Cross-dressing is the act of wearing clothing and other accessories associated with the opposite sex. Reasons are several. self-expression, comfort, disguise, entertainment. Some have fetish or a strong desire towards cloths of opposite sex. Some do it for sexual pleasure. Another term for Cross-dressing is Transvestitism. Someone who engages in Crossdressing/Transvestitism is called a Crossdresser/Transvestite.
Term Transvestite is commonly considered outdated and disrespectful. Because the term transvestite was historically used as slur against people who wore clothes of the opposite sex. Crossdresser is now a much more accepted term. Cross-dresser was coined by the transgender community.
MtF and FtM Crossdresser Meaning:
A crossdresser (CD) is a person who likes to wear clothing and accessories associated with the opposite sex. For several reasons such as self-expression, comfort, disguise, entertainment, even for sexual pleasure. A man who dresses in women clothes is a male to female (MtF) crossdresser, a woman who dresses as a man is a female to male (FtM) crossdresser.
But for women, it is debatable whether in this age trousers/pants count as cross dressing. Because in this age male clothing is often considered gender-neutral. This is the reason when someone talks about crossdresser, our focus shift mainly towards MtF crossdresser.
Different Then Transgender:
One other thing we should remember that Wearing opposite sex clothes does not mean that the person identifies as the opposite gender. It is different from being Trangender or Transexual. When transgender people dress according to their gender identity, it is not necessarily the same as cross-dressing.
It is important to know that a crossdresser does not necessarily have body or gender dysphoria ( gender dysphoria means feeling uncomfortable with their body and gender they were born with ), They are perfectly happy with their gender identity assigned at birth. and have no desire to change their sex, but simply enjoy being able to cross-dress from time to time. However Transgender describes people who feel that their gender identity is different from their biological sex.
- Also Read: What Does Transgender Mean? Gender Identity
- What Does LGBTQ+ Stand For ? and What does ‘+’ Mean after it ?
Most transgender people do not appreciate being called crossdressers, and for a good reason. As they are wearing cloths of their own gender identity. Because they consider themselves, and should be considered by others as a gender they are dressing in. A Transwoman wearing girl’s clothes is not a crossdresser, Nor she is a drag queen. She is just a woman.
Different Then Drag:
A crossdresser is not to be confused with drag queens/kings. Drag is a special form of performance art based on the act of cross-dressing. A drag queen is usually a male artist person who performs and dress in a feminine character. Whereas Drag kings are mostly female performance artist who dress and perform in masculine character.
In cross-dressing main focus is on dresses. It has nothing to do with preferences or gender identity. Crossdressers can be homosexual, heterosexual, or bisexual or anything.
Cross dressing can be a hobby or maybe just a fashion sense. Someone who cross dresses does not necessarily cross dress 24/7. Cross dressing can also be found to be sexually attractive by some.