Tag Archives: Klymaxx Unlimited

First Event 2015

Just got home from First Event in Waltham MA and thought I’d share my thoughts on the event.

This year’s event, presented as always by the Tiffany Club of New England,  was the 35th annual and was held on January 21-25 at a new venue – the Westin in Waltham MA on the western edge of Boston.

SeleenaK_3541sMy darling Kim came with me to the event.  We decided to leave  home for Boston on Tuesday but stayed Tuesday night in Auburn since it wasn’t possible to get an extra day at the Westin.  Some of you who have visited or ordered from  the  Glamour Boutique’s TG Fashions might be familiar with Auburn Massachusetts.

So we arrived at the event hotel early on Wednesday.  The hotel was quite impressive and checkin was very professional and smooth.  Undergound parking, very nice room, very elegant lobby and smiling staff.

Although parking and internet are usually at additional cost, both were free to those attending First Event.

Had dinner in the hotel restaurant on Wednesday evening with Xpressions friends from Canada, and Hera and Michelle from Klymaxx Unlimited in Provincetown.

On Thursday, after a rather pricey but fabulous breakfast in the hotel restaurant, I hit the event registration desk to get my name tag and event program before spending time socializing with friends in the hotel lobby area.  Also had a wonderful chat and a couple glasses of Merlot with my friend Samantha in her hotel room.

SeleenaK_3551sEvent registration wasn’t easy to find and was not exactly efficient but was relatively friendly.

On Thursday night, we were off to Club Cafe in downtown Boston using provided transportation.  The trip to the club took us down Boylston Street and the site of the marathon bombing.

Buffet dinner and Merlot was good and the drag show, featuring Judy Garland and Bea Arthur impersonators was very well done but I’m not sure how well suited it was to our crowd.  I stayed for the entire show but many left early.  Community Service Awards were presented prior to Ms Garland to Jennifer Levi, the GLAD Transgender Rights Project and to John Warrener, the founder of The Glamour Boutique.

Back to the hotel .. drinks in the bar! And a rather late night.

SeleenaK_3559sFriday was a shopping day.  After a quick breakfast and lots of coffee, I visited Hera at the Klymaxx Unlimited spot in the vendor area.   I bought some fabulous bling and Kim bought a very cool handbag.  I should have bought the glitter clutch purse.

Friday night dinner was an oriental buffet at the hotel in the ballroom.  It was excellent, and was followed by the fashion show.  Now, I’ve been to, and have participated in, fashion shows before but this one was the absolute best ever.  Great music and dynamic commentary, an awesome runway, a fast pace and gorgeous models.

To the other events that do fashion shows, consider learning  from this one.  It was that good.

My friends Samantha, Stephanie and Lauren participated and all did a wonderful job.

SeleenaK_3538sAfter the fashion show, we went for drinks in  my friend Pauline’s room.  More vino and it was wonderful, and the conversation was a lot of fun!

After a late breakfast on Saturday, I did a little more shopping.  Bought a very high quality, “gently used” pair of oxblood Italian heels from the Tiffany’s Closet fund raising shop for $15 .. my bargain of the year.  Enzo Angiolini’s are typically sold at finer department stores and these have barely noticeable wear similar to a store demo pair.  Not exactly sky-high stilettos .. they’re just under 4″  .. but they’ll be fabulous when I have to be on my feet all day.

Spent most of the day chatting with friends around the hotel.  Finally got to meet a girl I’ve been chatting with on and off for a decade.  Melissa is a sweetheart and I finally got to give her a hug in person.

I also got to meet someone I only recently started chatting with online.  Sara is a stocking lover like me and is totally gorgeous.

Saturday evening was the gala.  The ball.  The big event.  And it was wonderful! Hors d’ouvres, good wine, a nice dinner (I had the chicken and it was good.  Sorry beef people .. lol), the best keynote address I’ve ever heard (you can read about Wayne Maines here) and the fab jazz group, Dale LePage and the Manhattans, were there after dinner for dancing or listening.

SeleenaK_3568sBut what impressed me the most that night was how everyone looked and behaved. The evening was to be elegant and everyone looked elegant.  It was the first time I ever felt that everyone made the effort to look they’re best.   And it does something to the air.  The vibe just feels so right, and it was a fitting way to conclude a wonderful conference.

In summary, I wish I had made the effort to attend this event in the past.  In my opinion, it was one of the best events I’ve ever attended.  A good value, the  volunteers are efficient and nearly invisible, the organizers weren’t all about patting themselves on the back, the best keynote speaker ever, and all in a very, very nice hotel.

According to my friends who attended many seminars, the seminars were also very good.

From the comments made by organizers both online and in Waltham, there was 500+ in attendance over the 4 days although it seemed that just under 400 were at the gala.  Huge growth over previous years.

And lastly, one more shout out to the Westin in Waltham MA.  The hotel is beautiful, staff were excellent, no waiting for an elevator, great event room rate, wonderful restaurant.   The bar was cool too but it was a little difficult to get a drink at times, especially on the final night.

They made us feel very welcome and even posted on the event Facebook page prior to the event, to tell us they were looking forward to our arrival as well as to thank us when the event was over.  Very classy.

Grace,  Andrea and crew … you ladies rock.

Fantasia Fair 2014

SeleenaK_3382sFor those of you who are not aware, Fantasia Fair is an annual transgender event held in Provincetown Massachusetts. It’s the longest running trans event in the US, possibly the world, and it celebrated it’s 40th anniversary this year.

I attended the conference once again in 2014 (my 5th) and had a fabulous time as always. But reflecting on my time there, I have to admit that my enjoyment came more from the town and the time I spent with friends than it did from the actual event.

So what has changed? Did I change or did the event change? A little of both, I suspect.

I’ve changed in that I expect more for my event dollar than ever .  Or more accurately, although I’ve always felt that financially supporting events like this is a good, honorable thing to do, I’m feeling like an outsider who’s enjoyment SeleenaK_3363sis on no one’s mind.  The kumbaya stuff from years ago means little to me now and seeing  a handful of new introverted girls “blossom” has lost  it’s shine.

**** And due to the “wedge” that still seems to exist due to a persistent “I’m more trans than you” hierarchy, I’m just not comfortable financially supporting an hugely unbalanced itinerary. I felt this at Southern Comfort Conference and I felt it at Fantasia Fair.  It cost me the same to attend zero seminars as it did the person who attended them “all”.  ***

But the event has changed too. In my opinion, it’s gotten a little more cliquish than it was, and has lost a lot of it’s youthful vibe.

Side note in this regard: Online warnings prior to the event about the hazards of wearing heels in P-town felt excessive. No matter how good the intentions of the ‘flats-only’ preachers, the vast majority of the tgirls out there and potential attendees love their heels. Yet rather than provide advice on how to make high heel wearing work on the streets of Ptown, the official word was “don’t” –  you’re  foolish if you do (I paraphrase). Talk about scaring away potential newbies and making the heel-wearing crowd (me, included)  feel self-conscious!

Fan Fair spends way too much time honoring someone (usually themselves) and not enough time with the peons who pay the bills and quietly attend looking for a fun time.

But on a positive note, the lunches were excellent and the (provided ) dinners were decent. The registration process was lightning fast and, although my “package” lacked a couple “coupons” for things I had paid to attend, hassle-free.

The welcome reception at the sushi restaurant, Saki’s, was a lot of fun but the “Town and Gown” event was good and not so good.  Christine Howey’s one-woman play, “Exact Change” was  fabulous!  But the event was billed as a Town & Gown event.  A handful of us did dress accordingly yet they served hamburgers and hotdogs, buffet style for dinner.  Wasn’t expecting that .. lol.  Did I not get the memo?

One thing that I did miss  this year was the charm. Each year we’ve received a Fantasia Fair keepSeleenaK_3410ssake suitable for putting on a bracelet, yet this year, and on an anniversary year at that, there was none. I later learned that only those who attended the farewell brunch got one. No explanation offered and no apologies given if it was an oversight.   Kinda makes heeding the”let’s all be there to celebrate our 40th” request seem a little one-sided.

But back to my thoughts on the planned activities. The Saturday night Gala was fun! Our friends at The Crown & Anchor did a wonderful job with the room and the food. Bravo to all involved.  And seeing everyone looking so glamorous is always a treat.

The Wednesday evening fashion show was fun too but, to be totally honest, I miss hostesses Robyn and Liz terribly. (Their removal as hostesses smells political and seems quite unfair.)  The current hostesses are wonderful individuals but the cohesion between them is still developing and is painfully missing.  Please, can we have Robyn and Liz back?

Now the talent show, the Fantasia Fair Follies, was a train wreck, in my opinion. Far too much lip synch without a dynamic stage show to support it. Yes, there were a few lip synch performers that were a little fun to watch but they were the exception.  I do understand how being supportive is a good thing and that participation in something like this can be a confidence booster for some but still .. townspeople, as well as the rest of us, pay money to attend and therefore a show with a slightly higher degree of entertainment value and professionalism seems only reasonable.  The townsfolk seated in my general area spent more time looking at each other with a raised eyebrow than they did laughing or applauding.  And I could totally sympathize with their feelings and felt embarrassed.

And there was a coupleSeleenaK_3393s tasteless, inappropriate bits in the show too.

To further mess with my trannier-than-thou sensitivity,  a post op girl did a comedy(?) bit about her vaginal dilation exercises after genital reconstruction surgery, complete with her collections of dilators/dildos. I’m no prude but found that performance pretty tasteless.  Although I’m no stranger to dildo’s, the entire bit seemed to be a “look at me, I’ve had the surgery!” ego trip.  My spouse, a genetic woman, was in attendance and found the entire piece quite disgusting.

As well, there was the “Fuck You” song. A song that repeatedly used to phrase “fuck you”, played to a slideshow of US Republican politicians and conservative public figures. Also, not funny and very tasteless, in my opinion.  The phrase “Fuck you” is NOT offensive to me, in fact, I love CeeLo Green’s Fuck You song but this event is no place for silly US partisan politics.  The song’s words a quite judgmental and more than a little hateful … not exactly appropriate for a group that pleads for tolerance.  But then tolerance is a one-sided concept, isn’t it?

I know, I know.  Why so negative? It’s because I spent almost $1200 USD for my Kim and I to attend an event that barely made me smile.  And that’s the conference cost alone.  Accommodations in P-town were way more than that.

SeleenaK_3399sBut I still did have a great time!  I shopped at Klymaxx Unliminited, Provincetown’s premier shop for bling, cosmetics, skin-care for both men and women, jewelry, drag accessories, wigs and handbags.  I bought some fabulous bling and a new shoulder bag from Hera and Michele.

I also shopped at the Golden Horn where I found more great bling.

I stayed at the Brass Key Guesthouse again and was totally delighted as always.  Thanks, Rick, for being so cool.

Away from the event, evening dining was fabulous at Jimmy’s Hideaway, Ross’s Grill and The Mews as were the Fantasia  Fair lunches at Bayside Betsey’s, The Post Office Cabaret and Cafe and The Crown & Anchor.

So, in closing, I had a fabulous time! The best time ever in Provincetown but little of it had to do with the Fantasia Fair event. I’ll certainly return in the future but will be much more selective regarding how much money I give to the event. And no  more donations to the scholarship fund for this girl.

Sadly, I have to wonder what the future holds for this event.

Move over, SCC, as you grasp at redefining yourself. You’ll have company soon.

SeleenaK_3391s