Free Pre-Conference Event Sept. 6 for Medical Practitioners & Support Staff
For the third year, Greater Fort Lauderdale will host the longest-running transgender conference in the United States, the Southern Comfort Transgender Conference, on Sept. 6-8, 2018. The informational forum will welcome hundreds of attendees for a series of workshops, seminars, and networking events hosted at the Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Conference activities include legal and medical presentations, as well as informative sessions on family, relationships, sexuality and much more. During the conference, participants will have the chance to experience Greater Fort Lauderdale’s stunning natural scenery, exciting nightlife, and exquisite dining.
“We are proud to welcome back the Southern Comfort Transgender Conference to our sunny shores,” said Richard Gray, Vice President of LGBT+ for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Greater Fort Lauderdale is committed to inclusion and equality, and we are continuously working to reach the transgender community to show them we are a destination that is diverse, welcoming, authentic and accepting.”
On Thursday, Sept. 6, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., The South Florida Transgender Medical Consortium, a collaborative partner with the Southern Comfort Transgender Conference, will host an in-depth professionals’ training program geared towards medical and mental health practitioners, and nursing and medical students, as well as their support staff. This part of the conference is free, and onsite registration for this day will be available. The remaining two days of the conference require registration, which can be done at sccfla.org.
On Friday, Sept. 7, Marie Trottier, policy advisor at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will also speak to conference attendees. She recently helped develop a video focused on helping transgender travelers through the security screening process and letting them know what to expect.
On Saturday, Sept. 8, the keynote speaker will be Gia Gunn, a transgender activist, entertainer and TV personality. She was a contestant on Season 6 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” She will be speaking about pressing issues addressing the transgender community.
“We are looking forward to returning to Greater Fort Lauderdale – from the hotels to the cuisine to the nightlife, our attendees have been wowed every step of the way,” said Lexi Dee, President of Southern Comfort Transgender Conference. “Our partnership with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau continues to grow each year as we work together to support our common interests and provide invaluable resources for the transgender community.”
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau has been welcoming LGBT+ travelers since 1996 when it became the first Convention & Visitors Bureau with a dedicated LGBT+ marketing department. Since then, Greater Fort Lauderdale has continued to break down barriers and facilitate visibility for the LGBT+ community at large, acting as a pioneer in the hospitality industry and ensuring that the destination is inclusive and welcoming with a diverse, safe and open community for all travelers.
On January 9, 2017, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau launched a new global marketing and advertising campaign featuring transgender models, making it the world’s first destination to use transgender models in mainstream destination advertising. The campaign, which also features straight, gay and lesbian models, follows the destination’s long and storied history in LGBTQ marketing.
Most recently, Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County opened the area’s first LGBT+ Visitor Center in Wilton Manors, Broward County’s gay-centric district with the destination’s largest concentration of gay residents and businesses. It is located at 2300 NE 7th Avenue in Wilton Manors.
Greater Fort Lauderdale is also home to one of the largest Pride Centers in the country, the world’s first AIDS museum, the global headquarters of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association, and the Stonewall Museum, one of the only permanent spaces in the U.S. devoted to exhibitions relating to LGBT+ history and culture.
Greater Fort Lauderdale welcomes an estimated 1.5 million LGBT+ visitors who spend $1.5 billion annually. For more information on LGBT+ travel in Greater Fort Lauderdale, visit sunny.org/tlgb and www.sunny.org/lgbt. To see how welcoming Greater Fort Lauderdale is, click here.
For more information on the Southern Comfort Transgender Conference, please visit sccfla.org. The conference is produced and run by volunteers.