09:12, September 07 179 0

2017-09-07 09:12:05


Six reasons to head to Fort Lauderdale for the world’s biggest transgender conference

Some big names are on the bill for this year’s Southern Comfort Transgender conference, all striving to educate and inform conference attendees in this time of unprecedented visibility — and backlash. The annual gathering of trans women, men and gender nonconforming individuals is set for mid-September in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

As lawmakers in Washington, Texas and elsewhere roll back gains the transgender movement toward greater equality, organizers have booked a wide variety of speakers for next month’s event at the Riverside Hotel, September 14 to 16.

Here are six reasons to register now…

1.Buck Angel

Film producer, human rights advocate and motivational speaker Buck Angel will share his message of empowerment through self-acceptance. His mission, as defined on his Facebook page, is “to encourage everyone to be comfortable in their own skin — whatever that means to them —and to inspire people to redefine gender and to foster a new generation as they discover the fluidity of sexuality and navigate gender politics.”

2. Toby Meltzer

Highly-respected and sought-after plastic and reconstructive surgeon Toby Meltzer has performed more than 2,400 male to female vaginoplasties, more than 2,000 labiaplasties and hundreds of facial feminization surgical procedures. According to his website, Meltzer typically performs as many as 4 vaginoplasties a week. Meltzer has also performed more than 800 FtM lower surgeries.

3. Jacob Anderson-Minshall

Also on hand will be Queerly Beloved co-author Jacob Anderson-Minshall, transgender equality director Gina Duncan of Equality Florida, as well as speakers from the TSA, and even the CIA. In addition, attendees will hear from representatives of law enforcement, international LGBT rights and human rights advocacy, as well as from the tourism industry, all in one place.

4. Networking & Workshop Opportunities

In addition to expert advice and hands-on lessons for trans women, their voice boxes are going to get a workout, too. Vocal professionals will guide participants through strategies to acquire a more authentic sound, including surgical options. Couples searching for a way forward will benefit from a talk on addressing marriage issues, and there’s also a discussion about what to do when transition is impossible for medical reasons.

5. The fun

Conference-goers are treated to entertainment outings, elegant dinners and dress-up events such as Princess Day. Also on the agenda: karaoke, a drag show and dancing.

In between all the conference activities at the main site along the New River, attendees can catch rays by the luxurious pool, satisfy their craving for retail therapy and enjoy culinary delights at local restaurants. Sand and surf is a short two miles away, and museums and attractions abound.

6. Hello Sunny Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is a city with a well deserved reputation for actively marketing itself as a safe, accepting tourist destination for the entire queer community. Organizers moved the conference here because this beachfront city is renowned for its welcoming attitude toward visitors.

For more than 25 years, the Southern Comfort Conference has provided a space where hundreds of kindred spirits can gather, to meet and reunite, to share new experiences they might not feel comfortable having in their hometowns.

This great city makes it all the more so.

Registration is open now at the conference website

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