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Thread: Ever wonder what i was like to be a CD back in the 1950s or 1960s

  1. #26
    Member Geena75's Avatar
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    I have two clear images from the media in the late 60's, each had an effect on me. One was on the Carol Burnett Show -- they had a judging of who had the best legs, with just the nylon clad legs (finished with high heels) showing. Once the winner was chosen, they raised the curtain to reveal the contestants were all men! I secretly wished I were one of them and it locked my fascination with nylons.

    The other was a picture from a gay pride event of a bearded guy in ghastly make up wearing a pink ballerina dress. I was disgusted, and it scarred my imagination of wearing a dress for a long time. I still hesitate at the thought of wearing pink.

    That was my 1960's, encouragement and discouragement.

  2. #27
    Sunshine Gal AngelaYVR's Avatar
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    LOL Geena, my wife and I message each other with listings of ghastly pink dresses for sale on eBay and saying things like “you would look gorgeous in this!”

  3. #28
    Silver Member darla_g's Avatar
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    What really strikes me about crossdressing in the 60s is what a contrast it was. You could watch Flip Wilson conjuring Geraldine on one show or on Laugh-In. Crossdressers were always available for comic relief, but the reality was for the majority of people crossdressing was strictly forbidden or looked down upon. Whether this was a religious objection or just societal pressure it was not welcomed. Maybe its that Puritanical element that has always been present in American society? Contrast that with other Eastern cultures like Japan or Thailand where it was no big deal for a man to don female garb.

    I think in a lot of ways it has contributed to the lack of acceptance by women in a traditional relationship. That's a lot of repression to overcome. Crossdressers are not visible in American life today in any kind of role model capacity. If someone were "outed" there was shame associated with crossdressing. It really should be no big deal. There are improvements but we are not where we need to be in terms of acceptance.

  4. #29
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    Interesting topic. You may have a good point about why some women may be intolerant.

  5. #30
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    No need to wonder, there is quite a bit of literature from the trans world from back in the 1950s and 1960s that survives today and is freely available.

    Much of what people talk about today was talked about 70 years ago (especially issues with wives, which are the same back then as they are now.)

  6. #31
    Princess Candice candykowal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheryl T View Post
    No, I never wondered what it was like back then...
    That's because I lived it and don't need to wonder.
    ...You didn't speak about this to anyone or you would be ostracized. Drag Queens were the big item in the City and in the 60's Female Mimics were popular. There was derision and shame, guilt and fear of discovery.
    Yes, I don't need to wonder, I was there, I felt all those things. I feared discovery, I hid from everyone...

    I suppose I was lucky to have grown up when all boys had long hair, wore heels, and jewelry...a transitional years of Hippies and Disco dancers. Just before Metrosexual was coined. Change for me happened slowly, but more defined in the late 70's.
    As Cheryl mentioned, my mother knew all that history and made sure I wasn't discovered when I started living as a girl after we moved from the south.
    I never spoke about my condition to anyone or I could be laughed at or made fun of.
    If I went out in public anywhere, she was there to drop me off and pick me up. I never understood, but she new the history of being different in those times.
    I learned from my psychologist about gays, drag queens, queers, and she told me I was neither, just a person in transition.
    I never considered myself in the spectrum.
    I only new I had a history of medical issues that was dictating my change from a boy to a girl, and that change had a lot of positive perks.
    Candice Coleen Kowal ....all my friends call me Candy!

  7. #32
    Platinum Member Beverley Sims's Avatar
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    In the 50s and sixties you could be had up for carrying articles of disguise.

    Don't carry a wig and a dress in your satchel, let alone a bra and panties.

    I had support then and went on many forays with the girl next door and her parents.

    Never had proof but I think they were a bit weird.

    Like early hippies I think, just a little more liberated in their thinking.
    Work on your elegance,
    and beauty will follow.

  8. #33
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    I lived it!!
    I didn't know back then you could get in such trouble. I was out and about. I was stoped once and scared I would go to jail.

  9. #34
    Member MonicaPVD's Avatar
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    I shudder to think what it must have been like for anyone but the most privileged. Shame, ridicule, persecution, etc. No thank you.

  10. #35
    Silver Member Sometimes Steffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darla_g View Post
    What i found interesting is that Female Impersonators seemed to be quite popular dating back to the 1890s. So that was acceptable but god forbid someone showed up at the theater that way!
    Watch the movie Victor Victoria.

    It was about a woman impersonating a man impersonating a woman. Hard to explain.

    Random thought that might resonate with some of you.

    I think that a lot of the crossdressing on TV and in movies was a vestige of vaudeville.

    I remember trying to look up "transvestite" in the card catalog at the library. Never found anything.
    Couldn't ask for the librarian's help.

    As for getting clothes, you didn't really need the Internet; there was the Sears Catalog, that we all remember. It was like the Amazon of its day. Sears would still be thriving today if it didn't discontinue mail order just before online shopping came about.

    Playboy was pretty tame, although it did have some references to crossdressing, at least in the cartoons.

    I still remember Penthouse Forum. There were some great crossdressing stories in there. But, I always believed that they were stories written by the editor, not to the editor.

    As a teenager, a friend of a friend appeared to be gay. In particular, affected voice and mannerisms. I believed he logic that all transvites were gay. How could I be gay? I wasn't like him at all.

    My dad would have thrown me out of the house. My mom gave some indications that she maybe knew and might have accepted me. But, no way that I was going to have that version of "The Talk".

    After both my parents passed, I felt a little more free to crossdress. Then I only had to hide from my wife.
    Last edited by Sometimes Steffi; 01-31-2021 at 11:06 PM.
    Hi, I'm Steffi and I'm a crossdresser... And I accept and celebrate both sides of me. Or, maybe I'm gender fluid.

    Gender fluid (adj.) - Describes a person whose gender identity is not fixed. A person who is gender fluid may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders, but may feel [more] like one gender some days, and [more like] another gender other days.

    Ref: https://www.lgbthealtheducation.org/wp-content/uploads/LGBT-Glossary_March2016.pdf

  11. #36
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    I lived those days when it was against the law to wear clothing designed for the opposite sex. Never stopped me, as it was so wonderful to dress up. Rayon and satin undies, then nylon. Just heavenly! Then to discover Vanity Fair lingerie. How could we resist? In spite of laws forbidding it many of us did. And survived! Served our country in a manly way, feminely underdressed. Traveling coast to coast dressed as our sisters, knowing jail or worse waited around every curve. In my 80's now and still with the desire!

  12. #37
    Senior Member Pumped's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sometimes Steffi View Post

    As for getting clothes, you didn't really need the Internet; the was the Sears Catalog, that we all remember. It was like the Amazon of it's day. Sears would still be thriving today if it didn't discontinue mail order just before online shopping came about.

    I find it ironic that modern "mail order" or better known as the internet probably helped kill off Sears. They were the driving force behind mail order 100 years ago. Back a few years Sears upper management must have been wearing blinders to not dive into the internet and push e-mail order! They should have been larger than Amazon.

  13. #38
    Member Kiwi Primrose's Avatar
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    As Cheryl said "I was there". I was born in small town New Zealand in 1936. I was a real country boy with a love of books but also a good athlete. My hidden love was women's clothing and fashion but this was something I couldn't share with anybody.
    In those days any man dressing as a woman was committing a criminal offence and would be prosecuted and the fact publicised in newspapers. They would be considered "queer" and ostracised in society, especially their own community.
    My breakthrough came when I met the girl I would marry and found a sympathetic attitude that persists to this day.

  14. #39
    Junior Member KristyPa's Avatar
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    In the 60's I guess, we had the good ole Sears catalog to check out women's clothes even undergarments, so exciting. I never checked out guys cloths just women's. I dressed a little in the 60's in the house I really got into dressing around 1970.

    1990 was the first time out went out to a bar as Kristy in Pittsburgh. At the time I thought I was the only guy that dressed as a girl. When i went into the bar that night I met 3 other cd's.

    I feel even today cross dressing is still frowned upon by most people. It doesn't seem much different to me today than it did in 1990 when I first went out. One bar I went to in the early 90's refused me service because of my attire. I was dressed in a simple black skirt, top and blazer nothing considered wild or over the top at all.
    Last edited by KristyPa; 01-31-2021 at 08:33 AM.

  15. #40
    Exploring NEPA now Cheryl T's Avatar
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    I think the best part of the 60's and early 70's was having long hair.
    It was accepted and pretty standard. That certainly made dressing easier not needing to shop for a wig and being able to enjoy my own long hair. At that time is was half way down my back and full. I wish that were the case now.
    Wear what makes you feel Confident !

  16. #41
    Member Alexis00's Avatar
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    The movie “Some Like It Hot” was released in 1959. Two men who (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) witness a mob hit disguise themselves and go on tour with an all-female band. The singer is none other than Marilyn Monroe!

    Curtis and Lemmon have the hots for Monroe, but can?t do anything because girls. But a millionaire starts pursuing Daphne (Lemmon) and eventually proposes. He lists off all the reasons they can?t get married, but he is not dissuaded. Finally he pulls off his wig and announces, ?But I’m a man!?

    To which his suitor replies, “Well, nobody’s perfect!? A double entendre to boot.

    Very surprising plot and execution for the 50?s! Some of Monroe’s outfits and lingerie are to die for! Found the ending clip.

    Last edited by Alexis00; 01-31-2021 at 02:28 PM.

  17. #42
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    Henry III was a crossdresser



    It is being suggested that Joan of Arc wore mens clothes and in that time women were burned at the stake for dressing as men.

  18. #43
    Silver Member Sometimes Steffi's Avatar
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    I'd like to change my answer. Being a crossdresser in the 1950's was probably better than being a black slave in the 1850's, but not much better.

    [SIZE=1]- - - Updated - - -[/SIZE]

    Quote Originally Posted by lingerieLiz View Post
    It is being suggested that Joan of Arc wore men's clothes and in that time women were burned at the stake for dressing as men.
    Joan of Arc was in fact burned at the stake (according to Wikipedia).
    Hi, I'm Steffi and I'm a crossdresser... And I accept and celebrate both sides of me. Or, maybe I'm gender fluid.

    Gender fluid (adj.) - Describes a person whose gender identity is not fixed. A person who is gender fluid may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders, but may feel [more] like one gender some days, and [more like] another gender other days.

    Ref: https://www.lgbthealtheducation.org/wp-content/uploads/LGBT-Glossary_March2016.pdf

  19. #44
    Silver Member NancyTO's Avatar
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    Fashion wise is was great for CDs. As in 50's and early 60's women would commonly wear makeup and mainly dresses, hose and heels. Petticoats were common and bullet bras literally reaching their peak. Not too many females wearing slacks or pants. Big bouffant hairdo as well.
    If your not living on the edge, you're taking up too much room.

  20. #45
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    There is a great documentary on the Discovery+ streaming app called 'P.S. Burn After Reading.' I have really enjoyed it. It's very informative about the New York drag scene in the 50s and 60s.

  21. #46
    Aspiring Member SaraLin's Avatar
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    I don't have to wonder. I only have to remember.
    The memories aren't pleasant.

    Well - let me rephrase that a bit... The dressing part brings some pleasant memories, but discovery by the outside world was definitely unpleasant.
    It was a time of desperate need, abject fear, and self loathing - all wrapped up in one skinny little body.
    I don't miss it.

  22. #47
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Darla,
    Lets not forget crossdressing hit the scene big time in the late sixties with the new pop/rock bands and the hippy generation . My dressing was limlited to the closet in thiose days but I wore some very colourful clothes which some suggested were more effeminate . I liked my pink shirts and soft salmon pink sweaters and very flaired jeans and boots .
    The real me , no going back.

  23. #48
    Senior Member GretchenM's Avatar
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    Like so many others here, I lived it. I was 5 years old in 1950 and I began toying with my mother's clothes in 1951 or 1952. It was terrifying and the worst of it was that it felt so good and seemed so right. How can something so wonderful as being yourself be so terrifying? Goes to show how far we have come as well as how far we still need to go. There were some wonderful things about the 50's and 60's, but having a need to see yourself as the girl who seems to inhabit you was not one of them. And yet it was wonderful and quite beautiful emotionally.

  24. #49
    Silver Member darla_g's Avatar
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    The thing i find so totally fascinating is the transition from the 50s looks where everything is so "prissy" (meaning prim and proper, impeccably in place, neat)
    -to-
    the "Hippie" look which was so free form, eclectic, both modern and traditional

    Some people might find one era so much more appealing than another but what i find delicious is how "styles" evolve through the ages up into current times. No i don't think shoulder pads was ever a good look for everybody but especially NOT CDs.

  25. #50
    Aspiring Member jacques's Avatar
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    hello Darla,
    is it much different now?
    If you can pass you can pass; but if you are a "man in a dress" ...?
    stay healthy,
    luv J

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