Photo Of The Day

Virginia Prince, far left in the above photo, was a pioneer in the trans movement. A guest at Chevalier d’Eon for the first time in 1961, she wrote about it in Transvestia magazine, hoping to reach out to the fearful: “Here we were, 15 otherwise normal active men living and dressing like women, and very happy and comfortable we were too. It wasn’t a ‘show,’ a special ‘situation’ or even a ‘Party.’ We were like any bunch of women who had gone on a weekend trip to some resort.”

Virginia Prince, far left in the above photo, was a pioneer in the trans movement. A guest at Chevalier d’Eon for the first time in 1961, she wrote about it in Transvestia magazine, hoping to reach out to the fearful: “Here we were, 15 otherwise normal active men living and dressing like women, and very happy and comfortable we were too. It wasn’t a ‘show,’ a special ‘situation’ or even a ‘Party.’ We were like any bunch of women who had gone on a weekend trip to some resort.”

Casa Susanna

Private Birthday Party

There was a pilot and a businessman, an accountant, a librarian and a pharmacologist. There was a newspaper publisher, and a court translator. By day, they were the men in the gray flannel suits, but on the weekends, they were Felicity, Cynthia, Gail, Sandy, Fiona, Virginia and Susanna. It was the dawn of the 1960’s, yet they wore their late 50’s fashions with awkward pride: the white gloves, the demure dresses and low heels, the stiff wigs. Many were married with children, or soon would be. In the days, when gender was more tightly tethered to biology, these men’s “gender migrations,” or “gender dysphoria,” as the sociologists began to call cross-dressing; it may have cost them their marriages, their jobs, their freedom.

And so they kept their feminine selves hidden, except for weekends at Casa Susanna, a slightly run-down bungalow camp in Hunter, N.Y., that was the only place where they could feel at home.

Casa Susanna, a modest Catskills resort popular in the 1950s and ’60s, catered to a very particular clientele: men who spent their summer holidays dressed as women. Many of them were married; all, reportedly, heterosexual. But for a few days at Casa Susanna, they could put on party dresses, pearls, heels, and bouffant wigs and be proper ladies. No one but the participants would have known about this cross-dresser’s paradise had not a cache of more than 300 snapshots taken at the resort turned up at a New York flea market some years back.

The photos document the secret lives of men dressing as women and who are, perhaps, in flight from conforming to roles traditionally considered “manly — breadwinning for their families, making repairs around the house — even if just for a weekend.

Their dressing isn’t so they can be with other girls and play bridge, their dressing is to lose the male role. ‘I don’t have to take the car in. I’m freed from having all the answers. I’m freed from being the breadwinner.’ It’s to take on the female — they call it ‘the girl within.’ It’s to become this idealized female. It’s all the pleasures and none of the pain [of being a woman], because it’s a fantasy. It has nothing to do with being a real woman — except that some of these men went on to become women.

Through these wonderfully intimate shots—perhaps never intended to see the light of day outside the sanctum of the “house”—Susanna and her gorgeous friends styled era-specific fashion shows and dress-up Christmas and tea parties. As gloriously primped as these documentary snaps are, it is in the more private and intimate life at Casa Susanna, where the girls sweep the front porch, cook, knit, play Scrabble, relax at the nearby lake and, of course, dress for the occasion, that the stunning insight to a very private club becomes nothing less than brilliant and awe inspiring in its pre-glam, pre-drag-pose ordinariness and nascent preening and posturing in new identities. It is not glamour for the stage but for each other, like other women who dress up to spend time with friends, flaunting their own sense of style. There is an evident pleasure of being here, at Casa Susanna, that is a liberation, a simplification of the conflicts inherent in a double life.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope. At Casa Susanna, guests could indulge their wildest domestic urges: to play Scrabble in a dress, to trade makeup tips, and to take lots and lots of pictures.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope. At Casa Susanna, guests could indulge their wildest domestic urges: to play Scrabble in a dress, to trade makeup tips, and to take lots and lots of pictures.

The photographs are charming relics—pictures of well-dressed women gathered around a dinner table or posing together in the living room. They might have come from the scrapbook of a suburban country-club matron, a woman whose stylish friends had fur stoles, nice handbags, and good jewellery. Some of these gals are on the homely side, and far from petite, but they all made an effort.

Although there are a number of images of the Susanna clique dressed and made-up as if for a nightclub, there’s little drag-queen flash here; cosy domesticity is the rule, if only because there weren’t many places they wouldn‘t have been thrown out of. One can only imagine the lives these men led outside this private getaway, but there‘s a sense of freedom and camaraderie here that was very likely unique in their experience. Included among the snapshots are a number of photographic Christmas cards that they could only have sent to one another. One includes a full-length portrait of a tall blond standing in front of a Christmas tree in a sleeveless black sheath, black opera-length gloves, and black pumps, signed “Gloria ’65.” He may have been George in a parallel life, but he still takes a great fashion photo.

The photos are of the men dressed in a variety of typical midcentury looks: the demure housewife, the giddy girl in curlers, the sexy seductress ready for a date. The photos are notable because they are not garish or bawdy; these are not drag queens, simply men enjoying the freedom to explore sides of themselves normally locked up tight.

Susanna Valenti hosted Casa Susanna with his wife, Marie, who ran a wig shop on Fifth Avenue and acted as a house mother of sorts, providing tips on makeup and cooking meals.

Many of the men who came to Casa Susanna had wives or girlfriends at home, and others felt comfortable enough to bring their spouses or girlfriends with them.

The photos reveal an unassuming world where women share secrets, meals and card games. That so many photos were taken, and how relaxed the men appear, shows that the level of comfort at the retreat was extremely high.

When we think of places where drag and ballroom culture has thrived, cities like New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. spring to mind — but many don’t realize that there was a vibrant community in the Midwest during the ‘50s and ‘60s.

In the early 1960s small groups of cross-dressers were meeting clandestinely on the East and West coasts of the United States. In Los Angeles they gathered in the living room of early activist Virginia Prince. In New York they drove to the Catskills with the trunks of their cars filled with female attire.

Casa Susanna was a semi-dilapidated resort complex in Hunter, New York; it was purchased by Marie Valenti, who owned a wig shop in Manhattan and was the second wife of a Cuban-American cross-dresser named—you guessed it—Susanna. Susanna’s male name was Tito. Guests would arrive in suits and ties but would soon change into cocktail dresses and sweater sets to begin a weekend as the women most of them wished they were.

One of those cross-dressers was a young person who called herself Andrea Susan. Thanks to an older group member named Dick, who bought her an enlarger and photo developing equipment, she was the group’s official photographer. Andrea took formal and informal pictures of the attendees, singly and in groups, and developed them at her home in Westchester County.

Because they provided instant gratification and didn’t require frightened

Cross-dressers to rely on professional developers who might out them or call the police, Polaroid’s instant cameras were popular with Casa Susanna’s temporary residents. Andrea was even more popular. Her photographs were of far higher quality than Polaroid’s and besides, she was family. Unlike the clerk at the corner drugstore, she could be trusted with images that, if seen by the wrong people, could destroy lives.

Andrea dutifully turned over the negatives to her mentor—but when he married a disapproving movie star he threw his prints and negatives into his garbage can. Someone obviously picked them up, for they surfaced decades later in a bin at a Manhattan flea market, When Robert Swope, “a gentle punk rocker turned furniture dealer,” came across more than one hundred images of women who appeared to have male bodies, he was transfixed.

He knew nothing about their stories, or Casa Susanna, beyond the obvious: here was a group of men dressed as women, beautiful and homely, posting with gravity, happiness, and in some cases outright joy. They were playing cards, eating dinner, having a laugh. They didn’t look campy, like drag queens vamping it up as Diana Ross or Cher; they looked like small-town parishioners, like the lady next door, or your aunt in Connecticut.

Swope bought every photo he could find.

When Swope, came across their pictures — a hundred or so snapshots and three photo albums in a box at the 26th Street flea market in Manhattan — he knew nothing about their stories, or Casa Susanna, beyond the obvious: here was a group of men dressed as women, beautiful and homely, posing with gravity, happiness and in some cases outright joy. They were playing cards, eating dinner, having a laugh. They didn’t look campy, like drag queens vamping it up as Diana Ross or Cher; they looked like small-town parishioners, like the lady next door, or your aunt in Connecticut.

Mr. Swope was stunned by the pictures and began to learn the story of Casa Susanna, first called the Chevalier d’Eon resort, for an infamous 18th-century cross-dresser and spy, and they have come to know some of its survivors.

“At first, I didn’t want to know more,” Mr. Swope said. “I didn’t want to find out that the stories turned out to be tragedies.”

Former Casa Susanna guests have been slowly drawn out, and it turns out that their stories, like most, have equal measures of tragic and comic endings. Some are still being told.

Casa Susanna was owned by Susanna herself — the court translator, otherwise known as Tito Valenti — and Valenti’s wife, Marie, who conveniently ran a wig store on Fifth Avenue and was happy to provide makeover lessons and to cook for the weekend guests. It was a place of cultivated normalcy, where Felicity, Cynthia, Gail, Fiona and the others were free to indulge their radical urges to play Scrabble in a dress, trade makeup tips or walk in heels in the light of day.

These men had one foot in the mainstream and the other in the margins; it’s fascinating by that position and their paradox, which is that the strict gender roles of the time were both the source of their anxiety and pain, and also the key to escaping that pain.

The images are sticking because of their ordinariness. You think of man dressed as woman and you think extremes: its kabuki, Elizabethan theatre, Lady Macbeth, It’s also sexual. But these aren’t sexual photos. The idea that they formed a secret society just to be … ordinary. It’s like a mirror held up to convention. It’s not what you would expect. It’s also not pathetic. Everybody looks so happy.

At first, Casa Susanna was a thrilling place, said Sandy, a divorced businessman, “because whatever your secret fantasies were you were meeting other people who had similar ones and you realized, ‘I might be different but I’m not crazy.’ ” Now living in the Northeast, he hasn’t cross-dressed for decades, and asked that his identifying details be veiled. He was a graduate student in 1960, he said, living in New York and visiting Casa Susanna on the weekends.

“It was the most remarkable release of pressure, and it meant the world to me then,” he said. “I’d grown up in a very conventional family. I had the desire to marry, to have the house, the car, the dog. And I eventually did. But at that point there were all these conflicting desires that had no focal points. I didn’t know where I fit.”

Sandy remembers one weekend sharing a cabin with another man and his girlfriend. “She obviously accepted the situation with him for better or worse,” Sandy began. “Anyway, I didn’t get dressed until later in the day, and when I did, the girlfriend was just coming down the stairs. ‘Oh my,’ she said, ‘you certainly have made a change. I have to tell you, I much preferred the person who got out of the car.’ And with that she reached under my dress and groped me. She said, ‘It’s a shame to have all that locked up in there.’ In one sense, it was titillating, in another, depressing. And yet in another way, it put a finger on the issue.”

Casa Susanna was a testing ground for many. Katherine Cummings, who went by Fiona at Casa Susanna, was born John Cummings in Scotland 81 years ago. Now living in Sydney, she has been a transsexual for more than 20 years, as well as a librarian and an editor. When she was 28, she took a post-doctoral degree in Toronto, and spent her weekends at Casa Susanna, the first place, she said, where she could dress openly. In her 1992 memoir, “Katherine’s Diary,” she writes hilariously about a late October weekend, shivering in the cold bungalows, and accepting a ride from the main house down to the cabin she had been assigned with a burly man in slipshod makeup and a slapped-on wig. She turned to the back seat and froze: there lay a nightstick, handcuffs and other police paraphernalia. Turns out her chauffeur was the sheriff of a small New Jersey town.

The resort catered to hunters as well, Ms. Cummings said, and sometimes there was overlap. “Libby, who was very beautiful, was also Lee, who was a very macho person. And one day the hunters were there and so were we and they all had a great time discussing rifles.”

Mostly the guests talked and talked. “They talked about fashion, and passing, and how and if they’d told their wives or girlfriends,” said Ms. Cummings, who is divorced and has three daughters. “In those days we didn’t know where we were going.”

They had parties, and even a convention of sorts, one Halloween in 1962, that drew cross-dressers from all over the country, as well as a few psychologists from the Kinsey Institute. Led by the irascible pharmacologist Virginia Prince, who made them their own magazine, Transvestia, for which Susanna was a columnist dispensing exhortatory advice and tips on deportment and makeup, many of them formed a loose collective that decades later grew into a not-so-secret society called Tri-Ess (a k a the Society for the Second Self).

“I remember the first morning we all arrived,” Ms. Prince said, “and all these, let’s just call them people, descended on the bathrooms and you see all these folks in their nighties and kimonos and so forth standing around shaving. It was a very amusing sight. Beards tend to grow. I had mine removed years ago.”

Ms. Prince became known as the founder of the transgender movement, and wrote copiously on the subject for science and sex research journals and conferences, irritating more than a few Casa Susanna graduates, who weren’t comfortable with the politicizing of their issues, or the strict categories she created. Born male (and still biologically male), she has been living as a woman for the past 40 years. At 94, she’s no longer allowed to drive, but she leads the Lollies (“little old ladies like me,” she said the other day) at her California retirement home in a study group (they’re covering astronomy this month) and drives a red scooter.

“I invented gender,” she said proudly. “Though if the ladies here find out I’m a biological man I’m a dead duck.”

Of Susanna herself, the trail ends with her last column for Transvestia in 1970, when she, like Virginia, announced her plans to live henceforth as a woman.

Many of the photos in the AGO’s collection are attributed to “Unknown American.” There are several linked to Andrea Susan. Michael Gilbert, a York University professor who researches gender theory, says his late friend, who cross-dressed as Andrea Susan, took photos at the resort and developed them on site in a darkroom, because of the paranoia and fear that would come from handing them over to a stranger.

Many of the photos in the AGO’s collection are attributed to “Unknown American.” There are several linked to Andrea Susan. Michael Gilbert, a York University professor who researches gender theory, says his late friend, who cross-dressed as Andrea Susan, took photos at the resort and developed them on site in a darkroom, because of the paranoia and fear that would come from handing them over to a stranger.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope.

Susanna Valenti, the co-owner of the resort, wrote an advice column for Transvestia magazine. In 1969, she wrote that she had lost the “fabulous thrill” of the two identities and was going to live as Susanna full-time. It was one of her final columns, after which “we lose track of Susanna altogether,” curator Sophie Hackett says.

Susanna Valenti, the co-owner of the resort, wrote an advice column for Transvestia magazine. In 1969, she wrote that she had lost the “fabulous thrill” of the two identities and was going to live as Susanna full-time. It was one of her final columns, after which “we lose track of Susanna altogether,” curator Sophie Hackett says.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope. In 1966, Darrell Raynor published A Year Among the Girls, which describes Raynor’s time at the inn. “If there was a place where transvestite friendships were made and sealed it was at this resort.”

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope. “You can almost feel their pleasure at being who they are,” says Gilbert, 70, noting how it felt the first time he went to a gender diversity conference, dressed in a skirt and top, and walked outside in 1995. “I had to sit down on the bench and breathe deeply to keep from bursting into tears. Then of course, the next question is why can’t I do this whenever I want to? Who does it hurt? It doesn’t hurt anybody, and that’s the sadness.”

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope.

From Casa Susanna, a collection of found photographs edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope.

Casa Susanna, located in Hunter, New York, was a getaway for heterosexual transvestites in the mid-1950s and 1960s. Founded by Susanna, aka Tito Valenti, the resort embraced men who dressed like women, providing a safe haven for the exploration of gender roles in a time when it was not common to do so.

Casa Susanna, located in Hunter, New York, was a getaway for heterosexual transvestites in the mid-1950s and 1960s. Founded by Susanna, aka Tito Valenti, the resort embraced men who dressed like women, providing a safe haven for the exploration of gender roles in a time when it was not common to do so.

Virginia Prince founded Transvestia magazine in 1960, and was prosecuted in 1961 for distributing obscene materials in the mail. In the late 1960s, she began living as a woman full-time. Michael Gilbert, the York professor and a lifelong cross-dresser who has the alter ego of Miqqi Alicia, calls her “the grandmother of us all.” Prince was very encouraging to others, but as she got older, she became very opinionated and alienated some people, he says. “In those days she was the only game in town.” Prince died in 2009.

Virginia Prince founded Transvestia magazine in 1960, and was prosecuted in 1961 for distributing obscene materials in the mail. In the late 1960s, she began living as a woman full-time. Michael Gilbert, the York professor and a lifelong cross-dresser who has the alter ego of Miqqi Alicia, calls her “the grandmother of us all.” Prince was very encouraging to others, but as she got older, she became very opinionated and alienated some people, he says. “In those days she was the only game in town.” Prince died in 2009.

Photos of Casa Susanna from the upcoming AGO exhibition, Outsiders: American Photography and Film, 1950s - 1980s for Katie Daubs story. Story folder Fea-lifeinfocus-susanna

Photos of Casa Susanna. Some pictures had notes scrawled on the back — “Do you like my hair like this or like that?” They are an amazing record of trans community in the becoming,” she says. “They are typical snapshots on the one hand — there they are on the front porch, there they are at a picnic, or at the diving board. But then you kind of realize how exceptional they are as well, just for the subject matter alone.”

Younger generations of gay men and women aren't especially surprised when someone comes out of the closet. But as recently as the late 1970s, police routinely raided gay bars, rousting its patrons with trumped-up charges. Kansas City was among the U.S. municipalities where laws against cross-dressing or dancing in public with someone of the same sex allowed authorities to slap gay people with costly fines and humiliating exposure. (Newspapers often listed names and charges.)

Younger generations of gay men and women aren’t especially surprised when someone comes out of the closet. But as recently as the late 1970s, police routinely raided gay bars, rousting its patrons with trumped-up charges. Kansas City was among the U.S. municipalities where laws against cross-dressing or dancing in public with someone of the same sex allowed authorities to slap gay people with costly fines and humiliating exposure. (Newspapers often listed names and charges.)

Private Birthday Party is a collection of found photographic slides that depict Kansas City’s drag culture throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Photo credit: Casa Susanna.

Private Birthday Party is a collection of found photographic slides that depict Kansas City’s drag culture throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Photo credit: Casa Susanna.

Photo: Private Birthday Party.

Photo: Private Birthday Party. Casa Susanna was a haven for cross-dressers, away from a world that didn’t understand the peace that came from trading in masculine clothing for bouffant hairdos and simple day dresses.

Jewel Box Lounge, Kansas City... 1948-1982, Known for its "femme mimic" performers in the late 50s and 60s, Jewel Box Lounge on Troost Avenue was the place in the Midwest to see local and nationally-recognized female impersonators like Rae Bourbon and Skip Arnold perform their comic diatribes and singular renditions of popular songs from the time. Sandwiched between the Cat Baleau and the Yum Yum Club (a house of burlesque and strip club, respectively, all owned and run by John Tuccillo), Jewel Box Lounge welcomed audiences of all kinds. Heterosexuals and "homophiles" (or homosexuals) came together here to drink, smoke, mingle, and share a laugh. Throughout the 50s, the Lounge survived bans on crossdressing and police raids on gay bars, part of a local and national effort to crack down on the "homophile problem" during the Eisenhower years. The Lounge remained at Troost until 1972, when it moved to 31st and Main Street--coinciding with a general shift in drag performance trends from cabaret song-styling to lip-syncing. The Jewel Box Lounge closed its doors for good on Saturday, March 6, 1982 with a final performance by the legendary Sandy Kay. The name “Private Birthday Party” comes from when these events were largely underground.They used to put a sign on the door that said “Private Birthday Party” on Saturday afternoons so they could have tea parties, which was a dance party, because at the time same-sex dancing was illegal. The police would occasionally break up these events and harass everyone, so they would keep them under wraps most of the time. It’s also interesting to note that the Mafia owned and operated The Jewel Box, which was the main club back then.

Jewel Box Lounge, Kansas City… 1948-1982.  

The Jewel Box Lounge Known for its “femme mimic” performers in the late 50s and 60s, Jewel Box Lounge on Troost Avenue was the place in the Midwest to see local and nationally-recognized female impersonators like Rae Bourbon and Skip Arnold perform their comic diatribes and singular renditions of popular songs from the time. Sandwiched between the Cat Baleau and the Yum Yum Club (a house of burlesque and strip club, respectively, all owned and run by John Tuccillo), Jewel Box Lounge welcomed audiences of all kinds. Heterosexuals and “homophiles” (or homosexuals) came together here to drink, smoke, mingle, and share a laugh. Throughout the 50s, the Lounge survived bans on crossdressing and police raids on gay bars, part of a local and national effort to crack down on the “homophile problem” during the Eisenhower years. The Lounge remained at Troost until 1972, when it moved to 31st and Main Street–coinciding with a general shift in drag performance trends from cabaret song-styling to lip-syncing. The Jewel Box Lounge closed its doors for good on Saturday, March 6, 1982 with a final performance by the legendary Sandy Kay. The name “Private Birthday Party” comes from when these events were largely underground.They used to put a sign on the door that said “Private Birthday Party” on Saturday afternoons so they could have tea parties, which was a dance party, because at the time same-sex dancing was illegal. The police would occasionally break up these events and harass everyone, so they would keep them under wraps most of the time. It’s also interesting to note that the Mafia owned and operated The Jewel Box, which was the main club back then.

Gloria: Gloria was a Midwestern steel magnate who owned a Polaroid camera, a prized possession because “the results are instantaneous and transvestites cannot wait one minute longer than necessary to be shown just how beautiful they are,” .. “The other reason for their popularity is the need to hide one’s oddness from the world.”

Katherine: Katherine Cummings is a transgender rights advocate from Australia. She visited Casa Susanna as a 28-year-old student, then living in Toronto. Like several of the cross-dressing community who went to the resort, she later had gender-confirming surgery. In an article for Polare magazine, she called it “the first place where I could walk around openly in daylight, confident that anyone I met could be engaged in conversation without the need for subterfuge about my underlying sex …”

“Scene: The porch in the main house at our resort in the Catskill Mountains,” Susanna writes in a snippet from one of her early columns, courtesy of Mr. Hill’s research, and trimmed a bit. “The time: About 4 o’clock in the morning as Labour Day is ready to awaken in the distant darkness. The cast: Four girls just making small talk. … It’s dark in the porch; just a row of lights illuminate part of the property at intervals — perhaps a bit chilly at 2,400 feet. … An occasional flame lighting a cigarette throws a glow on feminine faces — just a weekend at the resort, hours in which we know ourselves a little better by seeing our image reflected in new colors and a new perspective through the lives of new friends.”

In the end, the photos made at Casa Susanna, gender is a quality that’s so undefined and personal for everyone, gay or straight, it’s maybe a way of validating an identity, a part–time life that was perhaps more real, than their lives away from Casa Susanna.

All the images seen here were discovered about a decade ago at a Manhattan flea market by an antiques dealer, Robert Swope, and the collection was later published in the book, Casa Susanna. Today, the photographs are all that remain of Susanna — once called the Chevalier d’Eon, after an 18th-century cross dresser and spy.

Video: Casa Susanna – Transvestite Ranch

Book: Casa Susanna

Jewel Box Lounge, Kansas City…

Casa Susanna: Photographs From a 1950s Transvestite …

Inside the Secret World of Casa Susanna | AnOther

Casa Susanna: Charming casual pix of a cross-dressers …

Casa Susanna’ Documents Secret 1950’s Cross-Dressing …

 


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  • metalnwood

    The first picture, third across from the left, the brunette. They have an uncanny resemblance to someone we all know.

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