Here are some letters from attendees to give you a flavor of what to expect from SCC and how the experience has been a positive force for the Transgender community.
I am disgustingly late in writing to thank everyone on the Southern Comfort Scholarship Committee for granting me a scholarship to the recent 2011 convention. I have been really busy with job interviews and stupidly failed to send you a note of thanks earlier.
I expected, based on comments by other attendees, that I would thoroughly enjoy SC, but the actual event itself was much more educational and enjoyable than I could ever have dreamed. Most importantly, I learned so much about issues related to MtoF transgendered people and gained answers to questions which related to me, personally, and which were so very helpful. Probably the most useful lectures (for me) that I attended were those dealing with genital gender reassignment surgery and those dealing with hormones.
And, I can’t thank you enough for creating an environment where I felt safe dressing as a girl. I am not going to transition to living full time as a woman and so I especially enjoyed this opportunity.
As I am sure you have been told frequently, my only regret was that it was not possible to attend all of the lectures that I would have loved to have attended. I can understand that the cost would be enormous, but I wish that it was possible for you to tape all of the lectures and then make them available later for rental.
Again, SC 2011 was a fantastic experience for me, and I will certainly be there for 2012! And, again, thank you so very much for granting me the scholarship. I would not have been able to have attended without it.
With very best wishes,
Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 11:45 AM
Subject: [scclounge] Southern Comfort What a blast!
Hi Sisters: Greetings. I am new to SCC Lounge. I attended Southern Comfort
in September, what a blast! I have written an article regarding my
experience at SCC and would love to share it with my sisters. Please feel
free to read my article at: http://cuteinadress.wordpress.com/
I hope you enjoy my story as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Regards to all my sisters, Leah
To Blake and SCC
I was on a Scholarship this year. I want to think you For the wonderful experience i had this year. I learned a lot and meet a lot of great people. I look forward to getting more involved next year. I will no dough be back next year. I not great at writhing emails so sorry. I had a great time. I would like to see more for guys. I’m the market place nothing. I also thought that their should be more for the partners as well. I want to get more into thing next year. I had a great experience and want to keep making SCC full of trans man.
Thank you so much,
Hi JoAnn and Blake,
Can’t thank you enough again for all your help with the conference. It was terrific from our end. The seminar I gave was actually a highlight for me. The attendees were engaged and interested, and we had a terrific conversation about legal developments around transgender rights. I don’t have any particular feedback in terms of things to do differently, but I did want to take a moment to just tell you how impressed I was with the conference, and how much I enjoyed being there.Thank you!
As another firsttimer and newbie I would also like to say a big THANK YOU to all the staff and volunteers at this years SCC. I had a tremendous experience and a wonderful time.I met many people and found all to be very friendly. Normally I’m shy till I get to know people, but it was hard to be that at SCC, if I was by myself a staff member would say Hi and talk, the vendors where terrific, friendly and outgoing, the instructors where the same and very experienced on thier subjects. Plus the friendliness of other attendees was great. I can’t wait for next year.It’s wonderful to be able to meet people who care so much about othersAgain
want to thank all of the volunteers who put this incredible conference together. I work in the commercial A/V industry, and as such I am constantly working these types of events. This rivals in quality all of the events where they have large paid staff’s putting them together. As a girl who took her first steps out of the closet just 4 months ago, I was both nervous and excited about attending. That event was one of the greatest experiences of my life. What amazing fun I had, as well as a wealth of valuable information as I start this journey. It was an experience I will never forget, and look forward to repeating next year.
Kudos on another successful conference! You were great…everywhere for everyone all the time…tireless and a bright beacon. Are you now the sole chair?
I cast my 25 votes for Chaz last night, hoping they’ll get him through another week of being in front of millions of people. Whether he stays or not, he’s done our family a world of good through his humble, honest & kind visibility.
Will you please do two things for me, Keystone and the transman population of our region? You’ve already said yes to both…but I will keep pressing till it gets more solid! One is that you are coming back, and will help us with a good TM program…and the other is part and parcel of that: you’ll do all you can to help us get Chaz here.
I wanted to simply say thank you to all of the amazing men and women I met at SCC this year. As a first timer and a gg, I did not know what to expect. Every person I spoke to was so friendly and kind. Thank you welcoming me into your community. I am honored to be a member of such an amazing group of people.
I would like to thank you again for providing me the opportunity to attend SCC for the first time. I had a wonderful experience, one that I realize I have not fully processed yet.
I arrived at SCC on Wednesday and met my roommate. Despite the fact that she is TG and I am a GG, we had no issues whatsoever sharing a room. The experience has left me missing her terribly, but knowing that I have made a friend for life. I spoke to many people at SCC during seminars, in the lobby, in the elevators and during meals. Every person I spoke to was amazing. After explaining my interest in the community (I would like to become a LPC and work within the TG community), almost every person I met took the time to talk to me, shared his or her story and helped me to feel a part of the community. I wish I spoke to more FTM TGs, but that will have to wait for now. I learned so much, participated in many incredible seminars, was awed by Jenny Boylan and made some friends for whom I am truly grateful.
I cannot begin to express my gratitude to this community. Never in my life have I met people who were so accepting, so kind, so FUNNY and so overwhelmingly beautiful both inside and out. My experience at SCC is one that I will treasure. I hope that this year’s SCC was the first of many more years to come for me.
Thank you Blake.
Amy Di Gennaro
2011 SCC was an incredible event. It was efficiently run by the organizers and provided a superb variety of activities and sessions for its attendees.
The Organizational Committee deserves not a BRAVO but a BRAVISSIMO!!!
I thank you all for some unforgettable moments.
Best to all of you until we meet again next year.
Thank you Thank you Thank you so very much we enjoyed our selves and we would like to help next year because it was to much I saw so many things and heard so much good information. You have our help for next year god willen agian
Thanks so much,
Karen J Britton and Penny Markel
Our journey and A Tribute to Mr. Robert Eades & Southern Comfort Conference
After five years of friendship, prior to our getting together on December 11, 2008, my partner and I were just friends. I had admired my partner for such a long time, falling in love with that smile and that shy laughter. Never once knowing that she/he was transgendered individual struggling for a voice, for happiness; becoming a man is all he ever dreamed of. As a child he never thought he would be able to realize his dream of becoming complete and matching his mind and inner being with his outer shell. He had been in a lot of relationships where his partners never comprehended why he was struggling so much and initially encourage him to seek completion. But ended up not liking the end results and would question his sanity and motives.
In the summer of 2007, he was in a relationship with a girl who agreed to support him in his endeavors. When he started to make the transition and the hormones started to change him and make him go off spiral into a rollercoaster of emotions. His then girlfriend couldn’t take the changes and began to seek refuge in another woman’s arms. This nearly made him go over the edge and think that no one would accept him for him. At that time he was in Ireland for 3 months, from April 2008 until July 2008. In October of 2008 my partner started Hormone replacement therapy, we spoke on occasion and I learned of his Diagnosis of GID (gender identity disorder) and stated that I would be interested in learning more about it.
On a phone conversation I also stated that I would like to get to know him better and that I would not have a problem with the transition. This idea of my being so open to learning and accepting him, even before we became as one I believe intrigued him. His candidacy allowed me to slowly educate myself with what he had been going through and also what he was going through at that time being new to HRT (hormone replacement therapy). On December 11, 2008, he asked if I would be interesting in sharing a life with him, growing and learning together. I gladly accepted to be part of his journey and we began forming a bond and a relationship filled with open honesty and complete disclosure. Two months to the date we were engaged and have been engaged now for three years 5 months 3 days.
Being from VA and my partner being from GA, it became more difficult for us to be apart for long periods of time. So collectively, we decided to move in with each other, which meant that my children and I moved to GA Friday the 19 day of June 2009. On June 25, 2009; we ventured out to Hollywood Florida, for his top surgery. He then had a six week long recovery, were I didn’t allow him to do much and even took over caring for a client he had been taking care of and doing heavy lifting. I wanted his healing to be successful and without complication.
Prior to top surgery and my moving to GA, In May of 2009 my partner and I visited his gynecologist for his annual pap-smear, which was very painful for him, a week later he received a call from his doctor’s office informing him that his test results had come back and their where abnormal findings and requested that he come back for another examination, which he dreaded, to confirm the results. One month later he returned in the company of his sister for a second exam. The test results again returned abnormal. My partner was diagnosed with Cervical Dysplasia, which refers to abnormal changes in the cells on the surface of the cervix that are seen underneath a microscope called a colposcopy. A Colposcopy is a medical diagnostic procedure to examine an illuminated, magnified view of the cervix and the tissues of the vagina and vulva. Many premalignant lesions and malignant lesions on these areas have discernible characteristics which can be detected through this examination. It is done using a colposcope, which provides an enlarged view of the areas, allowing the colposcopist to visually distinguish normal from abnormal appearing tissue and take directed biopsies for further pathological examination. If left untreated, Cervical Dysplasia can and eventually will turn into cancer. My partner ended up having CIN II, there are three categories CIN I, CIN II and CIN III.
Considering that the Cervical Dysplasia he had was severe they then wanted to do a cone biopsy, which is another painful procedure to try and remove the cancer cells from his cervix. He put the procedure off due to insufficient funds and decided to go for his top surgery which would be financed unlike at the hospital for the cone biopsy.
In September of 2009, my partner and I attended our very first Southern Comfort Conference where we met some very important and caring individuals. We learned about Mr. Robert Eads and his battle with ovarian cancer. I refused to let my fiancé become a statistic and started doing research as to how we could get him treated. Individuals at SCC gave us the names of other organizations such as The feminist clinic and other organizations that might be able to help us to finance any procedures my fiancé would need. Further discussing the possible life threatening disease with my partner we decided to pursue obtaining the Total Laparoscopic Radical hysterectomy instead of all the other painful procedures. Ultimately the goal would be to have the hysterectomy, order to proceed with his transition. I then made it my priority to research services and eventually was able to prove the urgency of his disease to the hospital where his gynecologist preforms surgeries and was able to have his whole procedure covered by the hospital, including the anesthesiologist 100%. Any other post op services would also be covered for six months after the procedure. The gynecologist also helped usout and gaveus a 50% discount. Instead of billing us $3000.00 we ended up paying $1500.00. We were able to schedule the surgery for June of 2009. Without Mr. Robert Eads sacrifice, we would not have voices today. No one would know of the travesty, the injustice done to this man causing him to lose his life, way too soon. Thank You Mr. Robert Eads and Southern Comfort Conference for your all that you do and continue to do for the LGB”T”Q. Your staff and board members have been such a blessing to us. Thank you for making us strong and helping us to find it in ourselves to fight. Thank you because now I am able to enjoy life with my wonderful man, today he is healthy and transitioning wonderfully. Thank you for keeping us laughing and smiling, thank you for smiling with us Robert Eads….forever family, forever loved.