Q. What is Phi Epsilon Mu?
A. Phi Epsilon Mu is a Central Florida Social and Support Group for Transgender people uncertain of their place in the Transgender Community including Crossdressers, their Wives or Significant Others.
Q. What are the meetings like?
A. The group meets in the Orlando area. This is a location central to most members because it is handy to major transportation routes like the Florida Turnpike, I-4, etc. Meetings are the second Saturday of each month except when the group agrees to change the meeting. There is a private entrance to the meeting place from the parking lot without passing through the lobby for those who are shy. Meetings are from 4:30 PM until about 11:00 PM. Members and guests are expected to dress in tasteful attire and conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. Dressing en femme is encouraged. Most members arrive dressed, but there are facilities for those who wish to dress at the meeting. There is absolutely no problem for those who wish to arrive dressed. You can usually find parking just outside our meeting area, and while the hotel is often very full of tourists, we have never had a problem. Annual dues are $30 single and $45 a couple. There is a meeting fee of $12 per person. Wives and partners are welcome and are encouraged to attend. We regularly have wives and partners in attendance and they go out of their way to make others feel welcome. Since Florida has many seasonal visitors, attendance dips in the summer and increases during winter months. The meeting fee covers the cost of the meeting and changing rooms. Alcohol is not encouraged, and those driving home or going out en femme after the meeting are reminded to limit their intake. We socialize and enjoy each other's company, then hold a brief group meeting where we often discuss various topics. We do not get into chapter business per se; no lengthy arguments over bylaws. This is often a high point of our evening with much interesting discussion. Afterward, we normally break into two groups with the cross dressers meeting in one room and the wives and partners meeting in another. Support is available during these sessions or privately with more experienced members. Occasionally, we have a speaker (therapist, national gender personality) or vendor (wig, make-up, etc.). And the chapter library is usually available. Some members linger to the end while others leave for local clubs or attractions. We draw members regularly from all over Florida. In fact, members drive in from as far away as the Keys, Palm Beach, Venice, and Jacksonville. Many stay over in area motels and get together for breakfast (some en femme and others en drab) the next morning. Meetings are always tasteful and friendly.
Q. Does the group hold other activities?
A. Yes. On both Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons before a meeting, a group of members get together at an area restaurant for dinner. This is a totally public restaurant where those wishing to mingle with the real world can do so. The gender friendly management welcomes us and we have a great time. Many meetings have dressing themes such as red, white and blue colors for July, Christmas colors for December, etc. A monthly newsletter is sent to all members by email.
Q. I'm not sure if I'm hetero, homo or bi, TV, TG, TS, CD, etc. Am I welcome?
A. By all means. One of our goals is to help you find yourself. Many wives feel more comfortable coming if they are assured that their spouse is not going to a gay event. Some are offended by this policy but it is a fact that this is a real concern of wives, and our group needs to serve wives of transgendered people as well as the transgendered members. Clearly, as long as everyone who attends our meetings understands that our group is non-sexual and that this is not a place for sexual activity of any type, everyone is welcome.
Q. What about privacy and personal security?
A. We need some minimal information about you to join our group. But this information is held in total privacy. Our email list is totally private and is never sold or loaned. Before anyone is told exactly where meetings are held, someone from our group will conduct an interview in person or by phone to be sure that you are truly part of the gender community. This keeps out trouble makers or those who might violate our privacy. After that initial contact, you can use your femme name and femme address in all future correspondence and meetings. Believe me, we have all been where you are, and we are all concerned about privacy and security. You will have to agree to protect ours, too.
Q. How do I join?
A. To obtain more information about Phi Epsilon Mu :
Just fill in the Contact Details on the Contacts tab of this site and submit.
After an interview you will be given the option of joining the group. If you do, you will be sent a new member introduction package that includes a map of how to find the meetings, etc.
Q. I'm not a Florida resident. Can I visit your chapter meeting when I come to Florida?
A. Yes. Visiting sisters are always welcome. Please contact us for details.
Q. Tell me more.
A. Our group is not a secret society that meets in shame. Going to your first meeting is likely to be something you have approached very cautiously. Our meetings are very discreet and painless for new sisters. We avoid any activities that might be misunderstood. We have a lot of fun helping each other and our families to understand and cope.
This is the official FAQ sheet of Phi Epsilon Mu's Outreach Committee and may be freely cross-posted and reproduced.