Casa Susanna was a secret resort for gender non-conformists in the 1960s

Originally published at: Casa Susanna was a secret resort for gender non-conformists in the 1960s | Boing Boing


Truly cool and amazing to think this existed.

(Please link the forum to the article.)


Happy and content is certainly what I’d get from the pictures. Who doesn’t want to be happy?

Imagine being so incensed that someone is doing something, that harms no one but makes them happy, that you must go out of your way to also make them unhappy.


I was raised religious. I remember that.

It’s the most pathetic thing in the world. Letting your generalized disgust guide your morality.

I figured out as a teenager I can’t be a good christian and a good person simultaneously. The whole ethical framework of christianity is anti-humanist, and I care a lot more about the people around me’s wellbeing than I do about the feelings of some infinitely powerful being with no articulable need for us to act or think in any given way.


I have no idea where I first heard it, but I’ve heard it many many times since and have used it myself:

“If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married!”

My inlaws are extremely anti-alternate lifestyle. When my one niece came out, it was a scandal. Still is, but it’s talked about a lot less. At this rate, in 20 years or so, they’ll accept it. I don’t get it…she’s happy, isn’t that what you want?


“NO. We want her to be happy our way. Otherwise it doesn’t count.”


Maybe the problem was that you were around bad Christians who insisted they were good? Some Quakers were LGBTQ+ affirming in the 1950s, they based this view on biblical texts, and were part of the campaign to make gay sex legal in the UK. Now they are reliable allies with only a minority rejecting this view.

I don’t believe in a god, but I am not going to turn away an ally just because they do and some other arsehole is giving them a bad name.


It outrages them that “those people” even exist. They don’t even care about religion, they just use it as a crutch to justify their bigotry.

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There are those of us who want to make the world a better place for everyone and those who either don’t give a shit about others or worse want those of us they don’t like for whatever reason suffer. If we turn down help, love, and support from those who do just want the make the world better because of some arbitrary differences, we’re not going to get very far. Are they working to make things better and are they living and letting live? Fantastic! Or they being assholes? Terrible!


This article about Casa Susanna is very heart warming to me, especially knowing that this happened at a time where drag and gender disphoria were practically unheard of. It also makes me happy knowing that times have changed enough that it’s gained a lot of acceptance.

I’m glad these people had a place they could call their own and could really be themselves.


That’s not quite right. Such as…

or books that explore the urban gay subculture prior to the Cold War such as:

The “closet” was a byproduct of the Cold War, Chancey argues in that book.



It was in Jewett, NY, which puts it just basically one mountain over from the summer camp I worked at through my teen years- a decade after Casa Susanna closed. Which, in related gender-nonconforming upstate NY-ness, the documentary “Marwencol” was filmed nearby, in Kingston, NY (my hometown). The subject of the documentary was violently assaulted after revealing he was a cross-dresser. To my shock, a high-school friend of mine was one of the perpetrators of that assault.

(It really freaked me out when I learned that last bit- the documentary just flashes some faces on screen and doesn’t focus on the perpetrators, but that flash was enough to send me digging to confirm someone I hadn’t thought about in twenty years was an absolute fucking bastard and I didn’t know it)


There was an episode of the TV show Transparent in which Jeffrey Tambor’s character attends a similar retreat in a flashback, I’m guessing this place was the real-life inspiration for that episode.


:heavy_check_mark: wonderful things


You joke, but I have heard that almost verbatim. It’s sad.


How cool.


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