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In The South

TRAVEL: Fort Lauderdale ‘raises the bar’ for Trans travellers

Besi Besemar January 1, 2016

Fort Lauderdale, the holiday playground destination for LGBTQ people in Broward County, Florida, enjoys an average 246 days of sunshine a year.

Southern Comfort Conference Delegates at Fort Lauderdale, 2015
Southern Comfort Conference Delegates at Fort Lauderdale, 2015

In 2015 Greater Fort Lauderdale raised the bar for trans inclusion, launching a historic transgender initiative with the largest and first-ever Transgender Travel Survey.

The initiative accompanied the arrival in Fort Lauderdale of one of the premier Transgender Conferences in the USA.

Southern Comfort, started in Atlanta in 1991, returning there every year till 2014 when they announced the annual conference was moving to Fort Lauderdale in the sunshine state of Florida, from 2015.

Following this year’s¬†hugely successful conference from September 29 – October 3, in Fort Lauderdale, the¬†Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau have produced a video emphasising the importance of the ‘T’ in LGBTQ to the city.

Richard Gray
Richard Gray

Richard Gray, managing director of the LGBTQ market for Fort Lauderdale, said: “I want transgender travellers to be like all travellers, free to be themselves, free to be accepted and most of all welcome and safe in greater Fort Lauderdale. Whether you are here to stay or here to play, you can go all OUT in Greater Fort Lauderdale.”

Fort Lauderdale has a unique history supporting LGBTQ equality. Broward County was one of the first counties in the US to pass a human rights ordinance barring discrimination based on sexual orientation and has been electing openly LGBTQ individuals to office since 1988. Broward also protects LGBTQ residents and visitors by law, barring discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in employment, housing, and lodging, and also provides domestic partnerships and health benefits to same-sex couples.

In 2014, Greater Fort Lauderdale welcomed 1.2 million LGBTQ visitors, who spent $1.4 billion!

The city¬†boasts 150 LGBTQ-owned businesses, many¬†LGBT-friendly luxury hotels, resorts and superior small lodging properties and is home to¬†six LGBTQ publications: HotSpots Magazine, South Florida Gay News, Gir(L), She Mag, Genre Latino Magazine, Guy Magazine, the Florida Agenda, and one of America’s largest Metropolitan Community Church congregations, The Sunshine Cathedral.

The Gayborhood of Wilton Manors offers a unique shopping centre, and an abundance of LGBTQ and LGBTQ-friendly businesses and resources including the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), the Pride Center at Equality Park as well as being home to the Stonewall National Museum & Archives, which houses the largest circulating LGBTQ book and film program in the US.

Annual LGBT events include PrideFest, BeachBear Weekend, Stonewall Parade and Street Festival, and Wicked Manors.

Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale

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