Paradise Club

in Groups and Organizations

The Paradise Club, a Cleveland-based gender-diverse social and community group, was founded by Julia Lane and Cindy Schwaab in 1977. The Paradise Club promoted itself as the “oldest transgender support group for CD [crossdressers] / TS [transsexuals] in the Ohio Valley.” The Paradise Club placed an emphasis on providing “non-sexual friendship and support” to its members. The club’s membership was “sexually and genderally [sic] open,” though members were required to “be crossdressers willing to dress at meetings.” The club’s monthly meetings typically concluded with a dinner, “speaker, make-up advice, or a show.” To preserve members’ anonymity, meetings were typically held in motels in and around the greater Cleveland area.

The Paradise Club was one of the largest and most active social and community groups for gender-diverse individuals in the Midwest. Outside of monthly meetings, the Paradise Club frequently hosted get-togethers, dinners, parties, fashion shows, drag shows, and other social events throughout the year. Club members regularly traveled from as “far away as Virginia” to attend the group’s meetings and social events. The Paradise Club, along with the Chicago-based Chi Chapter of Tri-Ess, the Detroit-based group Crossroads, and the Pittsburg-based group Transpitt, united to sponsor the annual “Be All You Can Be” Weekend, a 5-day-long educational and social event for gender-diverse persons from across the Midwest. In 1987, the Paradise Club hosted the 5th annual “Be All You Can Be” weekend at Cleveland’s Quality Inn. In 1999, the Paradise Club again hosted the 17th annual “Be All You Want To Be” weekend at the Radisson Inn in Middleburg Heights, 7230 Engle Road.

Additional information coming soon.


Location approximate. The Paradise Club had no fixed address.

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