Susanna Valenti

Susanna and her wife Marie owned two Catskill Mountain resorts that, on certain weekend, allowed transgender women to live in their gender of choice, Chevalier d’Éon Resort and Casa Susanna.

This quote is from Susanna’s long-running Transvestia column, “Susanna Says,” which ran for ten years from Vol. I, No. 2, March 1960 to Vol. XI, No. 61, 1970. 

“Susanna Says” 

by Susanna Valenti

And what kind of living do I engage in?  Take my two-week vacation as an 

example.  I actually worked harder than my brother does at the office.  I made beds, I vacuumed, I cooked, I set the table, I handled children, I washes dishes, I did laundry, I ironed, sewed…and even went visiting newly acquired non-TV friends who do not know (and I am determined they will never know). 

I did a lot of thinking; I enjoy doing all these things because I am a woman…and my name is Susanna…men really don’t enjoy doing these things…and pretty soon I was thinking of men as THEY…I had mentally crossed the dividing line.  I was doing what I had always felt I should have been doing all my life…quite happy with the limitations imposed on me as a woman…  No doubt some people would say that I have turned into a transsexual.  I don’t think so.  Operation?  Phooey!  I don’t want sex, I want femininity.  [Amen- Ed.]

Then it dawned on me: people will easily accept you and get used to being with you – as a woman- if they don’t see the man around.  What confuses them is the repeated switching back and forth.  Confusing to them – damaging and confusing to your own self.  Constant swinging to and fro from him to her, back and forth, keeps you off balance.  It is not restful.  You feel like a pong ball.  And then I realized the why of my increasing longing to live as Susanna more or less permanently.  I am weary of this constant changing back and forth.  I want peace in my own heart.”

excerpt Susanna Valenti, “Susanna Says,” Transvestia, Vol. X, #59, October 1969, p. 36.

Susanna was cover girl for Transvestia, Vol. II, No. 12, December 1961, p. 1-13, and wrote a short autobiography, “Susanna Says….This is my Life,” for that issue.

Click here to view Transvestia #12 at the Transgender Archive at the University of Victoria, which has Susanna on the cover:


Transvestia, Vol. X, #59, October 1969

Click to view Transvestia #59 at the Transgender Archives at the University of Victoria.