Southern Comfort Conference Shuts Down

I first encountered the Southern Comfort Conference when it was being held at a hotel in the Buckhead area in 1999, and returned a year later to not only attend it but take part in an NTAC board meeting we held while we were in the ATL for it.

The last time I attended it was in 2004, and it saddened and shocked me to hear that this year’s 2016 edition of the Southern Comfort Conference that was held in Fort Lauderdale was the last one.

Here’s the announcement from the SCC board.

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Dear SCTC family,

It is with a heavy heart that we must announce that 2016 was the last The Southern Comfort Transgender Conference (SCTC) as you have known it for the past 26 years.

What most of you don’t know is that we, the Southern Comfort Board of Directors (both current and a couple of past members), have been involved in a five year lawsuitthat only recently concluded. Please don’t ask. As part of the settlement, we cannot discuss it at all.

Suffice it to say that it was a five year nightmare that completely handcuffed the BOD. Some have wondered why there were no new people brought onto the board. Now you know. Anyone that would have joined the BOD would have become unnecessarily involved in the litigation.

Fortunately, we did have liability insurance and that covered the legal fees of the case. However, as a result of being in a five year lawsuit, we were dropped by our insurance company (though they were obligated to continue until the lawsuit was resolved, which they did). Subsequently, SCTC had to find a new insurance policy. Only two companies would even offer a policy to us. Our premium went from $1300.00/year with no deductible to $11,000.00/year with a $25,000.00 deductible.

We just can’t afford this and, this lawsuit proved that we (the current BOD) simply cannot afford to run the conference without insurance. Had we not had the insurance policy, we would have been personally liable.

There is talk amongst a couple of the BOD to try to reorganize SCTC into something very new. Please continue your Facebook and Yahoo group presence to stay informed; any future updates on any plans will be posted to keep you informed. Otherwise, any money that is left in our account, which is being held in escrow by our attorney, will be donated to a worthy trans organization.

We’re sorry to bring you this sad news right before the holidays, but you deserve to know what’s going on.

It has been our extreme honor to serve you all throughout the years and we wish you all the best!

With love,
Your SCC/SCTC Board of Directors:
Shanti Keshavi devi dasi (Stefanie Schumacher)
Alexis Dee
Christy Anderson
Phyllis McCall

***

It’s sad when our community loses an event like this, and makes the ones still remaining like Colorado Gold Rush, Fantasia Fair,  the Philly Trans Health Conference, and the Black Trans Advocacy Conference. Those trans themed events are needed and necessary for us to build community and meet your other trans siblings you may not get a chance to meet otherwise.

Those conferences with the demise of SCC, are even more precious to us and necessary to support and I hope you’ll do that in 2017 and beyond.

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