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A #thread to celebrate #ZeldaSuplee, nudist leader, LGBTQ advocate, activist, writer, publisher, and occasional actor—seen here in the #DorisWishman film #DiaryOfANudist (1961). #PrideMonth
Born Zelda Roth in NYC in 1908 (pictured here age 2), she grew up in NJ. After high school she moved to Greenwich Village and in 1930 began working as a researcher for “Physical Culture” proponent #BernarrMacfadden, known for his controversial writing on health and sexuality.
She continued working for #BernarrMacfadden through her first marriage, which ended in 1946. It was not long after this divorce that she married the recently divorced #JReedSuplee, an engineer, former Quaker, and owner of Pennsylvania’s popular #SunnyRestLodge.
It was in her role as co-owner and camp director for #SunnyRestLodge that #ZeldaSuplee — along with #JReedSuplee — became a fixture in the national nudist movement and a public advocate for the nudist lifestyle.
In 1948 they opened a second camp, #SunnyPalms, in Florida.
#TheSuplees also both edited Sun Tan, the official journal of both @AANR_East and @WestAANR (then known as the ESA and WSA, respectively). In addition to holding the unconventional title “Woman’s Editor”, #ZeldaSuplee also contributed the regular column, “To The Ladies”.
It was in 1953 that #ZeldaSuplee captured hearts within the textile public when she appeared on “What’s My Line?” as a nudist camp owner. You can watch the full appearance in this separate #thread:
Before Zelda stole the show in 1953, #JReedSuplee had also appeared on “What’s My Line?”, but was perhaps less successful in entertaining the crowd. His appearance was detailed in this 1951 issue of Sun Tan.
#ZeldaSuplee pictured with another popular woman of nudism, #JuneLange, in 1956.
#ZeldaSuplee became the face of nudism for many non-nudists. Here she is portrayed in a nudist comic, and described in an accompanying article, in “Phoenix Arizona Republic” August 21, 1959. Credit to @CampNaturist for the find. #VintageNudistCartoons
#ZeldaSuplee became even more well known when she appeared in the 1961 film #DiaryOfANudist as herself. She played an important role in the film, eventually helping the leading man and woman discover their love for one another. She would go on to act in more films in the 1960s.
#ZeldaSuplee and #ReedSuplee divorced in 1961. As part of their settlement, Reed took #SunnyPalms and moved to Florida. Zelda kept #SunnyRestLodge.
#ZeldaSuplee broke new ground in Aug 1963 when she reportedly became the first case of full frontal nudity in @playboy, in a story written by #ShelSilverstein.
Full text from this article can be found here: archive.org/stream/Playboy…
In 1965 #ZeldaSuplee left #SunnyRest to work with #ReedErickson, a wealthy transgender philanthropist and founder of the #EricksonEducationalFoundation — an organization with the goal of educating the public about transsexuality and gender identity.
As General Manager of the foundation, #ZeldaSuplee was a strong advocate for educating doctors, social workers and other professionals about gender dysphoria. She also convinced administrators at #JohnsHopkinsUniversity to establish the country’s first Gender Identity Clinic.
"She also co-ordinated and participated in the First International Congress on Gender Identity in London in 1969 and [directed] the production of documentaries detailing the personal experiences of transsexual people."
Src: wikitree.com/wiki/Roth-4358
Img: Bible study @ #SunnyRest
In the late 1970s #ZeldaSuplee retired to Los Angeles where she had developed a circle of pseudo-celebrity friends. She took an interest in parapsychology and began studying and practicing hypnosis. She passed away in January 1989.
Source: wikitree.com/wiki/Roth-4358
"Her life was one of service to the gender-conflicted". Letter from Sister Mary Elizabeth to #LouSullivan, transgender author and founder of #FTMInternational, January 21st, 1989
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