Transvestia was written by its readers and I am fascinated by the first person accounts contained in the magazine. Reading them, I realize how some things never change. The women of that era had the same fears and emotions that we have today.
Their experiences differed from ours because in that era, society abhorred crossdressing. In most places, you could be arrested for crossdressing. As a result, women were very closeted and only the very brave went out among the civilian population.
In addition to the first person accounts, I absolutely adore the photos that accompany the stories.
This was the era in which I was developing as a young woman, so I have an affinity for the fashions that the women wear in the photos. They usually are in their "Sunday best" because they are photo shooting with film and likely will only take a few shots, which they will sneak on a roll containing innocuous family photos. Unless they had a darkroom, they had to take the film to a camera shop or drug store to be developed and printed. Therefore, they had to look presentable so as not to arouse the suspicion of any civilians handling the film.
By the way, I know one woman who built her own darkroom so she could shoot and print photos of her feminine self to heart's content. I'm sure she was not alone.
In honor of the woman of Transvestia, I am posting a selection of their photos here today and in the future. I hope you will find their images as wonderful as I do.
|Audrey from New Jersey, 1961|
|Ramblin' Barbara from Connecticut, 1961|
|Carolyn from California, 1961|
|Members of the Los Angeles "Hose and Heels Club," Carolyn, Nancy, Catheryn and Joan, 1961|
|Catheryn mobile in California, 1961|
|Dee Ann from Ohio, 1961|
|Smokin' Doreen from Massachusetts, 1961|
|Gail from New York, 1961|
|Gloria and her twin sister from Pennsylvania, 1961|
|Jane from Kansas, 1961 (Is that her military portrait hanging on the wall?)|
|Louise from Ohio, 1961|
|Marilyn from California, 1961|
|Another California girl, Mary, 1961|
|New York's Susanna of Casa Susanna fame, 1961|
|Transvestia cover girl, Terry, 1961|
|Vicki from New York, 1961|
|The Rocky Twins, Leif and Paal Roschberg, circa 1928|