Title and statement of responsibility area
Fantasia Fair collection
General material designation
- Moving images
- Textual record
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
1981, 1991-1998 (Creation)
- Fantasia Fair
Physical description area
27 videocassettes : analog, VHS; Betacam
Title proper of publisher's series
Parallel titles of publisher's series
Other title information of publisher's series
Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
Note on publisher's series
Archival description area
Name of creator
Beginning in 1975, Fantasia Fair is a week-long trans* conference held every October in Provincetown, Massachusetts. It provides a safe space for cross-dressers, transgender and gender questioning people to experiment with their gender identities and presentations, to interact with their communities, and to advocate for their rights. It is attended by a diverse audience of trans men and women, cross-dressers, and genderqueer people of every sexual orientation.
The conference began as an initiative of the nonprofit Outreach Institute for Gender Studies, and was founded by Ari Kane, Betty-Ann Lind, Betsy Shaw, Linda Franklin, and other members of the Cherrystone Club, a transgender support group in Boston. The founders began working with heterosexual cross-dressers to debut the event, but was it was envisioned as a place where transgender people could learn about themselves and feel less isolated by a discriminatory society. It was promoted through flyers, brochures to past participants, ads and articles in publications, by staff members in speaking engagements, and by word of mouth.
The second annual Fantasia Fair, in 1976, offered events such as fashion and beauty courses, a fashion show, awards banquet, film festival, feminization and a course for the wives and girlfriends of trans* participants in order to foster healthy relationships and understanding between partners. Following years included workshops on “femme comportment”, femininity awards (since retired), potluck dinners, community building, and pronoun usage and gender change. In recent years, seminars, workshops and talks have addressed political struggles such as hate crimes by the federal government, gendered washrooms, self-defense, and medical aspects of transitioning.
In 2000, nonprofit Real Life Experiences was founded to serve as the parent nonprofit of Fantasia Fair, whose stewardship was transferred in 2001.
Cassettes were donated in March 2021 by Ari Kane--founder of Fantasia Fair--via Dallas Denny, Fair Director of several years.
Scope and content
The collection consists of 26 VHS cassettes and 1 Betacam cassette, documenting several years of the Fantasia Fair trans* conference in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Video primarily documents the Fashion Shows and Follies, held at the end of the conference. Footage also includes seminars, luncheon speakers, Outreach Institute awards banquets, video titled “Our Gal Jane”, and exhibit at Berta Walker Gallery by Helen Strong. Two cassettes include pages of time stamps and notes regarding performances.
Immediate source of acquisition
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Generated finding aid
Part of the Transgender Archive.
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
- Kane, Ari, 1936- (Subject)
- Swin, Rikki, 1947- (Subject)
Genre access points
Description record identifier
Rules or conventions
Level of detail
Dates of creation, revision and deletion
Language of description
Script of description
Digital content metadata