Southern Comfort Conference 2011; A Transgender Blast!
The SCC has become the premier transgender happening in Atlanta annually, at one of Atlanta’s premier hotels, the Crowne Plaza Ravinia. It featured over sixty (60) workshops and seminars covering everything from “Surgical Facial Feminization” to “How to Walk in Heels Taller than your Mother’s”; “Get Real! Surgical Information and options for Transmen and Transwomen” to “Telling Your Children”. This conference was a real blast with not only the seminars, but extracurricular activities and events; you could visit the Marketplace to find jewelry, wigs, books and all manner of “body enhancements”, just to name a few of the things available.
|SCC Scholarship Director Blake Alford (right) & Friend|
The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) and Lambda Legal had informational tables set up, and shared some of the latest advances in progress for the transgender community, dispensing pamplets and totebags to carry all that “booty” in. Events included kareoke night and an auction to sell transmen escorts for an evening of the weekend (a fundraiser for the Robert Eads Health Project).
|Some of the cigar-smokin’ men of the SCC|
This year, the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) did a first ever collaberation with the SCC to address the health of the transgender community through symposiums and a town hall meeting. The GLMA presented such topics as: clinical health updates/primary care issues, education & training, health policy and public health programs, emerging LGBT health issues, health disparities research, model programs and original research; the WPATH presented the new changes in the Benjamin Standards of Transgender Health.
Friday afternoon, yours truly hosted the Transgender Persons Of Color reception; it was a “Cajun Chicken Gumbo Dinner”, and everyone agreed that chef, Mya Ann Diggs, really “put her foot in it”, and there was good conversation and gettin’ down with the spoon & napkin.
Saturday night, we were treated to a helluva musical time and shook our booties to the sounds of “Band X”, who knew how to get down, and get it right!
All in all, the SCC was a great weekend had by all; an empowering transgender experience that I would highly recommend to any transgender man or woman to try and be a part of. I feel it’s of particular benefit to any transgender person just starting their transition, in that it helps them to define themselves by helping them to see many others in varying stages, and see their “place” in the scheme of things all the more clearly. I can’t wait until next year!