First Event online registration will close Friday, January 16 at 11:59 pm. After that you must register in person at the conference. After online registration closes, evening meals and entertainment may be sold out since we must give the hotel numbers before the conference begins. Thursday evening is likely to be sold out. If you want to guarantee that you can come to any one of the evening events you must preregister online. If you decide to walk in and pay at the conference, evening events, if available, will be $70 each. Register now online and they are only $60. Click here for the First Event Registration Page.
Join us again this month on Saturday, January 10, at the Randolph Country Club for dancing and fun. RCC, 44 Mazzeo Drive, Randolph, is an trans-friendly alternative club. GPS users beware, the club is behind an unrelated building with loading docks and is not quite visible from the road. As usual, we open TCNE in Waltham starting around 6:00 until 7:30 pm for those who want to dress or car pool. Then we meet at RCC in Randolph to dance the night away until the 2:00 am closing. There is also karaoke and an outdoor patio with pool when it is warm out. The “Friends of RCC” group also meets there that night, so come and make new friends!
The monthly TG Discussion Group with Brenda Thompson scheduled for Thursday, January 8 has been cancelled. The next meeting will be in February.
Dr. & Mrs. Mark Zukowski and family are presenting two community scholarships in memory of Jessica Garabedian, patient, friend, business woman, musician and longtime fixture in the Boston transgender community, who passed away unexpectedly March 20, 2014.
These two awards will go to deserving trans folk who are musicians, since Jessica was perhaps best known for her rock band, Temptress.
The scholarship awards are unrestricted grants. If you are a musician or music student in the transgender community, submit the form on the First Event website to apply for one of the $500 awards. Applications must be submitted prior to January 21, 2015. Decisions will be made by Dr. Zukowski and awards will be presented on Friday night during the Fashion Show.
First Event will present two Community Service Awards on Thursday, January 22, 2015. Each year the conference recognizes one or more who have made outstanding contributions to the transgender community. In 2015, Community Service Awards will be presented to Jennifer Levi and John Warrener.
“We are so pleased to be able to recognize these two who have done so much for our transgender community over so many years,” said Grace Stevens, Co-Chair of First Event 2015. “The diversity of our awards this year, going to a lawyer and a retailer, shows the range of services instrumental to transgender journeys.”
Jennifer Levi is the director of the GLAD Transgender Rights Project and a nationally recognized expert on transgender legal issues. She co-edited Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy, the first book to address legal issues facing transgender people in the family law context and provide practitioners the tools to effectively represent transgender clients. Jennifer has served as counsel in a number of precedent-setting cases establishing basic rights for transgender people, including: O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue which established that medical care relating to gender transition qualifies as a medical deduction for federal income tax purposes; Doe v. Yunits, in which she represented a transgender student denied the right to attend school because of the clothing she wore; and Adams v. Bureau of Prisons, which successfully challenged a federal prison policy excluding medical care for transgender inmates who came into the system without a transition-related medical plan, among many others. She also has worked on a number of high profile family law cases including the Miller-Jenkins case establishing full parental rights for a Vermont civil union spouse and cases in Connecticut and Massachusetts that established the right of same-sex couples to marry. See GLAD.org for more information.
John Warrener opened one of the first transgender oriented web sites in 1996. It soon grew to include a brick and mortar store in Auburn, Massachusetts and eventually expanded to include a Glamour Boutique in Las Vegas and Studio City, CA. For decades, Glamour Boutique has been the go-to resource for transgender women requiring cross dressing advice, clothing and services, especially those new to the community. In 2007 he sold the GlamourBoutique.com web site and after a five year non-compete opened a second online vendor in 2012, TGFashions.com. From shoes to wigs, John has supplied generations of transwomen both locally and nationally, and has been responsible for developing many unique new product lines. His retail store is still located in Auburn, MA. For more history see TGFashions.com/about-us.
To celebrate our new venue at the Westin Waltham-Boston Hotel, there will be a House Warming Concert in the four-story atrium and main bar on Wednesday evening. Join us early in 2015 for a wonderful evening if music and conversation. This event is open to the public. Read more.
This Sunday, December 20, 2014, our very own Lida Mullendore will be participating in the American Rotational Women’s Division NE Regional final (pool tournament), which will be live streamed at:
She qualified with an 11-0 record and may well be up against some former pros as she is advancing through the tournament. We all wish her luck and perhaps she might be in a match that is streamed.
On Saturday, December 20, 2014, Tiffany Club will hold our annual Holiday Party from 7:00 to 11:00 pm. Aster will be there with her harp plus traditional recorded Christmas music. The optional Yankee Gift Swap has a $15 limit. There will be lots of food and deserts, along with coffee and all of your favorite beverages. Wear that party dress that you have been saving for that special occasion!
Alot has happened on the healthcare front for the transgender community in recent times. For those who’s gender journey includes surgery, Massachusetts now has laws in place requiring insurance companies to include transgender coverage (see more at the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition medical FAQ).
For general health coverage, financial assistance is available for those in the LGBT community who need it so that they can get healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Please see this open letter from Mara Keisling, the National Center for Transgender Education, Executive Director, for more information:
Yesterday was the start of open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Since the Affordable Care Act launched, over 7 million people have gotten covered in the Marketplace. But accessing affordable health care remains a major issue for LGBT people-1 in 3 are uninsured and much more likely than the non-LGBT population to be in the lowest income bracket.
Financial assistance is available to those who cannot afford insurance. In fact, an estimated 900,000 LGBT people may be eligible for financial assistance under Obamacare.
To see what type of financial assistance you may qualify for, visit HealthCare.gov today.
Even if you enrolled last year, we encourage you to revisit the Marketplace to explore new options. You may still be eligible for a cheaper plan during this enrollment period.
Despite the skepticism some people may have about Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act has opened doors for new coverage options, banned discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, and has led countless numbers of LGBT families toward financial security.
Learn more about the Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov
National Center for Transgender Equality
I am me bursting and cannot hold it in any longer!
Before I tell you about Thursday, I really want to encourage everyone to get to the hotel on Wednesday evening as we will be celebrating First Event’s new home for 2015 with some entertainment. Starting around 8:00 pm right in front of the amazing atrium window, we will be entertained by my friends, Lori Diamond and Fred Abatelli. LoriDiamond.net has all info on Lori & Fred’s music – please enjoy, we hope to make the first night of First Event very special this year!
On Thursday January 22, 2015, you will start your day enjoying the Day of Wellness and Beauty. This has become a huge hit for the attendees as a variety of service providers provide services and consultations to help you in so many ways. Of course, Tiffany’s Closet will be in full swing with not just clothing. We will also have fashion consultants to help you select the best outfits that work just for you. And of course Julie will be there with her sewing machine to alter whatever you may need. This can all prepare you for Thursday evening and out Night on the Town.
Once again, on Thursday night we will be awarding our 2015 Community Service Awards. We are so excited and know that you will be too about this year’s honorees, who we shall name shortly (and yes, they already know who they are!)
Starting at 5:00 pm, the buses will arrive at the Westin hotel and your night begins as we bring you right into the center of Boston, to Club Cafe. As you arrive, there will be hors d’oeuvre served, so mingle and find your old friends or meet new ones. After the last buses arrive there will be a fabulous buffet dinner as we have the run of the cafe (which is closed to the public until 8:00 pm when we all move tot he back room to start the awards ceremonies, followed by the fabulous Peter Mac as he brings us both Judy Garland (click your heels three times) and Liza Minnelli (direct from the Kit Kat club) to entertain us all.
When the show is over, we will move back into the front room while the back room is transformed into Club Cafe’s regular dance club with DJ. There is also more entertainment in the Club’s Napoleon room up front.
You are also right in the middle of Boston where there are many other clubs that you can easily walk to. Club Cafe is open until 2:00 am in the morning and we will be providing buses to bring you home until the wee hours so you can truly have and make you very own Night on the Town!
However there is a little bad news. The number of tickets we have available for this is limited. Everyone who has already registered for the full conference or the Thursday Evening event is already in. At this point there are less than 100 tickets left for this fabulous Night on the Town, and I am certain that this night will sell out well before the conference starts. If I was a betting girl, I would wager we will be sold out before the end of this year. I encourage you to get on line NOW and make your Registration for First Event 2014, book your hotel rooms, and get here on Wednesday and enjoy everything First Event has to offer you!
..and now I can breathe again.
First Event Co-Chair