Fantasia Fair helps the LGBTIQ* Community
Fantasia Fair exists to help people.
In 1975, when the Fair was first conceived, it was in response to a need for crossdressers and transsexuals to learn about themselves in an open, socially tolerant environment. In this century, we provide education and support not just to transsexuals and crossdressers, but to all gender-variant, people: transgender, genderqueer, gender nonbinary, and genderquestioning individuals–and to to the wider LGBTIQ community and those professionals who are involved with the community.
Fundraising for Charities and Civic Organizations
Provincetown was selected as the host city for Fantasia Fair because of its reputation for tolerance.. We love the town and its people and we try to say Thank you– a lot!
One way we say thank you is by helping various Provincetown charity and civic organizations. Every year we are delighted to make a number of charitable contributions to different groups in town. Over the years, the people coming to Fantasia Fair have raised more than $50,000 for organizations that serve the people of Provincetown and Cape Cod. We have made contributions to the town library, the local police department, an AIDS support group, a woman’s shelter, the local soup kitchen, a senior services group, and a summer camp for LGBT youth, and we helped buy the fire department a life-saving defibrillator.
It’s important to note that these generous contributions come from you, the Fairgoer, and from those who attend our events, and not from registration fees. One way we raise money for charity is with the Fantasia Fair Follies, a talent show of Fair attendees. Every year, the performers donate the tips given to them in their performance to charity. When you come to enjoy the Follies, we hope you will tip generously!
Here are some of the charities and nonprofits we have supported:
- Provincetown Public Library
- Provincetown Fire Department
- Provincetown Police Department
- Soup Kitchen in Provincetown
- Helping Our Women, Inc.
- Camp Lightbulb
- Pilgrim Monument & Provincetown Museum
- AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod
- Unitarian Universalist Meeting House of Provincetown
Transgender Pioneer Awards
Because so many in the community have sacrificed their careers, their families, and their fortunes because of their commitments to building community, every year we recognize and honor various transgender and nonbinary leaders who have dedicated their lives to change the world so transgender people could find reassurance, learn about themselves, and come together in safety and comfort. Without these transgender pioneers, we would still be hiding in our closets.
You can learn more about these Pioneer Awards and those individuals who have been honored on our Transgender Pioneer Awards page.
Finding Home, Finding Community
Over the decades the Fair has helped thousands of transpeople address their fears, find the courage to be themselves, and deal productively with their trans natures. Hundreds of attendees have become community leaders. Some of the community’s most important organizations and conferences were conceived at the Fair or developed by Fantasia Fair alumnae.
The Fair has also served the loved ones of transgender people by helping them work through their feelings about their transgender partners. We honor wives, husbands, spouses, partners, and family members by providing them with the support of licensed mental health professionals. We do not attempt to convince significant others to follow any particular path or come to any particular decision; rather, we provide them with information so they can make informed choices. This approach has saved hundreds of marriages.
Personal and Professional Development
For more than forty years, the seminars, workshops, and lectures offered during the Fair have helped people better understand themselves and the challenges we all face.
Every October, professional and academics from all over the world make the trek to Cape Cod to share their knowledge and understanding. Recent Fairs have included partner-focused programs, academic colloquiums, voice training workshops, discussions with noted authors and filmmakers, workshops on coming out and personal presentation, and a wide variety of LGBTIQ-related seminars. These programs help not only transpeople with self exploration, but their partners and the caring professionals who work with the community. The knowledge and skills learned at the Fair are brought back to the homes and businesses of each Fairgoer and to the community-centered organizations and support groups with which they are involved. There is a wonderful ripple effect.
Fantasia Fair fosters personal development in many ways. Most trans people are raised based upon their assigned sex rather than their gender identities. This usually means that they miss many aspects of socialization their cis counterparts take for granted. By offering a combination of workshops and social activities, attendees can learn about trans-related concepts and put many of those concepts into practice in the various formal and informal settings the Fair provides. This helps attendees balance their positions in society with their transgender natures and helps attendees who decide to transition resocialize after transitioning. For those who may not wish to transition but still have questions concerning their gender, these opportunities help them better explore gender roles and options to determine what is best for them in a safe and accepting environment.
The Fair organizers recognize that many individuals in the LGBTI community suffer from discrimination and many experience financial difficulties that make attending Fantasia Fair out of financial reach. To help, we provide as many scholarships as we can afford to those who demonstrate a financial need.
VIDEO: Sergeant Glen Enos of the Provincetown Police Department Works the Crowd at the Follies