Photo above: courtesy Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
For the fourth year, Greater Fort Lauderdale will host the longest-running transgender conference in the United States, the Southern Comfort Transgender Conference, from Aug. 15-17.
The event will welcome hundreds of attendees for a series of workshops, seminars and networking events hosted at the Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Stacy Ritter, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, said, “We look forward to welcoming Southern Comfort Transgender Conference organizers and attendees to our progressive destination, where diversity is in our DNA.”
Ritter continued, “We proactively look for ways to reach the transgender community and are glad to partner with this important annual event which has built a reputation as a safe place for LGBT+ people with a familial atmosphere and an aim at inclusiveness.”
Conference activities include legal and medical presentations, as well as sessions on family, relationships, sexuality and much more.
During the conference, participants will have the chance to experience Greater Fort Lauderdale’s natural scenery, nightlife and dining.
Richard Gray, senior vice-president of diversity & inclusion of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, noted that, “Greater Fort Lauderdale celebrates and embraces diversity and inclusion every day, and we are very proud to support such an empowering and educational conference. The Southern Comfort Transgender Conference is a safe space to explore and celebrate the gender spectrum.”
The annual event attracts people from all over the United States, offering the opportunity for education and social interaction.
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau has been proactively targeting and welcoming LGBT+ travellers since 1996, when it became the first Convention & Visitors Bureau with a gay-centric vacation planner and dedicated website on a CVB homepage.
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 travellers.
On Jan. 9, 2017, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau launched a new global marketing and advertising campaign featuring transgender models, making it the word’s first destination to use transgender models in mainstream destination advertising. The campaign, which also features straight, gay and lesbian models, follows the destinations long and storied history in LGBTQ marketing.
The destination now welcomes 1.5 million LGBT+ travellers annually, spending $1.5 billion. It also features one of the largest Pride Centers in the country, the first and only World AIDS Museum and Education Center, and is home to the Stonewall National Museum & Archives, one of the only permanent spaces in the US devoted to exhibitions relating to LGBT+ history and culture.
Most recently, Greater Fort Lauderdale opened the area’s first LGBT+ Visitors Center in Wilton Manors.
For more information on LGBT+ travel in Greater Fort Lauderdale, go to www.sunny.org/lgbt.