Tuesday, October 22, 2019


Hometown, not Provincetown
I just realized Sunday afternoon that Fantasia Fair is this week.

In the past, I looked forward to attending or I was a Sad Sack because I was not attending. In either case, I was well aware when Fantasia Fair was occurring.

Attending this year did not cross my mind, so its dates were not important to me.

After four trips to Fantasia Fair, I’ve seen it all (and I wrote the book about it). The only reason I would attend today would be to see friends and enjoy the town. Few (if any) members of that old gang of mine still attend, so that puts the kibosh on the first reason to go. And the weather typically stinks during Fantasia Fair, so if I want to enjoy Provincetown, I would pick a better time of the year weather-wise to visit, so that puts the kibosh on the second reason.

And so it goes.

Source: StyleWe
Wearing StyleWe

2018 Fantasia Fair attendees
2018 Fantasia Fair attendees


  1. Perhaps I am not one to talk having never attended FF or any other 'large' trans convention but I have been commenting here and elsewhere that the times have been changing and the need for trans specific conventions and trans specific groups is waning and is not as important as it may have been in times gone by when almost all manifestations of our passion were left in the closet.

    I have noted that many LGBT bars in my neck of the woods have closed (Triangles in Danbury, Barz1 in Nyack, B Lounge in Valhalla, etc.) Years ago LGBT people needed safe places where they could go and find acceptance, safety and comfort. I made many ventures to these places and a few others. I always felt at home and had a good time and I was sorry to see them close.

    Today almost anyplace is open and accepting of LGBT people. Two men or two women together no longer even raises an eyebrow. The need for LGBT specific venues has ebbed and unless some of these places pick up non-LGBT clientele they suffer from a lack of business.

    Things have also been progressing nicely for many of us. You, many other bloggers and many of your followers now feel free to venture out of the house for shopping, movies, museums, traveling, dining, drinking and pretty much anything else we may choose to do. Years ago many of us were terrified to even get out of the house to go to a group meeting.

    My point is that groups and conventions served a great purpose and to an extent they still do but in todays climate we have options that we did not think existed 2-3 decades ago.

    I suspect that 5-20 years ago you instinctively knew the dates of FF. You attended when you could and pined over not being able to attend when other commitments kept you away. Today, your freedom to come and go as you please, where you please and when you please has tempered any focus you may have on the dates for FF.


  2. Oh, to have an opportunity like that. Here in the eastern half of Washington State, we have nothing like Fantasia, or Invasion, or TG ANYTHING. To be able to attend such an event - just once - without having to travel hundreds of miles and spend tons of cash that I don't have. ~~sigh~~ But I do understand your point, Stana. I guess I'd like the chance to mix and mingle just once.
    (Ok, my self pity rant is over now)

  3. Transgender conferences seemed to be in their twilight. I remember there were once so many,even the Southern Comfort is not attracting younger crowds. The conferences once provide a safe haven and also a connection with resources, such as medical, legal, and vendors. Today those resources are available in our community.

    The reason you probably missed the dated was because you were at a mainstream event with your daughter. No longer do we need a special venue

  4. We get to create our own "Fantasia Fair" every day - Any day! I love progress and self-acceptance.

  5. The problem with Fantasia Fair is its success. There are enough of us out in the mainstream, that most of us have created our own safe spaces. Do I need a special week to get away en-femme anymore? No - I just go out my door. The people where I live know me as being bi-gendered and accept me as such.

    However, places like the fair are still needed - for newbies. It is at the Fair that I learned how to apply makeup in a routine I still adhere to today (with minor modifications). It is a great resource for those afraid to go out in public for the first time. And it is a great please to learn about techniques that help us develop our skills in presenting in our identified gender, as well as learning about the medical options open to us that would make our bodies look like the person we feel inside of us.

    I expect that a handful of these conferences will continue on, with local LGBT centers helping us with support groups. This is not perfect, but it's the way things are evolving. So let's make sure that we post as much real information online, so that people in areas not served by these centers can get the information they so desperately need.

  6. I can remember when there were 8-10 conferences a year. When Southern Comfort was here I'd pop by, in part job related, and maybe go to a seminar but going to the evening festivities wasn't my thing

  7. While Stana disses Fantasia Fair, a whole bunch of us are having a fabulous time in fabulous weather in Provincetown. Despite how far (and yes, partly as a result of Fantasia Fair, which spawned many community leaders and IFGE) we have come, there will always be a need for assured safe space for people who have never before ventured out and for frightened and confused spouses trying to make sense of their partners' trans natures. And for me, thirty years post-transition, there will always be a need for community, which I find aplenty every October in Provincetown.

    1. I did not diss Fantasia Fair. I dissed the weather in Provincetown this time of year. (Four times I attended Fantasia Fair, the weather was more often poor than good.)

  8. Maybe we don't need to go to Provincetown. I'm becoming a regular at The Keystone Conference. It gets a little bigger each year and it's in a much more convenient Harrisburg, PA.I second what Dallas has to say about an assured safe space and supportive sisters. It's in March. We take over an entire hotel.

  9. I went to P-Town for the first time in about 40 years! I missed FF by a few weeks. I stayed in Eastham 10/1 & 10/2. Heather did not visit with the clerks at the motor inn, she wasn't sure how she'd be received. But she did enjoy two days in Provincetown. The weirdest part was that Heather's doppelganger had been there and had stopped at some of the same places as I did.
    Tuesday afternoon, I did some exploring on the streets of P-Town. Wow, when the sun goes down they roll up the sidewalks! I was able to have dinner at the Lobster Pot and that was the first and second time I was greeted with a "welcome back." The Maitre' d and my waitress both offered the greeting, with the waitress asking if I'd been there Sunday. I was in Massachusetts on that previous Sunday but on the other end of the state! I told her that I'd not been to P-town in about 40 years. After a Lobster Pot fried seafood platter, I drove around in the dark and looked out at the ocean, watched the lights and enjoyed the quiet.

    The next morning, I went to Lifeguard Beach and walked to the water and talked to some folks from Connecticut who asked about my car. They own a Subaru like the one I'd rented. We chatted for a while and then went our separate ways. I drove to Highland light, took a couple photos and drove up to P-Town. I lucked out and found a municipal parking space. I walked to the beach, to the gigantic chair and then went into some shops. The shopkeeper at the Himalayan specialty clothes shop was wonderful. We talked about clothes, how our American diets are so different from native ones. She was really nice. I walked the streets, got coffee from Spiritus. A great cup of coffee! I went into the HRC store and got some nice gifts for my daughters, and met another terrific clerk. They were familiar with Northampton, Mass which is my real "home turf." I went into the tourism office, Tag, the guy working there was the third person to offer a "welcome back" greeting! We talked like old friends. I told the 40 years story and the Lobster Pot story from the night before. It was odd but comforting to know that someone looks like Heather! I look forward to a return when the weather is warmer and days are longer.
    I had planned to spend part of my second day exploring the Cape but chose to remain in P-Town and drive home to my parents' home directly. It was a nice visit. I felt welcome to be myself and it was nice to see some people like me in the community!

    This actually gave Heather confidence to go to a Renaissance Fair with her daughters. We were three saucy wenches!