What is a Crossdresser?
what is a crossdresser ? What comes to mind when you think of a crossdresser? For some, the term may conjure images of Dr. Frank N. Furter from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." For others, RuPaul. Yet for people who know and love a person who identifies as a crossdresser, the reality tends to be much less dramatic. It simply refers to a person who wears the clothing and adornments that are often associated with the opposite sex-- occasionally or frequently, but rarely all the time. Of course, various nuances make the term a little less clear, which will be explained here.
What's the difference between a crossdresser and a trans-person?
There are a lot of labels out there-- crossdresser, transgender, transsexual, drag queen-- so it's understandable that people grow confused when trying to differentiate one from another. There's even a popular refrain in the community that addresses this: "How do you identify a transgender person in a crowd of crossdressers?" The answer: She'll be the only one wearing jeans. While that's a clear oversimplification, not to mention an oversight of biological women who dress as men, it underscores a notable difference.
For crossdressers, the desire to dress as the opposite gender pertains to his or her outward appearance, not necessarily the person's gender identity. In other words, crossdressers typically enjoy being a woman (or man) for a length of time, but are generally comfortable being the gender they were assigned at birth. Wearing high heels, lingerie or makeup is about feeling feminine for a moment; it isn't a way of life. For trans-identifying people, the clothing and accessories are only a small portion of their identity, an outward manifestation of who s(he) feels inside. Being a certain gender isn't nearly as fluid for a transgender person; it is consistently one way, albeit the opposite of what their anatomy dictates.
Who are crossdressers?
Crossdressers are rooted in every walk of life, every strata of society. Children, friends, spouses and parents identify as crossdressers. Most often, crossdressers are men, though that isn't always the case.
Does being a crossdresser mean someone is gay?
A person's sexual preference is independent of their gender identity. The same proportions of heterosexual, bisexual and homosexual that you'll find in the general population applies to the crossdresser population. That is to say, a crossdresser is more apt to identify as heterosexual, be married and have kids than be gay.
Why are people crossdressers?
There are many reasons why someone chooses to crossdress. Throughout history, people have cross-dressed for comfort, disguise and self-actualization. Some people do it as part of a performance or for theatrical effect; others do it as a sexual fetish. Some people do it for shock value or to fight against societal norms, and yet others do so for safety.
While the reasons behind choosing to crossdress are as varied as one's imagination, so are the different experiences people have when doing so. For some, the desire to crossdress brings shame and embarrassment. For others, it brings enlightenment and joy. Above all else, it's important to remember that crossdressers are humans and their need for kindness runs just as deep as it does for everyone else.
Crossdressers are part of the transgender community. Many transgender men and women start their journey as crossdressers. When transgender people degrade or belittle crossdressers, they fail to understand what it truly means to be transgender. It's a struggle for self acceptance from the moment we are all born. That being said, not all crossdressers are transgender, but crossdressing is a valuable outlet for exploring one's gender identity. So, please be respectful of others.