Hi, everyone! This is Dr. Liz and I am coming at you today with a wrap-up video from the conference I recently attended, Southwest Love Fest. So for those of you all who are not familiar with Southwest Love Fest, it is kind of smaller, newer conference that takes place in Tucson, Arizona and it is definitely one of my favorite new conferences.
I go to a lot of different conferences and a lot of places that are oriented towards various different audiences and Southwest Love Fest just really felt like a gathering of friends. It felt like home. It felt very comfortable. It was really well-organized. They had great panels and great presenters. They were a lot of folks who I had never seen before at different conferences I’ve been to so it was nice to like meet a bunch of new folks. And they had plenty of time for you to relax between classes, during meals, and fun activities in the evenings.
At Southwest Love Fest, I presented a panel on the ethics of working with non-monogamous clients and we had some really great questions in the room from folks who are either looking into going to therapy themselves or becoming providers themselves and it was great to talk with folks about their concerns and what they are worried about as they move into this field. Being a non-monogamous person who works in the same communities that I did in, it brings up a lot of unique challenges and I would probably do a separate video on that sometime soon.
Another great thing about Southwest Love Fest was that they had a really amazing vendor hall. And in fact, these earrings are from those vendors. They had great jewelry, fun, witchy stuff. They had books. They had leather goods, all kind of different things that you can look at and get your hands into and it was supporting a lot of small businesses, a lot of local folks who are queer or non-binary and it was just lovely to support somewhere in the community.
At Southwest Love Fest, I was really happy to be representing #Open. #Open is a new dating app and I’m super into it. I’m one of their new community ambassadors. And it’s an app that is all about helping folks find what’s right for them and it has got a lot of flexibility. I’m doing a review app or a review video on #Open so if it’s not a really app already out, look for that coming up soon.
But #Open is definitely my new favorite place if I’m looking for online dating to experiment with and to play with and to find new folks. #Open was very, very generous. They sponsored my trip there which made it so that I can actually go to this conference and enjoy myself rather than panicking about money the whole time that I was there. And I appreciate any kind of business that supports the folks who are doing this work.
At Southwest Love Fest, I think one of my favorite or two of my favorite things were the evening entertainments. So one night, they had a really phenomenal talent show and you never know when something is called a talent show like how stuff is going to come out like sometimes talent shows are great and sometimes like it’s just nice to see that people have things they do in their free time. But this talent show was spectacular. They had some really amazing performances by people of all different kinds of arts, from burlesque to contortionism to acroyoga to spanking demonstration and it was really fun seeing all the different kinds of activities and hobbies and other relative performance and expression that folks at the conference get into.
The other thing I really love was the dance party that they had. They had dance party on Saturday night and it was so much fun. First of all, the DJ was amazing. They played phenomenal music, so many great favorites, and they had a ton of go-go dancers who were all like trans and non-binary folks. And it was amazing seeing a dance space that was so centering of queer folks that made so much space for folks like me who are non-binary and who often feel unseen in a lot of those kinds of spaces.
And overall, the conference did a really good job of working on inclusion and diversity and centering of marginalized voices. So many other conferences related to sex and sexuality or to non-monogamy are just a sea of white folks and very much centering the voices of white people. But Southwest Love Fest in particular made sure that they focused on centering the voices of those who are often not heard as much. So overall, just a really wonderful experience. I’m so glad that I got to go and I’m excited to go next year and I’m hoping that more of you will join me there.
With that done, with the Southwest Love Fest wrap video done, I do want to encourage all of you to check out #Open. It’s available in both the iPhone and Android app stores. You can find their website at HashtagOpen.com. So that’s HashtagOpen.com and find out more about what they are doing there.
And I’m excited to be making more videos for you all. Something that I have coming up that is probably going to be live before this video goes out is I’m starting a Patreon. The work that I do is really wonderful work and I love getting to interact with folks from all different kinds of backgrounds, do coaching and therapy work with them, put on classes, do these kinds of videos to create resources that are available for people of all different budgets whether you got nothing that you can spend on education or you could spend several hundred dollars, I want to make sure that there’s something available to help you out.
So this Patreon is going to help me continue doing that work. I am hoping that this Patreon can help fund even more spots for folks who are facing financial difficulties or who can’t afford my rates for coaching and therapy work so that I can make sure to help even more people in our communities who really need this help.
I’ll put a link to the Patreon in the description below and I’m hoping that you will come and join me as a patron. Patrons will get benefits ranging from access to uptakes in these videos, behind the scenes footage, and also, some special talks, one-on-one – well, not one-on-one but group-on-one with me. It will be like an educational gangbang and I’m at the center just like I like it.
I’m really hoping that I will see more of you all soon. And if you ever have any topics you want me to cover in a video, please feel free to comment it here or to send it to me on Twitter or in my email and I will happily cover that for you in the future.
But for right now, I’m hoping to see you all at Southwest Love Fest and up on my Patreon page very soon. Bye everyone!