There is a place at the end of the rainbow where a welcome mat extends to all lifestyles, ages, sexes, body types and beliefs. Come as you are or as you want to be. Provincetown, Massachusetts, or as some lovingly call it, PTown, is that special place.
As the annals of LGBTQ life unfold, it can be said that this quaint village at the tip of Cape Cod has always played a significant role in the evolution of our community. Most are surprised to learn that it was the first destination of Pilgrims to the New World, where freedom was etched in the Mayflower Compact. And has that freedom ever flourished! Today, Provincetown represents the roots for a new kind of family tree, a modern version whose limbs of diversity and free expression are the source of celebration.
It is a tribute to Ptown that the exuberance and energy associated with awakenings, lifestyles and even fetishes of many types are commonplace. Where else will you hear at official town meetings that local leaders are so happy that Ptown Bear Week is about to happen? Leather style is still in vogue on Commercial Street, where special events and everyday cruising aren’t relegated to dark corners (although there too) but, in the midst of mingling with decked-out same sex wedding caravans, gym, leather, geek or drag guys, transgender individuals, spiritual and sporty women, and all of our wonderful varieties and where straight day-trippers get close and personal to the action.
Leather and lace can be found in many wardrobes and honored at special events. If you are shopping for that rubber, leather or feather, you will find it in one of many boutiques catering to residents and visitors alike. If leather is a favorite lifestyle, lather up your straps and gear during Mates Leather Weekend, Mr. New England Leather, Snowbound Leather and the granddaddy of them all, Provincetown Bear Week, where leather may not be exclusive, but many a leather hat and chaps can be seen.
Fantasia Fair is a weeklong celebration of gender diversity and the longest running annual conference in the transgender world. Part conference, part social gathering, the Fair is a “full immersion” experience, meaning that attendees can and usually do spend an entire week 24/7 presenting their gender as they wish. The Fair grows in its scope, character and assistance to the gender explorer. Fantasia Fair continues to be the leading annual program promoting a gender-variant individual’s ability to thrive in real-life situations.
A strong and vibrant Lesbian community is integrated into the fabric of all things Ptown, including the wild and zany shows featuring top-flight comedians and stage artists. Celebrate with Women’s Week, Girl Splash, Women of Color and Allies, among others. Of course, the famous Provincetown Carnival Week bares it all in stride with one the biggest dress up days of the summer for men and women in all of New England.
One of the great chapters in our history is being written with the recognition of same sex couple marriages. It is Provincetown where one of the first marriages was performed by the town clerk and since then, from the elaborate to casual, wedding ceremonies have dotted the Ptown love calendar. Of course, with such an event, the hint of fetish styling is always around the corner or in many of the town’s famous haunts or night venues. Ongoing, where such solemn services are being performed, some gatherings are more outrageous and provocative, such as “Fag Bash,” an alternative dance club, theme nights at the town’s discos where hot men or on-fire performance artists sizzle, popular underwear nights and a boozy gathering called “Church,” popular with the townies who tell the tales of local lore and snap up current gossip. Yes, this is stodgy New England, uncovered or hidden, depending on your perspective.
There is a place where conditions aren’t placed by society on acceptance of LGBTQ lifestyles. It is a community where dreams come true, secrets are unveiled, pride is released and fetishes are unleashed. It’s time you give your lifestyle a vacation in Provincetown, America’s First Destination.