September 7, 2006
A Safe House for the Girl Within
By PENELOPE GREEN
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 those pre-Judith Butler, pre-Phil Donahue 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, might 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.
Decades later, when Robert Swope, a gentle punk rocker turned furniture dealer, 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.
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I figure Bob found the article about someone different from him, to be interesting and felt like sharing it.
Am I close?
I didn't get the idea the point here was to show a difference.
Just to show that Crossdressing Males can be described in a very intellectual, positive manner which doesn't feed stereotypes and derision.
Thanks for the clip.
I found it interesting in an historical manner.
I like the fact that the writer seems to keep her personal feelings out of the story.
oops! I just saw the more.... at the end of the article.
Guess I have some more reading to do...
Maybe that illustrates the void between crossdressers/transvestites and the (individual) aims of folk here. Modern day CD/TV tend to 'stick out' like the proverbial thumb (unless they're particularly good at passing), because they wear styles/clothes from a different generation (the one depicted, for example!). The TS (or TV?) person who lives in the next street always dresses (quite smartly) in what can only be described as '50's 'maiden aunt'. Bearing in mind, a height of 6' 3" too, in today's world, that's going to (& does) attract attention, fortunately more of curiosity (or confusion!). Which is fine, of course! Their life, their choice. But still looking (in Joe Public's eyes) like a 'man in drag' despite all that.........
It doesn't 'help' those of us who just want to substitute a skirt for tr*users, although (as many here have found) it's surprising how few people do actually notice the understated knee length denim or ankle length cargo skirt (for example) if you 'ignore' the fact you're wearing it! Such reaction I've had (from my wife's best friend, say) has been along the lines of "That looks really macho!" Which is nice..........!
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I agree wholeheartedly with Lar on this one. I've passed on seeing the "rest" of articles posted here many times because I didn't want to add more cookies to my cookie box by joining these sites. Plus they DO ask some very personal questions that really are none of their business.
Bob, I really appreciate you finding these articles for us, but I do agree also with Lar that you could give us the entire articles without sending us off on internet odysseys to find the rest of the informations.
Story of Life, Perspire, Expire, Funeral Pyre!I've been skirted part time since 1972 and full time since 2005. http://skirts4men.myfreeforum.org/
It's based on a book: