Wednesday, June 14, 2023

A Little Herstory

Darrell G. Raynor
A Year Among the Girls
by Darrell G. Raynor was the first book about transvestism that I ever encountered. 

One day in the summer of 1968, I was perusing the paperback racks at Bradlees when I spotted the book in the non-fiction section. Holy Moley – a book about my secret hobby! I had to buy it and read it, but I was too embarrassed to do take the book to the cashier and returned home without the book.

For the next 24 hours, all I did was think about the book and the next day, I returned to Bradlees determined to purchase the book and damn the torpedoes. I got the book from the rack and handed it to the cashier to ring it up. She glanced at the book, smirked and asked me for my money to complete the purchase.

I returned home, read the book from cover to cover and received an education about transvestism in the USA in the 1960’s. The book did not help me figure things out, but it did make me aware that there were more guys dressing as girls than I had originally suspected.

The book was such an eye-opener. Back then, there was next to no information available on the subject unless you frequented the right (wrong) bookstores or received mail wrapped in plain brown paper. So I was amazed that there were adult males dressing up and socializing as women!

Much of the book revolves around a resort in the Poconos where transvestites met to do their thing. The owner later sold that resort and purchased a large house in the Catskills that became the famous Casa Susanna.

The history of the book, its author and those getaway places in the Poconos and Catskills always fascinated me. So I was very happy to discover that Zagria recently covered the subject in detail in two installments of her blog, A Gender Variance Who’s Who. Click here and here to read parts I and II. 


Source: Boston Proper
Wearing Boston Proper

Modern Grandfather
Modern Grandfather


  1. AnonymousJune 14, 2023

    Thank You for posting "Modern Grandfather".

  2. AnonymousJune 14, 2023

    Speaking of Casa Susanna, the German/French channel Arte has a documentary about it tonight (14 Jun) at 10:05pm CET/4:05pm EDT. It will (most likely be in French or German)


  4. AnonymousJune 14, 2023

    She looks amazing.

  5. AnonymousJune 14, 2023

    As a teenager who turned 18 in 1965 there wasn't even a bookstore in my vast neighborhood that carried anything more risque than Playboy. The proprietor would even yell at the boys trying to peek at Playboy, "Get away from that!" Eventually, even Playboy ended up in a poly bag. At the local library there was no material on sex. "The Kinsey Report" was kept behind the checkout counter. People wonder why many of us thought of ourselves as __________ (fill in the blank).

  6. AnonymousJune 14, 2023

    My local PBS station's (KCTS9) channel guide has listed for June 27th @ 8:00 PM, "Casa Susanna." I have to assume the broadcast will be available on other PBS stations. The channel guide also has "Mama Bears" showing June 20th at 10:00 PM. "Mama Bears" is about supportive mothers of LGBTQ+ youth. I checked out its website and it is worth perusing. My personal interest, as a person who buys books for the local elementary school, is a comprehensive list of children's books supportive of diversity.

  7. AnonymousJune 14, 2023

    There is quite like exhilaration of suddenly knowing: 'you are not alone'.
    And later experiencing the banality of realizing 'nobody really cares-'.
    And a long comes Ron DeFascist...

  8. AnonymousJune 14, 2023

    Stana, yes I remember it was always hard to find information about trans gender people, as a matter of fact the word Transgender really didn’t even exist at the time

    Your experience buying the book brought back memories of one similar experience that I had, always on the lookout for anything about cross dressing or transsexuals, I was one day browsing in a small bookstore on Rammstein airbase and they’re on the rack was a book on “Gender deviance in men“ it was a book about transvestite and transsexuals, however it was written at an academic level by a professor really out of place on the bookshelf

    I like you went back at a opportune time avoided eye contact paid for the book and headed back to my dormitory room where I read the book under the guise of a Course I was taking and did not show the cover to anyone

    I devoured every page of that book and every word with focused energy, when I was done with the book I brought it down to the laundry area in the dormitory where other persons put books to share, the interesting thing is I went back about an hour later in the book had already been taken guess were not all that rare are we? Paula G

  9. As luck would have it, I stumbled into the back of a newsstand at 15th Street and New York Avenue, NW in Washington, DC back in the late 1950s. I saw they had "Confidential", a sleazy magazine that often had stories with photos of transvestites. When I wandered to the far back of the stand I found "Transvestia". Oh, my. Should I buy it? I finally told myself, "Nobody here knows me, so why not"? And that was the start of my CD/TG library.

  10. AnonymousJune 16, 2023

    When I was in High School, Chicago Magazine had an article about transvestites. Even though I'd crossdressed for several years, I was shocked. That weekend, when my parents were out, I dressed up as a girl and slowly read it. I felt so proud of myself for sitting in a chair reading about other girls while being dressed up as a girl myself. It was magical. LOL wish I could remember more about the article.

  11. As a science-fiction fan since my pre-teens, this is the first time I have learned of Donald Wollheim's connection to my other lifelong "hobby."

  12. AnonymousJuly 12, 2023

    I just watched Casa Susanna. I wish everyone would watch it on PBS, Especially people who really do not understand how we feel and who we are. I'll have to watch it again when I'm alone out of necessity, to protect my herself .
    đ“„đ“źđ“»đ“Ș 𝓱𝓼đ“Șđ“Œ

    1. AnonymousJuly 12, 2023

      alone because the subject is not allowed to be talked about in the home , so I understand that .