018 to Nov 18, 2018|
As always, my heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.
“Lady” Emma Morgaine Croft
P. S. I have met with my doctor for my surgery. Once I have the surgical area cleared of hair, I will get my surgical date. At this point, we may be looking at early 2019. A lot depends on how quickly they can clear the area. Laser and electrolysis are slow processes. I will be chronicling that journey here also.