Safety Update

Safety Update
August 10, 2021

The pandemic is not yet over. The rise of the highly contagious Delta variant is upon us, and, just like last year, hospitals in some states are at capacity. More is yet to come, and no one, even the CDC, can predict exactly what. It’s likely boosters will become available to offer further boost the immune system, but no one yet knows just when.

Fortunately, those who have been vaccinated are at almost zero risk of being permanently incapacitated or dying from contracting the virus. For the minority who do get sick, it’s like getting the flu. The unvaccinated are at high risk for becoming sick, and it’s a guarantee many who do will be hospitalized, and some will die. Some are dying right now. Almost everyone patient in the intensive care wards in all 50 states is unvaccinated.

Scientists have recently learned those who are vaxxed are capable of carrying the virus while remaining asymptomatic. The efficacy of social distancing and wearing masks at reducing transmission has been proven, and many governments and commercial establishments are reinstituting mandates.

We at Fantasia Fair have said all along we will take guidance from Federal, state, and local authorities, and that’s exactly what we’re doing. We about 70 days out from the event, and conditions are still apt to change, but for now, Provincetown is requiring masks and social distancing when indoors, and many innkeepers and restaurateurs are requiring proof of vaccination or recent proof of negativity as a condition for entering their establishments.

We were not inclined to require proof of vaccination or Covid tests, but as things now stand, those who are unvaccinated will find it difficult or impossible to gain entry to the many venues the Fair uses, and perhaps even to the inns they booked. If you are unvaccinated and plan to come, please know you are likely to find yourself excluded. It is not and never has been our intention to exclude the unvaccinated, but factors outside our control means they will be excluded from most Fair activities.

If you are unvaccinated, you still have time (barely) to get one of the several vaccines available and acquire the documentation that will get you into the Fair. We urge you to do so. If you won’t or can’t, we suggest you cancel your Fair registration and lodging while you can still get a refund. We are past the point of full refund, but you can still get a partial refund, and you have the option of rolling your registration over to 2022.

If you are vaccinated, please know we and Provincetown will do everything we can to keep you and your loved ones safe. Provincetown’s response to the news earlier this summer of vaccinated people acquiring the virus has led to greatly decreased positivity rates. We believe P’Town will be as safe as any other city in the United States.

We urge everyone once again to bring their vaccination cards and additionally, to take photos of the cards and keep them on your phones. If you arrive in Provincetown without proof of vaccination, you will be considered by the town to be unvaccinated. We (and you!) certainly don’t want that.

You will need to show your cards to your innkeeper and, just once, to us, when you register. Fair Director Dee Lavalle has arranged with our various venues for the Fantasia Fair badge to serve as proof of vaccination. This will save you the trouble of digging out your vax cards and showing them every time you enter the Crown & Anchor or our other locations. Brilliant, Dee!

We want you (and us!) to have a fun and safe Fantasia Fair. To make that happen, make that copy of your vax card and keep it on your phone–and bring your original card as well.

We’ll see you in October. And thank you, everyone.

Dallas Denny
Board Chair, Intl. Transgender Educ. Assn. (Fantasia Fair’s nonprofit name)

 

Covid 19 Announcement

We are now less than 90 days from Fantasia Fair 2021. We are looking forward to an exciting, informative, and safe event.

We have been paying careful attention to national, state, and local announcements about Covid-19 precautions. As you know, things can change rapidly in this pandemic, so we look to government for updates and guidance

The rapid spread of the Delta variant is raising new concerns about public safety, and guidelines for public safety may changes between now and October 17. We will continue to monitor developments and keep you informed here.

Yesterday, Provincetown issued a press release with recommendations for testing, social distancing, and vaccinations. It can be found here: https://www.provincetown-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/14141/PUBLIC-HEALTH-ADVISORY_July-19_COVID-19-Cases-in-Provincetown. We urge you to read it and follow the recommendations.

Here are OUR recommendations

  • If you are not vaccinated, we urge you to immediately become so. IfWe are now less than 90 days from Fantasia Fair 2021. We are looking forward to an exciting, informative, and safe event.We have been paying careful attention to national, state, and local announcements about Covid-19 precautions. As you know, things can change rapidly in this pandemic, so we look to government for updates and guidance

    The rapid spread of the Delta variant is raising new concerns about public safety, and guidelines for public safety may changes between now and October 17. We will continue to monitor developments and keep you informed here.

    Yesterday, Provincetown issued a press release with recommendations for testing, social distancing, and vaccinations. It can be found here: https://www.provincetown-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/14141/PUBLIC-HEALTH-ADVISORY_July-19_COVID-19-Cases-in-Provincetown. We urge you to read it and follow the recommendations.

    Here are OUR recommendations

    • If you are not vaccinated, we urge you to immediately become so. If you choose to come to the Fair unvaccinated, please understand you will be putting your health and life at risk. The risk for those who are vaccinated will be very small.
    • If you face additional risks because of health issues, be particularly careful.
    • Remember, Provincetown in October is relatively tranquil and uncrowded, and
    • Be sure to bring your vaccination card or a photocopy. Take a photo with your phone as backup, in case you forget to bring your card.
    • Please bring masks and wear them when indoors.
    • If you will be flying, repeatedly check with your carrier(s) about travel restrictions and flight cancellations. If you are crossing international borders, please check border restrictions and policy.
    • Before the Fair, check with your Provincetown innkeepers for their policies and procedures.
    • Monitor this site for updates.

    We will do our utmost to make Fantasia Fair 2021 as safe as possible.

Monica Roberts Dead at Age 58

Photo from Equality Texas Website

 

We were shocked and saddened last night to learn of the death of Monica Katrice Roberts of Houston, Texas  (May 4, 1962 – October 5, 2020). Details of her passing were initially sketchy, but apparently she died of natural causes. Houston television station ABC13 had this to say:

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) By Miya Shay. 9 October, 2020.

A day after news broke of Texas transgender rights advocate Monica Roberts’ death, Eyewitness News has learned that she died just outside of her apartment earlier this week.

An initial police report indicated she may have been hit by a car, but now, friends and family say she died of natural causes.

“A lot of family members are shocked and devastated to what has happened,” said Monica’s younger brother Kevin Roberts. “We’re just really trying to take it all in, it’s really been a shock.”

Roberts mother told ABC13 on Friday that she had not been feeling well in recent days. Her mother said Roberts had been short of breath, but brushed off serious health concerns. Family members had encouraged her to get a COVID-19 test, but are not certain if that happened.

Monica was a fierce advocate for trans rights and an inspiration to trans people both young and old. Her TransGriot blog, begun in 2006, and her dedication to her work made her a foundational voice for trans people of color. Within minutes of the announcement of her death by her friend Dee Dee Watters, the internet began to fill with lamentations and tributes.

Monica was given many awards for her work, including the International Foundation for Gender Education’s Trinity Award (2006), a Special Recognition Award from GLAAD (2016), Phillip Brooks House Association’s Robert Coles “Call of Service” Award (2017), and The Human Rights Campaign’s  John Walzel Equality Award (also in 2017).  TransGriot was named Outstanding Blog at the GLAAD Media Awards (2018) and The National LGBTQ Task Force’s Susan J. Hyde Award for Longevity in the Movement (2020). She was named one of eight Houston women to watch on social media by Houstonia (2018) and one of the fifty heroes “leading the nation toward equality, acceptance, and dignity for all people” by Queerty  (2020). (Wikipeia: Monica Roberts).

In 2015, Real Life Experiences, the nonprofit that produced Fantasia Fair, awarded Monica the Transgender Pioneer Award. She spent a week at the Fair, where she gave a keynote and impressed everyone in attendance with her dignity and dedication.

Monica was an inspiration to the entire trans community. She is gone, tragically and far too soon. Godspeed, Monica Roberts.

Fantasia Fair 2020 Cancelled Due to Covid-19

 

Last week the Fantasia Fair Planning Committee came to a painful decision.

It was a determination we didn’t want to make. It was a decision none of us thought we would ever have to make.

Our hearts told us the Fair must happen. Our heads, however, told us it couldn’t. The committee made a recommendation to the Board that Fantasia Fair 2020 be cancelled. The Board accepted the Committee’s recommendation.

How did we come by this decision and why did we make it?

There are a number of reasons. First, our demographics skew heavily toward older attendees. Many have health issues that would put them at particular risk if infected. The last thing anyone on the committee wanted to do was to jeopardize the health and well-being of anyone in the Fantasia Fair family–including ourselves.

Second, just about every event in Provincetown has been cancelled through the end of the summer. There will essentially be no summer season in Provincetown–and since businesses make almost all of their money between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the committee anticipated many establishments would go out of business and expected that many establishments that survived would close early, leaving Provincetown a virtual ghost town when we would arrive in late October. We could not be sure there would be venues for our larger events. Venues are difficult in Provincetown even in a good year.

And third, we were in a position to make a full refund of all registration monies. Had we pressed ahead and later been forced to cancel, deposits made for meeting space and meals would have made full refunds impossible–this due to deposits we routinely make when we travel to Provincetown in mid-May to make arrangements.

There has been a Fantasia Fair every year since 1975. It breaks our hearts to break this long tradition, but we knew we had to do it. And yes, we hate it every bit as much as you do.

The committee is already hard at work planning Fantasia Fair 2021. It’s going to be fabulous–as FanFair 2020 would have been had it not been for the pandemic.

We already miss our Fantasia Fair family. It’s going to be tough come October–and for that reason, we’re planning some virtual activities that will provide at least some continuation of the Fantasia Fair tradition and allow us all to see and talk to one another. It will be at a distance, on computer screens, but it will be great.

We’ll keep you informed as we make decisions about how do bring us together virtually. We hope you will participate.

So there it is. We know it sucks. We would give just about anything to make it some other way.

 

If you are preregistered for 2020, contact Fair Director Dee LaValle at dee@fantasiafair.org and request a refund–or, if you prefer, ask her to roll over your monies for Fantasia Fair 2021.

Update on the Covid-19 Virus

Fantasia Fair
www.fanfair.info
info@fantasiafair.org

For Immediate Release

 13 March, 2020

 

UPDATE ON THE COVID-19 VIRUS

 

Hi, everyone. We hope you are all well and taking precautions to stay that way.

We understand your concerns about your health and Coronavirus. Many of you are of an age or have health issues that put you at high risk. We are concerned about your health as well—and ours.

Covid-19 is now widespread around the world and spreading rapidly. Many large public gatherings have been cancelled and more are likely to be.

We cannot predict the future, but it seems likely things will get worse before they get better. Please be assured the leadership of Fantasia Fair is aware of this virus and its effects and is monitoring conditions in Provincetown and elsewhere. We will continue to look to health authorities in Provincetown and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization for guidance.

Fantasia Fair is seven months away. Should conditions warrant postponement or cancellation, we will let you know as soon as possible. It’s too early to make that call now, but if we do, we will extend the 100% refund period—so don’t be afraid to register. It’s your money, and you’ll a 100% refund if the Fair is unable to proceed as planned.

For now, we are continuing preparations for Fantasia Fair 2020. We hope the danger will be past and we will all be together in October.

In the meantime, please limit your exposure to crowds, wash your hands often, avoid touching your face, follow the advice of your physician and local authorities, and stay current with CDC advisories (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html).

We are family. We will get through this.

Jaelle’s First Fantasia Fair

Fantasia Fair

By Jaelle Terrell

Two months ago, I went to Provincetown, Massachusetts with my friends, David and Jerry. No,  because of David and Jerry. Provincetown, or Ptown, is a resort town all the way at the tip of Cape Cod. It is owned and operated largely by members of the LGBT community, and a well-known vacation spot for the nation’s LGBT citizens. I’ve known gay men who have gone there. It’s like a gay Mecca, or a bucket list item; perhaps every gay man should visit there once. Jerry and David are a married couple at the local LGBT Center who I have come to know and love.

They told me about this thing in Ptown called Tall Ships. What’s Tall Ships? Well, David said, imagine a town taken over by 6’ people. In 4” heels. Tall Ships. One week a year, Ptown is taken over by trans women. And some trans men. It’s called Fantasia Fair, and this year it was the 45th annual. People come from all over the country. There is a fashion show. A talent show. Open Mic Night. Writer’s workshops, panel discussions, hair and makeup workshops. Just… amazing. Next, I learn that David is a retired professor. His area of expertise is in gender roles and sexuality! He has gone to Fantasia Fair several times over the years, and knows and has worked with all the old grand dames. He says he has told the Fair’s founder, Ariadne Kane about me, and she wants to meet me. Me! What? How? Could you even?

With help from my dear friend Kathy, I got a week’s worth of dresses and fall wardrobe together. My friend Pam and I auditioned every outfit. Jewelry, shoes, bag. Everything. And with I think $140 to spend, I went. Kathy had warned me, don’t talk too much, don’t obsess, just be calm and let things flow. Leona quite simply said, don’t be you. Same thing. Sound advice.

David and Jerry collected me early the morning of our departure. There and back we drove 10-12 hours, stayed in a motel, and finished the journey with a 2-3 hour morning drive. The drive up the Cape was pretty glorious. All the names of the towns, businesses, and roads were just dripping with history. We could see the ocean and the bay from time to time out our right and left windows. As we got close to Ptown, I think I actually began to vibrate.

Provincetown, Massachusetts is a charming little town. The main street, Commercial, is just jammed with colorful shops and restaurants. It reminds me of the oceanside resort towns I haunted in southern California, like Venice Beach. But East Coast. The climate. The architecture. It was instantly fun. And gorgeous. And my patrons, my mentors, my spirit guides knew where to drive, where to park, where to register, everything.

We registered, we received itineraries, swag bags, and so on. The woman who checked us in was Dallas Denny. A goddess. A transgender pioneer. David introduced us. As Dallas and David chatted for a few minutes, I took a seat at a little group of chairs around a glass table. This woman was pontificating, about what I honestly don’t remember. Hello, I introduced myself. “My name is Jaelle.”

“Don’t you know who I am?” She asked me. No, I don’t. “I’m Mariette Pathy Allen,” she announced. She looked at me, waiting for… what? Recognition? Contrition? Apology? Well, I’m sorry, but I’m a bit of a smartass. I offered none of these things and waited for more revelation. “I’ve written four books,” she pronounced. “I’ve read four books,” I responded. I came to learn that she is a photographer, at times THE photographer for Fantasia Fair, and while not exclusively focused on the transgender community, her work is considered very important. She’s actually a lovely and interesting woman, and I found myself dancing with her late that Friday night.

Every hour of every day there were two or more events to choose from. Workshops, seminars, lunches. It was so active. So busy. So fun. David announced that we were having breakfast with Ariadne Kane the next morning.

Now let’s just take a minute here to discuss the food. Every breakfast, every lunch, and especially every dinner was, I don’t know, I’m just an ignorant old woman from Cleveland, but it was five star. Or five star-ish. I felt there was a chef looking over every plate that left every kitchen for every meal. Every vegetable seemed to have been picked, and every seafood caught that morning. Just the brightest, freshest flavors, beautifully prepared and presented. Every meal was just perfect.

After registration, we went to lunch at the Lobster Pot. As we sat at a table waiting for our food, a couple came in and sat at the next table. It was a trans woman and a cis woman. As they walked past, the trans woman put her hand on my shoulder and gave it a friendly squeeze. That little act of friendly kindness touched me. After a couple of minutes, I turned and greeted them. The cis woman beamed at me and said, “You look so different!” Reading my puzzled face, and studying me a little closer, she said “Oh! You’re not so-and-so!” Not for the last time that week, I was told how much I resembled someone. They were extremely pleasant and fun, and I felt that we became fast friends. They told me they had been married for years. In fact, their marriage predated her wife’s transition. As it turned out, they were holding one of the seminars. She had written a book entitled I Married A Woman, documenting their journey through life and marriage. A delightful couple.

David and Jerry had procured us rooms right in the center of the activities. Right in the middle! A wonderful suite of rooms, like an Airbnb apartment. The next morning, we met Ariadne Kane for breakfast. She had already arrived and was seated at a table for eight. Introductions were made, and she told everyone where to sit. You sit there. You sit there. Jerry, you sit there. No, no, there. She sat me on her left. Obviously, planning and organizing are in her DNA. Breakfast was delightful, as everyone shared common memories and remembered persons past.

The week went quickly. Not hurriedly, not frenetic, but at a lively pace. I attended Sephora beauty workshops. I can now do a smoky eye! I attended writer’s workshops. It was amazing. I met women from Los Angeles to London. The Gala, the talent night, and the Fashion Show were so much fun. There was an Open Mic night, and I got this crazy idea to perform. For the first time in my life, at 65 years old, I did a stand-up routine. It was so much fun.

There are three or four restaurants providing lunches each day. You are to choose them at registration and you receive a ticket for that particular lunch for each day. I was chatting with one of the volunteers one day who said they were collecting tickets in a restaurant for lunch that day. Ariadne Kane breezed in, greeted someone or other, and sat at their table. “Oh my god!,” the volunteer thought. “I’m responsible for collecting the tickets. Am I to go ask her for hers? What if she doesn’t have one?” I said, “No. When Anna Wintour shows up at Fashion Week, no one asks her for a ticket.”

The bottom line is, Provincetown is sumptuous. Fantasia Fair is a glorious event, and should indeed be on every transgender woman’s, and man’s, bucket list. It’s entertaining, educational, and beautiful. I am truly standing on the shoulders of Dallas Denny, Mariette Pathy Allen, Ariadne Kane, and all the beautiful women who built this fabulous, now 46-year-old event.

ISO Treasurer for Fantasia Fair

We are looking for someone with accounting experience to serve as Treasurer for Fantasia Fair. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which has held a small (120-150 attendees) trans conference every October since 1975.

We have a bookkeeper to enter expenses and receipts. The Treasurer would be responsible to prepare a monthly review, file an annual report with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and work with our accountant to do annual taxes.

We use the computer program QuickBooks and store financial records on the cloud for easy access by authorized members. We would like the Treasurer to activate some features of the program we have not yet had the expertise to put into operation.

Depending upon time requirements and performance, the Treasurer position might qualify for reduced or deferred registration rates at Fantasia Fair.

If you’re interested in the position, please contact Fair Director Dee LaValle at dee@fantasiafair.org.

Thank you.

Changing Registration Systems

Two years ago, our long-term online registration service (RegOnLine) was purchased by a company called CVent. We found out about this in mid-2019, when CVent notified us that RegOnLine would become RegOffLine at the end of the year. In other words, they would be taking the system down on January 1, 2020.

CVent offered us the same rates as RegOnLine for the first year, but they seem to be geared toward corporate business, and we sensed things would get quite expensive after that. Then-Registrar Temperance DuWitt located and checked out a number of companies, and we found more after we returned home from Provincetown in October. Fair Director Dee LaValle and Katherine Byrd have decided upon a system and have been busy implementing it. Because it will require some modification to our PayPal account, registration will be down for a few days. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Thank you for your patience.

Open Mic A Huge Success at FanFair 2019

Some years ago, Cody Suzuki renewed an on-and-off Fantasia Fair tradition–a night of poetry and song. His creation, the Open Mic Night, has prospered and grown and is now one of the most popular events at the Fair. Fairgoers present their poetry and prose or play a song, and the audience is appreciative and enthusiastic.

This year Open Mic was held in the Paramount Room at the Crown & Anchor. That’s the performance space at the C&A, and it transformed the night. The energy level was high and the room was packed with Fairgoers and townies. It was electrifying!

Open Mic has come of age. Thank you, Cody, for creating it and nursing it to be the huge success it now is