By Sally Stone,
Femulate Guest Blogger
The Keystone Conference is a must if you are thinking about attending a TG conference.
This year will be my fourth and I have to tell you, it gets better every year. Like many other conferences, the Keystone offers a chance to be who you want to be in a social setting and offers a wealth of TG information in the form of well-organized seminars and presentations.
I think what really sets The Keystone Conference apart from other TG conferences though is that the organizers, TransCentralPA, have created a most friendly and caring environment. The TransCentralPA team are the quintessential hosts and the first time you meet any one of these wonderful people, you'll instantly feel like you're part of a loving family. For those of you who haven't ever attended a TG conference or a large TG social event, the Keystone Conference is a perfect choice.
If you think you'd like to attend...and I highly encourage it, I'd like to relate some of my own past experiences and provide you with a little insight on how to make the best of your visit.
Firstly, you should stay at the hotel (Harrisburg/Hershey Sheraton, Harrisburg, PA). It is a great facility with a friendly atmosphere that adds immeasurably to the overall experience. When you arrive, you'll be instantly impressed by how friendly and helpful the hotel staff are. They have always been wonderfully attentive whether I check in as Sally or as my male alter ego. They treat us as though we are royalty and they are super savvy when it comes to understanding the TG community. They are so hip that they even get the feminine pronouns right, and that's super customer relations in my book.
During the daytime hours, there will be numerous seminars to attend and vendors to visit. It's great that you can pick and choose whichever topic tickles your fancy. If you are just beginning to explore your inner-self, you might be interested in a topic on makeup application, selecting a wardrobe, or find out how to better express your feminine side. If you like to shop, you'll find the conference vendors offer a shopping mecca. They will cater to your every want and desire and they usually offer great conference discounts, too.
I'd also like to recommend that you don't miss dinner on Friday evening; it's one of my favorite events. The restaurant choices are terrific and it doesn't get any more convenient with a fancy bus ride to the downtown restaurant district.
After dinner, there are a couple of great options for you to consider. If you are a dancer, there will be ample opportunity to hit one of the local dance clubs and you'll have plenty of company because there a lot of dance fanatics in this group. Another option is to catch the bus back to the hotel to socialize in the lounge. The Friday night lounge gathering has become an epic event during the Keystone Conference and it won't disappoint. You'll meet wonderful people, have memorable conversations and be pleasantly surprised how accepting and interactive the non-conference patrons are.
And of course on Saturday evening the conference jewel-in-the-crown is the Gala Dinner and Dance. This event caps off a wonderful week of activities and it's an event you simply cannot miss. The formal starts with a cocktail social where you can chat with friends, make new acquaintances, and show off your finest, formal, feminine attire. The food is great, the guest speaker is always inspiring, and the entertainment is awesome. Afterward, there is plenty of time left for additional socializing. How could a wonderful week of celebrating the diversity of our gender end any better?
The thing about this conference is that you can take things at your own pace. You can ease into the conference or you can hit the ground running. If you are nervous about coming out or if this is your first time, you should consider contacting one of the conference “Helping-Hand” volunteers. They will answer your questions, give you advice, or simply offer a warm and friendly smile. They know what you are feeling and they can help address any fear you might be experiencing. If you need a friend to lean on as you are taking those first steps out of the closet, reach out to a Helping-Hand volunteer by sending an email to: HelpingHand (at) Keystone-Conference.org.
Well, if you haven't already figured it out, I simply love the Keystone Conference. It's the best kind of fun, it's supremely educational, and it's wonderfully memorable. If you have ever wished for a chance to spread your wings and set your inner-self free, go ahead and take that step. I think you'll find the Keystone the perfect event. Let the members of TransCentralPA guide you on an exciting journey of self discovery. There is nothing preventing you from being exactly the girl you've always wanted to be. Attend the Keystone Conference and let your dreams become reality.
If you are thinking of attending the Keystone Conference and you'd like a little more information about what to expect, what to wear, or anything else regarding the event, please feel free to contact me at sally.stone99 (at) gmail.com. I'd love to hear from you and I really look forward to seeing you there.
(The Keystone Conference is in Harrisburg, PA, March 28 - 31, 2012.)