Esprit Events Begin Sunday
180 expected at international transgender conference in PA
Friday May 9, 2008
Port Angeles -- Esprit, an annual transgender conference, will begin welcoming people on Sunday from all over the United States, as well as Canada and Europe, for a week of workshops, tours, shopping and dances.
The center of the conference, scheduled from Sunday through May 18, will be the Red Lion Hotel, 221 N. Lincoln St., but events also are scheduled throughout town.
About 180 people are expected at the annual conference that has been held in Port Angeles since 1990, said Claire Winter, secretary of Esprit.
The Port Angeles conference is unique among transgender events, she said.
"There are a lot of transgender conferences around the country, at least one every month," she said.
"Esprit is unique in that it is the only one that integrates into the community in which it's held."
The public is invited to a talent show from 8 p.m. to midnight next Friday at the Naval Elks Club, 131 E. First St.
"The talent show is really a lot of fun," Winter said. "We have a good band and a dance after that," with The Walrus band providing classic rock.
The public also is welcome at the Saturday Gala. Set from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Red Lion, with Free Rain performing, it's described as a "giant party" by Karen Williams, secretary of Esprit.
The theme this year will be the British Invasion, as in music from the '60s, with costumes and decorations to match, so that it is "authentic as possible."
$5 dollars a person
Both cost $5 a person. Money is donated to the Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County.
"We contribute every year to that charity," Williams said, adding that last year Esprit donated $1,800 to the group that provides free hospice services.
"We feel sensitive to people who are dying," she said, when asked why that was Esprit's chosen charity. "We're all going to end up somewhere sometime. We just have a sensitivity."
In addition to those two big events, The Nasty Habits band will play a couple of different venues in town.
"We have top-notch bands, and they have requested to come back," Winter said.
Conference participants can choose among a variety of classes in clothing, makeup and other topics and several tours.
They will tour Hurricane Ridge, take a trip on the Coho to Victoria for high tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel, join a walking tour of Port Angeles artwork and visit area wineries and shop in both Port Angeles and Port Townsend.
Most conferences stay in one hotel, Winter said.
"The biggest one is Southern Comfort in Atlanta," which draws nearly 1,000 people. "It fills up the hotel, but that's as far as it goes," she said.
"That's the thing that's very unique about Esprit...Port Angeles is incredible in how well they've embraced Esprit every year."
Things To Do
Wednesday May 14, 2008
[Webmistress' note: The Girls Night Out event takes place periodically in the Port Angeles downtown shopping district. This year, the sponsors extended an invitation to Esprit attendees to participate.]
Girls Night Out -- Downtown Port Angeles from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Chair massages, eyebrow waxing, mimosas, a bridal fashion show, trunk show, make-over, card making, chocolate fondue, chocolate-dipped strawberries, a chocolate fountain, a movie, health advice, drawings and refreshments. Sponsored by the Port Angeles Downtown Association
Esprit Carries The Hits
Thursday May 15, 2008
It's that time of year again!
Yes, it's time for the annual Esprit Convention in Port Angeles, which means the ladies of Nasty Habits are back in town on their home turf. That's right, the ladies think of Port Angeles as their home turf because their first gig was in Port Angeles several years ago.
These ladies know how to rock and have a good time while beltin' out the top 40 tunes of the '70s, '80s and '90s.
Tonight you'll find them at Castaways, 1213 Marine Drive, from 8 p.m. to midnight, $5 cover. Friday, check out the ladies at the new Lyres Club, 229 W. First St., from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. On Saturday, the Nasty Habits grace Steele's Sports Bar and Grill, 1605 E. Front St., from 9 p.m. t 1 a.m.
There will be a cover charge at all three venues, but well worth the extra bucks for this rockin' quintet.
Esprit's Public Events
Friday May 16, 2008
Port Angeles -- A talent show and a gala dance are open to the public this year at the annual Esprit transgender conference.
The conference, which has been held in Port Angeles since 1990, has been attended by about 180 people from all over the United States, as well as Canada and Europe, for a week of workshops, tours, shopping and dances.
It ends on Sunday.
The public is invited to a talent show from 8 p.m. to midnight tonight at the Elks Naval Club, 131 E. First St.
The public also is welcome at the Saturday gala.
Set from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Red Lion Hotel, 221 N. Lincoln St. with Free Rain performing, it's described as a "giant party" by Karen Williams, secretary of Esprit.
The theme this year will be the British Invasion, as in music from the '60s, with costumes and decorations to match. Both cost $5 per person. Money is donated to the Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County.
Esprit contributes each year to that charity. Last year, it donted $1,800 to the group that provides free hospice services.
Logging Town Welcomes Transgender Group
Saturday May 17, 2008
RAEANN HEWITT threw on a dress and drove 400 miles last weekend to Washington's Olympic Peninsula with an
ear-to-ear smile, starting a journey toward the person she feels she was meant to be. Now, learning to negotiate the art of the high heel with several others outside a Red Lion Hotel, she knows her escape will soon be over.
That's because she is really a he, an internal conflict that ultimately tore Hewitt's marriage apart. [more...]
[Webmistress' note: 2008 marked The Seattle Times' first visit to Esprit. The reporter and photographer were respectful, professional, and obtained permission from the subjects before taking photographs. The article and photographs were available on the AP wire and republished in several other papers. To give you an idea of the significance and size of this article, here's how it was presented in the Peninsula Daily News and Seattle Times.]