This is probably the granddaddy of all crossdresser myths: crossdressers are gay. More often than not, it’s the first question asked of a crossdresser after coming out to (or being outed by) a non-crossdresser – “Are you gay?” It does get tiresome after a while. Myth: Crossdressers are gay because they dress in women’s clothes. Fact: Most crossdressers are straight, and some are gay. Ever wonder where this myth came from in the first place? I’ll explore that later in this article.
The myth that (all) crossdressers are gay is due to lack of knowledge. Our schools teach a plethora of information spanning a wide variety of subjects. Oddly, the natural human gender spectrum is left out and only the existence of two basic genders is covered. Why is that? Gender realities are nothing new to doctors, scientists, psychiatrists, and mental health professionals. In most western societies, knowledge of the full gender spectrum is nowhere to be found in the education system (pre-college). Unfortunately, many people believe this topic is something to “protect” children from, rather than encourage or even allow them to know the truth about. Therefore, the facts about crossdressers remain a mystery to most non-crossdressers. Sadly, many crossdressers grow up in a state of confusion about themselves because this information is not taught or offered anywhere. With the terrible social stigma affixed tightly to it, it’s not easy for crossdressers to figure this out for themselves. It took me more than 3 decades of my life to work it all out for myself because of this.
Given the lack of education regarding this, people are left to their own limited reasoning abilities in a subject they know nothing about. For many non-crossdressers, the process plays out something like this: “If a man dresses like a woman, he must be trying to fool and attract other men and therefore be gay.”
There are many variations of this perverted reasoning, but the general idea is usually the same. Irritating as it is, I can understand why naïve people work it out as such. They have no real knowledge to draw upon, so they take what little they know and draw their own (incorrect) conclusion. This false line of thinking is passed on to others through conversations and discussions when the topic surfaces. Because there is a certain logic to this assessment, however inaccurate, it becomes reinforced and solidified in people’s minds. The myth is perpetuated in favor of the truth. Many people will even try to fight and argue against the truth when confronted with it.
To help enlighten those who are curious about crossdressers, and perhaps even crossdressers who find themselves confused as to who or what they are, try to think of being a crossdresser just like any other personal genetic trait. Take people who like peanut butter for example. Are all peanut butter enthusiasts gay? That sounds pretty ridiculous, right? It sounds about as ridiculous as the notion that “crossdressers are all gay” does to most crossdressers. Back to the peanut butter example: most people who enjoy peanut butter are not gay but some are. Most people who enjoy peanut butter are right-handed, but some are left-handed. The same applies to crossdressers. Most crossdressers are also right-handed but some are left-handed. Being crossdresser has no bearing on one’s sexual preference, which hand they write with, or whether or not they have a taste for peanut butter. It is but one of many naturally occurring personal traits people may or may not have built into their genetic make up. Unfortunately, crossdressing just happens to have an undesirable social stigma attached, and for no good reason other than lack of knowledge and education.
As with people who enjoy peanut butter, there are many differences in crossdressers. Crossdressers are in fact as varied as non-crossdressers. Most are straight, but some are gay or bi-sexual. Most do not want a sex change, but some do (these are best classified as transsexuals and not crossdressers). Many crossdressers are monogamous, but some are promiscuous. Most crossdressers are not perverts, but some are. When it comes to personal style in crossdressing, pretty much anything goes. Some just like to wear women’s underwear, and will do so under their man-clothes. Others will dress partially or fully in women’s clothes, but not wear makeup or try to otherwise to appear female. Many crossdressers go to great lengths in an attempt to appear fully female. Take those examples, throw in a bunch more, mix them all up, and you might get an idea for the great number of personal style variations there are. Believing that crossdressers are all the same is as absurd and accurate as believing that all non-crossdressers are exactly the same.
When the education system decides to begin enlightening people with the facts about gender variations, these myths and clichés will fade away as did the notion of the world being flat. People will grow up learning the truth rather than stumbling onto something they don’t understand and concocting the wrong assessment of it. Crossdressers will grow up understanding who they are rather than potentially spending years in confusion and/or hating themselves. The social stigma associated with being a crossdresser or a transgendered person will start to fade away. Once people are educated with the facts and know the truth, the idea that all crossdressers are gay (along with a variety of truly negative myths) will be a thing of the past.
Seeing how the American education system currently has the backbone of a jellyfish, maybe we should just ask the MythBusters, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman to put this one to rest for once and for all. I’m sure they can do something with their dummy “Buster”, a remote controlled junk car and some pyrotechnics to help dispel this myth. I’m seriously thinking of writing them about this just to see where it goes. I think it might make a very interesting show segment. The “crossdressing myths” graphic up top was designed as a parody of the MythBusters logo, by the way.
How long will it be before our education system gets their collective heads out of their asses and acknowledges that this subject is important and worthy of inclusion in the curriculum? Given how western society (mainly American) has such a problem with anything having to do with sex or (gasp) gender, it may be a while. What are you going to do to change that? You can always choose to do nothing and just sit back and enjoy all the negative clichés and myths. Progress will only be made when people choose to bring it about.
Related content: Crossdressing Myths