October 15-22, 2017 Provincetown, Massachusetts
Register for 2017
About the Fair
Frequently Asked Questions
Couples At The Fair
Ways The Fair Helps
Fantasia Fair In The Press
History Of Fantasia Fair
Fantasia Fair Follies
Transgender Pioneer Awards
Gala Awards Banquet
Brunches and Lunches
Professionals At The Fair
What You Get...
What it Costs...
Registration and Check-in
Where to Stay
Advertise with Us!
Make a Donation
Fantasia Fair Newsletter
Arranging for Accommodations
What To Do When You Arrive
Map of Provincetown
Stay In Touch
Glossary of Terms
Other Conferences & Events
Frequently Asked Questions
Some answers to some common questions about Fantasia Fair
Have Other Questions?
If you have other questions about the Fair and Fair happenings, please send an email to
. Also, check the
page for specific email addresses of the Fantasia Fair staff members.
Here are some commonly-asked questions about Fantasia Fair. Just click on the question to toggle the display of the answer.
What is Fantasia Fair?
Fantasia Fair is a week-long transgender event held every October in the LGBT resort Mecca of Provincetown, Massachusetts, located at the very tip of beautiful Cape Cod. Part conference, part social gathering, the Fair is a full immersion experience, meaning that attendees can and usually do spend an entire week 24/7 presenting their gender as they wish.
Running each year since 1975, Fantasia Fair attracts people from the entire spectrum of the transgender community, including crossdressers, MTF transsexuals, FTM transsexuals, intersexed persons, people who are exploring thier gender identity, and professionals working in the community. During the week, individuals can attend workshops, seminars, banquets, special events and shows as well as enjoy Provincetown itself. There's nothing else like it; just
ask any past attendee
What takes place at the Fair?
Fantasia Fair offers a week's worth of workshops and social activitites which includes a reception, two formal banquets, fashion show, a cabaret/talent show, and other special events. The typical day will have workshops in the late morning, lunch, a keynote address, more workshops in the afternoon and then some social event in the evening.
Although there are certain traditions that recur each year, no two Fairs are the same. Each year, there is a combination of new activities and past favorites. In the past there have been dances, concerts, comedians, high tea, winery tours, movie premiers, trolly tours, wine tastings, art exhibits and many other activities.
There is usually a choice of three or four workshops at any given time. The workshop offered provide a wide range of topics so that there will be something of interest to everyone. Usually, there are workshops dealing with personal relationships, voice training, makeup, gender theory, health or medical concerns, employment or legal issues - topics that help you get more out of life.
Including in your registration is a lunch or brunch each day and several dinners. Lunches are held at various restaurants near the center of town and you can shoose among several restaurants each day.
Before and after the evening events, many Fair attendees get together informally for parties, dancing at a local club, or relax in a hot tub.
Please take a look at the
to learn more.
Why Fantasia Fair rather than some other gender event?
There are some wonderful events held throughout the world, but very few last a whole week and no other gives you the same real life experience. Fantasia Fair is truely unique and special.
The Fair doesn't take place in a big hotel, but rather in many small venues across the quaint little village. You might attend a morning workshop at one hotel, have lunch at a restaurant next door, participate in workshops that afternoon in another venue, attend an evening banquet down the block and then top off the evening dancing at a local club. Attendees are not confined to the four walls of a single hotel and they interact with others in a real-world environment that is Provincetown. It can be a very emotional experience to be able to live 7/24 presenting your gender as you wish.
Many conferences offer a "vendor room" where businesses set up a booth or table to sell their wares. Rather than focusing on bringing in vendors, Fantasia Fair is able to partner with the local businesses to provide a wider range of goods and services. If you are you interested in having a manicure, try the salon at the corner salon. Do you want to shop for outfits? There are loads of boutiques along Commercial Street. You'll also find jewelers, book shops, spas, cosmetics and fragrance stores, and more. If there are things the town doesn't provide, such as medical consultations or portrait photography, the professionals attending the Fair are often available to provide their
Although Fantasia Fair is the longest-running trans conference, it is not large compared to other trans events. This is by design. Fantasia Fair has always been an intimate event and the Fair organizers recognize the value of this intimacy. You can easily meet and spend time with every other attendee, get to know each other and establish friendships. In very large groups, there is a natural tendency to split up into small cliques which often exclude new members. Fantasia Fair is small enough that there is a sense of family where no one is excluded. Yet, Fantasia Fair is large enough that you can meet new people every year.
And, of course, there is Provincetown!
Over 40 years ago, when planners were putting together the first Fair, there were few places that could be considered safe for our community. Even then, Provincetown was a friendly place, tolerant of differences, a safe haven, and one in which it was possible to be out and about with little chance of being recognized. Today, Provincetown is even friendlier and is widely considered one of the top vacation destinations for the LGBT crowd.
The town has a relatively large number of lesbian, gay, and transgender residents so they are quite comfortable with LGBT visitors. You can walk down any street and go into any shop presenting your gender however you wish and everyone will treat you with the proper respect and dignity that you deserve. A large portion of the town's economy is based around tourism and much of the tourist crowd is LGBT, so it is in the interest of the townsfolk to make sure that everyone who comes into town feels safe, accepted, and welcomed. The townsfolk really do love us and they support us year after year!
While it's possible to have a gender event in almost any city, only Provincetown gives its attendees a sprawling, trans-friendly place with hundreds of inns, restaurants, pubs, night clubs, shops and galleries, and the ocean, the dunes, and the beach. Even outside of Fantasia Fair, Provincetown is a great place to spend time in. In fact, vacationers and tourists fill the town every year.
In short, Provincetown offers a safe and accepting environment that truly wants us there. It is because of this safe and accepting environment, Fantasia Fair can do things differently than other transgender events.
Is there much for couples?
There's tons for couples. We have workshops dedicated to t-folk and their significant others as well as a number of sessions specifically for partners of transpeople. These sessions provide opportunities for couples to discuss issues, problems, stresses, and even joys that they have in common. The partners' private sessions allow those partnered with a CD or TS to share, compare and support. We find some of the best available experts to assist in facilitating the sessions.
Of course, the entire Fair offers a multitude of opportunities for partners. A partner registered for the Fair is treated just like any other fairgoer - they are welcomed in any and all programs, events, and activities. They can participate in as much or as little as they wish. There are the lunches, dinners, receptions, and shows. And don't forget all the sightseeing and shopping Provincetown offers. Look at our
page for more information.
What about FTMs?
We have a number of regularly attending female-to-male participants, although certainly not as many as we would like. Provincetown offers FTMs a lot and the Fair provides programming of interested to all gender explorers. In recent years, we have had presentations from noteworthy transmen such as Jamison Green, Ethan St. Pierre, Stephen Whittle, Hawk Stone, Tony Ferraiolo and Dru Levasseur. Take at look the
page to learn more about the Fair's latest offerings.
Besides the Fair events, what's there to do in Provincetown?
There is a lot to do in Provincetown. If there wasn't then it would have earned a reputation for a top vacation destination.
The shopping is fabulous - and so are the restaurants. There are dozens of galleries with paintings, sculpture, glass art, and a number of museums. You can go whale watching or take a dunes tour. You can take the trolley tour of Provincetown or ride a bicycle along the paved paths of the national seashore. You can pamper yourself with a massage at the Blu Day Spa or the Shui Spa at the Crown Pointe. How about getting a manicure while you are there? Perhaps even a makeover with a professional makeup artist... You can dance until late at night at the A-House or at The Vixen nightclub, then go to Spiritus for pizza. You can take advantage of end-of-season closeouts in the many clothing boutiques. You can browse for antiques, look through the large collection of out-of-print volumes at Tim’s Books. You can sample some sweets at the Portuguese Bakery or the Purple Feather Dessert Cafe, have a bowl of kale soup at the Governor Bradford, or have a two-pounder at the Lobster Pot. You can sit on the benches in front of the Town Hall and watch the colorful parade of passers-by. You can get away from it all and walk over the breakwater to Long’s point. You can take in a drag show, or listen to a lesbian comic. There’s no end of things to do in Provincetown. And one of the best things about doing thing in Provincetown is that you can do it all presenting yourself in the gender of you choice!
Isn't this all kind of public? Will I be outling myself?
It is normal and understandable to be concerned about your privacy, but there is little to worry about in Provincetown.
Cape Cod is probably a great many miles from where you live and work so the chances of anyone there knowing you is extremely remote. If you crossdress, then you are less likely to be identified with all the makeup, clothes and wig. But most importantly, Provincetown is a safe and accepting place. Everyone in town lives and works with a wide variety of people who are gay, lesbian, transsexual, or are drag queens - so you showing up there will not phase them in the slightest. The townsfolk have a long history of respecting the privacy and confidentiality of visiting tourists. In the fourty+ years that Fantasia Fair has been in Provincetown, there has not been any known cases of someone getting outted because they were identified while in town.
Yes, this is "kind of public" - but that it partly the reason why people grow and thrive at this event. The safety and openness of Fantasia Fair has a tendency of bring people out of their shells. The shy Alice of Day 1 is often the social butterfly of Day 7. Once you realize that there is no need to fear, you'll find yourself blossoming.
How do I get to Provincetown?
If you're driving, you will probably want to take the Mass Pike (I-90) to I-495 South and then head to Cape Cod on Route 6A East. Once you get onto the Cape, just follow Route 6 for about an hour. There are plenty of signs pointing the way to Provincetown so you shouldn't have any problems. Many inns provide free parking with your stay, so you should ask when you book your lodging. If they don't offer parking, there are plenty of long-term parking lots near the center of town. For the most part, you won't need a car while in town since most venues for the Fair are within easy walking distance of each other. Also, on street parking is limited so most folks walk or take a cab.
If you are flying to Boston first, you can take a connecting flight on
to reach Provincetown. Remember the TV show "
?" That show was modeled on Cape Air, which flies to Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Hyannis, and Provincetown. If you like small planes, you'll love the short twenty-minute hop from Boston's Logan Airport to the Provincetown airport.
You can also catch a bus from Boston. You may able to take the ferry that runs between Boston to Provincetown, but make sure to confirm that ferry will still be running by the time of the Fair.
Make sure to take a look at our
travel advice page
for more insights on getting to and from town.
Is there a dress code?
No, there are no dress codes at Fantasia Fair. The Fair is about acceptance and understanding, so you can dress in whatever way you want. The important thing is that you are there, not how you are dressed.
What should I bring?
Above all, bring comfortable shoes, for you'll be doing a lot of walking! High heels aren't practical when you have to get from one end of town to the other in 15 minutes - although you'll probably want to bring some nice shoes for some of the more formal evening events. Pack for cool weather. You will probably need sweaters and a coat. Bring an umbrella since it is not uncommon to have a day or two of rain in the Fall.
You'll need a couple of fancy outfits for the evening events, and more casual clothes for daytime. You may want to bring some slacks to keep your legs warm if there is some windy weather. Many inns have hottubs, so you might want to throw a bathing suit into your suitcase.
If you wear pantyhose, make certain to bring some extra pairs. There are relatively few places in town that sell pantyhose and when the Fair comes to town, they tend to sell out quickly.
Although you should check our
Professionals At The Fair
page to see if there will be a photographer available for photo shoots, you should bring your digital camera as well. Just make sure to bring extra batteries or your battery charger.
If you play the guitar, bring one along since there are often late-night parties with people playing. If you are considering performing in the
Fantasia Fair Follies
, then make sure to bring something that will look good on stage. If you wish to participate in the
, then pick out at least three additional outfits with matching accessories.
I've heard that the Fair is really just for crossdressers. Is this true?
We certainly have our share of cross dressers, but we also have pre-op transsexuals, post-op transsexuals, transgenderists, and drag queens - and let's not forget the many partners who come to the Fair with their spouses. In fact, about 25% of the attendees are partners. Also, there are quite a number of individuals who do not identify as gender variant but participate in a professional capacity.
The workshops topics are diverse and of interest to anyone regardless of their gender identity. While the programming varies from year-to-year, typically there will be a mix of broad and targeted topics. In recent years, there have been workshops on relationships, LGBT history, voice training, medical concerns, political activism, fashion and deportment, family concerns, cosmetics and wig care, and communication differences between the genders. There have been historical tours, classical music recitals, plays, comedy acts and other performances that everyone enjoyed.
Is the Fair expensive?
Considering what you get for a full week of activities, Fantasia Fair is an exceptional value. When you compare a week's stay at Fantasia Fair with a week's stay at another vacation destination, you'll find that the Fair can be significantly less expensive.
Seven days in Orlando, New York City, or San Francisco could easily cost well over a thousand dollars just for meals and entertainment. For about half that, the Fair offers seven days of activitites which includes a welcoming reception, an orientation brunch, six lunches, two formal banquets, a wine tasting, fashion show, the "Fabulous Follies" cabaret show, over 60 seminars and workshops, a farewell brunch, special events, and all Provincetown at your feet. Since you are in control of where you stay in town, you can spend as little or as much as you wish for lodging. Plus, the Fair is held after the end of the tourist season in Provincetown so you benefit from reduced prices on
and the many end-of-season sales.
Are there scholarships available?
Even though it is a tremendous value, Fantasia Fair can still be out of reach for some. or those with financial difficulties, we even offer a number
Is there a hotel that everyone stays at?
Fair attendees don't all stay in one big hotel. Instead, people usually book lodging at different bed & breakfast inns. Since you decide where to stay, you can spend as little or as much as you wish.
Ideally, you'll want to stay in a nice place at a decent price that is located close enough to where events take place and with other fairgoers. Fortunately, there are a great many charming inns throughout the town to choose from and many inns offer special discounts for registered Fairgoers. Over the years, Fairgoers have tended to be drawn to certain inns and these places are listed on our
recommended lodging page
For more information on what to consider when booking your lodging, take a look at our
arranging for accommodations
advice page. It has lots of suggestions on what to look for, staying at inns verses renting a condo, prices, discounts, and other considerations.
Can I get a refund if I need to cancel?
At Fantasia Fair we try to be as generous and understanding as possible. If you need to cancel and do so early enough then your registration is 100% refundable. If you need to cancel just prior to the Fair, you will be back your registration but with a small penalty. The penalties are as low as we can make them without costing other fair attendees money. Of course, any cancellation fees are waived if you opt to apply the refund to the next year's Fair.
To learn more, please refer to the
What it Costs...
©2002–2016 Real Life Experiences, Inc. All Rights Reserved. |