May
15th

Crossdressing Myth #1: Crossdressers are Gay

Filed under crossdressing, crossdressing myths, rants | Posted by Gabrielle

crossdressing myths

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

 

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32 Responses to “Crossdressing Myth #1: Crossdressers are Gay”

  1. By Jessica on May 15, 2009 | Reply

    I think that we should also expand on the point that most crossdressers are not perverts, which seems to be another popular myth. This false notion is probably strengthened when the news decides to report on a criminal (man) who was wearing a dress at the time of the crime.

    Some horror films portray crossdressing as a deviance hand in hand with serial murder, like in Silence of the Lambs or Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The New Generation (I’m a horror buff hehe).

    Several of these occurrences contribute to society’s general misunderstanding of us, but you’re right, it is also up to us to do something about it. Blogs like yours, mine and many others can help non-cds get a feel for our inner emotions. Appearances at colleges like you are planning to do will educate large groups at a time.

    I do see some change about the gay myth, at least in my own life. I have to say that nobody that I’ve “come out” to has asked me that question, for whatever reason. As understanding and supportive as they’ve been, it’s still something that’s very difficult for them to wrap their heads around. They ask tons of questions, and now some of them follow my blog to get insight they may never hear from me in everyday conversation.

    As always Gabrielle, excellent article, I will do my best to promote this one in the blogosphere and with my own friends, because it is important to get this message out. Take care.

    Jessica

  2. By Gabrielle on May 15, 2009 | Reply

    Thanks for your insightful input as always, Jessica. :)

    Absolutely correct on the pervert thing. I was debating on whether or not to cover the big 3 myths (gay, want sex change, and perverts) in one article or do separate articles on each. I almost regret not combining them in this one now.

    The “we’re NOT perverts” point is the most important of the three. If people think we’re gay or want a sex change – it’s really not so damaging to us as a community, just a misunderstanding.

    When people think of us as “perverts” though, that is very damaging to all of us. Although slated for “Myth #3″ in my series of myths, it is without a doubt, the most harmful myth about us (of the top 3).

    I did mention the “pervert” factor briefly in this write-up, but it definitely needs clarification and attention drawn to it in a big way in its own light.

    The “Norman Bates” factor is another good one, too. The fact that we’re often portrayed as criminally insane murderers in horror movies doesn’t help. A movie is just a movie, but there is a BIG difference between a crossdresser and a murderer. That is slated for write-up about Myth #4.

    So many myths to bust. I think I really should have started with the more damaging ones in retrospect.

    I know you’ll do your part to help dispel the myths and educate people as well. I wish there were more of us choosing to do so in a public way. Perhaps we can inspire more to step forward and share their lives as well. :)

  3. By Raquel on May 21, 2009 | Reply

    Excellent write up Gabrielle. I love the peanut butter analogy, that is just great. So true though. I noticed the Mythbusters like graphic at the top, but couldn’t place it, too funny… hahaha! It is tough for many of us that are ‘in the closet’ with our CDing to get the subject out in the spot light to share with others, although blogs like yours are changing all of that! Thank you :)

  4. By "Anna" on Jun 7, 2009 | Reply

    Even the movies that portray cds as loving humans, i.e. RENT feed the crossdressers are gay stigma. I love the way in which that movie addresses homosexuality, drug use and AIDS, I just wish that the cross dresser, Angel, could be heterosexual.

  5. By Gabrielle on Jun 8, 2009 | Reply

    Good point, Anna. So far, in film and TV, crossdressers are usually gay IF/WHEN they are depicted in a positive light. In reality, most crossdressers are straight. Hopefully in time, these myths will be replaced with truths. Btw – I’ve communicated with crossdressers on all ends of the sexuality spectrum and with only a couple of exceptions, they’ve all been very cool people. :)

  6. By Erin P on Oct 30, 2009 | Reply

    I don’t believe this is a educational system kind of thing personally. Maybe some general sensitivity training through out each school year or every couple of school year might be called for. More along the lines of “people are different, that does not mean that they are bad people or less deserved of basic human kindness and dignity. Johnny what are some ways that one person might be different than another?”

    Thing is tolerance can not be taught in schools. In a real way it is taught at home and through culture in general. Men wearing flashy clothing and flaunting… whatever they had to flaunt, was en vogue a couple hundred years ago. The Churches and extreme religious puritanical like sects that pervaded society at large determined that they were going to put a stop to that for different reasons. The Churches for the obvious reason that fancy dressed men were those that were flaunting wealth and power…. wealth and power that the Churches wanted a part of. The religous sects, I nor any thing I have ever read or seen suggest a true motive, other thamn a general intolerance.

    Unfortunately that is what has shaped our modern society, that and middle-eastern cultural/religious beliefs.

    The cultural influence is hard for us to combat because we are stigmatized by the fact we are not a cohesive community. Our wagon is hitched to the minority part of our community, because they enjoy greater visibility/freedom and they are part of a greater movement which represents their interest. I am of course speaking about the Gay, Lesbian, and Transgendered Alliance. However they are not accepting of the majority of us because the majority of us are not gay. And the gay community is as bigoted against the straight transgendered as society at large. They treat straight transgendered people like we are in denial of our gayness.

    So we Heterosexual Transgendered people come to Catch-22. We can not combat societies negative stereo types because we have no voice because we can not organize because we have no venue to organize because we are closeted by all facets of society. So we can not effect change in the home because we can not bring awareness at a societal level, so the only voices that are heard are those call us gay, deviants that are often serial killers.

    With few exceptions of blogs like this one, very niche message boards, and websites, we don’t have a voice. Even the gay transgendered voice is not a strong one.

    Not be a downer but other then changing on a personal word of mouth scale we are left needing high profile transgendered people to make a difference. Only thing I have seen that is close is once on “In the House” RuPaul played a straight Transgendered person. However RuPaul IS gay, that I don’t appreciate the effort.

    Sorry so long winded. Sociology was my minor =P

  7. By Gabrielle on Nov 2, 2009 | Reply

    Erin P wrote:
    “I don’t believe this is a educational system kind of thing personally.”

    I have read your input and appreciate your taking the time to share. :) Much of what you pointed out has been sighted in various online stops I’ve made over the last year or so. All points are understood.

    I disagree, however. The educational system is an excellent place to start planting the seeds of truth. Why should the reality of gender differences be withheld in an institution of learning? They teach sex education, something that is still somewhat controversial in places. We learn about the enslavement of blacks, their being freed, and subsequent discrimination ever since. Why does that hold any more merit than gender discrimination, or the discrimination of anyone for gender expression? The answer is, it doesn’t. Whatever began the discrimination and bastardization of those who express a gender that differs from their sex organs, the fact is these realities remain in place today because of lack of knowledge and hate. The hate is taught on the street, by peers, and handed down from parent to child. Education is the answer to ignorance – a potent ingredient in hate. Education and positive reinforcement of the truth and realities will make a difference, although hardly immediate (and I do not imply that education in school alone will make it all better). It’s time people stopped with their childish squirming about this subject and allowed it to be taught. Teach the truth in a (relative) trusted and controlled environment, or suffer the affects of hate that is taught and perpetuated in the wild.

    For my t-sisters who have children: who would you rather your kids learn about transgendered people (if not from you)? Studies, facts, and documented realities in school? Or hate-filled name-callers on the playground and abroad? And of course, there are the worst examples of transgendered folks running rampant on the internet, exposing their genitalia and promiscuous behavior. Sure, they’ve got the right do their thing, but without a good, solid education as a foundation, many people will assume that all transgenders are like the disgusting ones that are most easy to find.

  8. By Erin P on Nov 5, 2009 | Reply

    I have thought deeply on how to respond. In my previous comment I also thought of when the education system would be most effective in teaching this. First I can’t think of a time when it would be effective in a classroom setting. Pre-3 to at least 3rd grade children do not have a firm enough grasp on the concepts of gender and individual identity for it to be anything other than confusing. Ages from 3rd grade through pre-pubescence does not have the social maturity to deal with gender identity issues. And though teenagers have the maturity and understanding they are still sorting out where they fit in the world (social order) for the classroom to be effective because of the social pressures to conform.

    I will concede that it is possible that maybe in a sex education style class (which of course would have to be renamed to fit a broader teaching, likely fall under social science) something might be able to transcend the negative teenage conformity social structure and make an impression. However my worry would be that the given the venue that the message would be more likely to be perverted because of the closed social aspect of being a teenager, and it would make matters worse.

    For examples of that just look at the Teabagger “movement”. In closed social circles, it is much easier to effect negative Pavlovian responses. Even in supposedly mature social circles, people are easily swayed to intolerance. Personally I have more faith that Crossdressers being portrayed favorably in mainstream society will be more effective to effect change in societal attitudes. That is what we can learn from the gay movement. Once major public figures started coming out, change started to happen, from society to the institutions. Not the other way around.

  9. By Erin P on Nov 5, 2009 | Reply

    I broke this into two comments because of the difference in the subjects seem to be linked but they really aren’t.

    I would also like to address something else I have seen said more that a few time in more venues than I can count. It is about how children will learn about crossdressers and transgendered people as a whole. Especially the notion of coming out to ones children.

    But there are greater considerations. Namely that of being a parent. I have many more things to take into account. Examples; one of my daughters is possibly PDD. So I am forced to consider the effects it will have on her and how she will socialize which she already has issues with. Hwo will her dad being different effect her? Or the fact that my middle child, has issues accepting that daddy is not wearing Mommies clothes. And I am talking to the point of out and out crying. So shortly after coming out to my wife, I had to almost immediately go back into the closet for my kids general mental health.

    And it will not effect them. They are all girls. Girls are no longer identified crossdressers. There are female transsexuals but society, through feminist movement has allowed girls to be freer to self express.

    I understand that there is an issue of tolerance. But what I think people to close to any tolerance issue forget that the importance is not to be raised and taught about specific tolerances. The importance is how they are raised to view the world as people in general. That is something that developmental experts are finding is something that is next to impossible to teach, but easy to learn in quantity time as importantly or more so than quality time.

    So I find myself as a parent with a choice. Do I potentially hurt their social and emotional development for a single cause; or do I teach them through my actions to be caring people regardless of the issue? I believe through my actions, my interactions, and everyday teachings of general tolerance for each other (most being tolerant of each other hee hee) that I am raising morally strong individuals that will be able to identify bigoted behavior of any type as wrong. And I have already seen dividends on this choice. They are essential difference blind to the things that they have the maturity to understand. Differences that they don’t understand they don’t get yet. But once they do i think they will be able to look past them the same way they look past the ones they understand now. I have had their teachers quite literary gush all over their tolerance, caring, and understanding of those in their classes that are different then they are. And that is without spending any time at all on talking about those differences with them.

    That is my take as a parent. Don’t fight the small battles when you can win the war with less effort.

  10. By Phoenix on Feb 2, 2010 | Reply

    I got called a f*cking,worthless faggot for someone finding my iPhone, hacking into it, and looking at all my things last summer

  11. By kagami on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    @Phoenix
    So sorry to hear about the name-calling. My parents were visiting last weekend, and my dad found one of my barrettes that I lost under the couch. He asked if I was “some sort of faggot.” (wtf?!) I told him that it was none of his f*cking business, and that keeping long hair (which I have) in place requires certain accessories. But still, I am gay (although he doesn’t know), and it hurts to have him say these kinds of things. So I understand what a hurtful thing it is to be called a “faggot.” I strongly suspect it isn’t pleasant, regardless of your sexual orientation.

    As for the article in general – very well written, Gabrielle! I hang out at my campus bar every Friday to drink and be merry with other graduate students at my university, and last week the topic of trans-people, crossressers, homosexuals, and everyone in between came up. It surprised me how ignorant some of my colleagues could be. I had to dance on eggshells to keep from outing myself as both a crossresser *and* gay (and finally lost the battle, outing myself as gay with one of my better friends, lol), but I tried my damndest to explain that clothing choice, gender, and sexual orientation are really three separate things that don’t have to coincide with society’s ideals, norms, or whatever. Most of them got the point and agreed, and some even admitted that it was not fair at all. But some (usually girls, btw) thought it was sick for a man to exhibit any bahviour that was not stereotypical-male (crossdressing, homosexuality, feminine personality, etc.) and refused to acknowledge that one can be a heterosexual male, enjoy skirts, and be a muscle-building women-loving he-man, all at the same time. I know at least one person that fits that description, who plays rugby, wears dresses, and calls me “girlfriend” every time we meet, so I know that they are wrong. I just can’t understand what the big fuss is!

  12. By Vincenzo on Oct 24, 2010 | Reply

    Hi Gabrielle,

    Thanks for the interesting and enlightening article on crossdressing. It hurts your excellent efforts to debunk the ‘CDs are gay’ myth, however, when all 5 Google ads at the top of this page are for gays (i.e. “Gay Dating Services”, “Chat Gay”, “Sauna Gay”, “Gay Resort” & “Gay Friendly Bar”). Also, the recent conviction of cross-dressing pyschopath Col. Russell Williams here in Ontario, Canada for the cruel rape, torture and murder of two women will help perpetuate the myth that CDs are perverts.

  13. By Gabrielle on Oct 24, 2010 | Reply

    I understand your points, Vincenzo. They are, I think it is safe to say, shared by the vast majority – especially those who are uncomfortable with the notion of transgender people in general. In terms of the targeted “gay” ads displayed on this article, it is consistent with how the “targeting” of ads takes place – mainly the use of keywords, such as the word “gay”, which appears in the article itself several times. To put things in perspective, there are an endless number of blog or general website articles that display ads that are either not entirely relevant the **point** of the article based on certain keywords the algorithm utilizes, and the weight (popularity, profitability, targeted campaigns, etc.) of those keywords. I am reminded of all the various tech websites talking about the failure of the Microsoft “Kin” phone… and the fact that they pretty much all displayed ads for the Kin phone – the very item they were reporting upon the shortcomings and great failure there of. If you are more curious how ad targeting works, there is extensive explanations of how it works out on the net if you care to spend some time researching it. In and of itself, it is truly a fascinating technology and proven to be very profitable for the companies who do it right.

    In terms of crossdressers who have committed various levels of heinous crimes, the numbers indicate that non-trans people are still far more likely to commit horrific crimes than trans folk. Of course, it always makes for a better “freak show” presentation by the media to really accent the whole trans aspect of a criminal, should that be a part of a criminal’s make up. At the expense of the vast majority of good-natured and law abiding trans folk, this is an easy way (however misleading) for media outlets to maximize viewership of a news presentation, sometimes going so far as to suggest (or just allow people to assume) that this particular element played a role in one’s criminal intent. Was the same not done for black people for many years? To some extent, it still exists in that regard – portraying one’s race, religious beliefs, or any other number of (usually) NOT-related attributes as having played a factor in a crime.

    It is a shame that some people may take the points you made and come to a snap conclusion of “yep – crossdressers are all a bunch of [whatever]“. At the same time, this is typically the action of someone who is not really interested in discovering the reality of things, but rather (arguably) simply looking for material that supports their current false beliefs. It’s much easier and “feel-good” to quickly affirm the false believes one has always accepted in their lives as a perceived reality. Sad but often true: ignorance is bliss.

  14. By Pythos on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    Well, here is something else that helps perpetuate this myth. At least a little bit.

    Women.

    That’s right, I said women. Not all mind you, but a great majority.

    Once again I have encountered a female that is “hooked” on the mainstream image of a “manly man”.

    What are this mythical creature’s features?

    Broad shoulders, big muscles, hairy face, short cropped hair, rugged looks, and so on and so forth.

    She has also had the unfortunate experience of being raped. When I asked what the guy was like that raped her, the description MATCHED the above description!!!!

    Figure that one out.

    On another point, there are those women that will not give “softer” men a snowball’s chance in hell, and yet they will go out with or be involved with some piece of human waste on two legs, and then whine and moan when that person either beats them up, or treats them like trash.

    Women for the most part have more freedoms than they have in all of history, but do they drop the “expected” norms of what a male should be?

    Absofragginlutely NOT.

    Despite them being able to choose between pants, or skirt, make up or no makeup, long or short hair, and so on. Many women still limit men in how they can look, otherwise they don’t offer the “nookie” to them.

    In our culture you are not really a man unless you have a girl friend. At least around my area that is the case. So, guess what guys end up doing. They end up matching the typical description of what a man should be, and thus perpetuate a stupid and worthless stereotype.

    One of the main things that needs to happen in order for straight crossdressers to not have to go the “gay” path is for more women like the OP to speak up, and stop hiding. I know there are women out there that find the “feminized” male very appealing. But they are silent. Silence helps no one.

    Another thing that needs to happen is for “gay” to not be an insult anymore. There is nothing wrong with it, and people just need to get over that.

  15. By Gabrielle on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    I understand your points and can certainly identify with your frustrations, Pythos.

    I’m not a fan of the stereotypical “rugged, manly man” expectations placed upon many men by much of society. I am not that kind of person and never will be. I do not want to be and would be very upset if I just woke up one morning to find myself magically transformed into that guy. Nooooooo thank you!

    Like it or not, many women do prefer their “ideal man” to fit the description you spelled out. Whether it be their natural preference for a potential romantic interest, or driven more by their desire to have a man that their friends/peers might find most appealing, some women won’t settle for anything less and that’s fine by me. We’ve all got our personal preferences in the ideal love interest. My ideal woman is ultra feminine and girly when it comes to appearance. Though I respect a woman’s right to look however they please (and also encourage them to sport a look that they are most happy with, even if that look is not to my liking), I am not attracted to or romantically interested in women who’s personal appearance is not to my personal ideal feminine presentation. I’m sure some women would argue the point that I’m being stupidly closed minded if I were not to even consider dating a woman based on her appearance, even if she was full of “inner beauty”, intelligence, etc. To each, his/her own, though. And for the record, I do need much more than just an *attractive* woman – I’m just making a point about one of *many* things that I prefer in a romantic interest.

    I understand the main frustrating point you make, Pythos. The mainstream perception of the “ideal” man and expectation for men to adhere to that ideal is pretty irritating. Years ago I attempted to live up to at least some of those “manly ideals”, but failed miserably. It also made me miserable to live up to some of the ideals that I *was* able to… because it was nothing more then a forced thing on my part, that never felt natural or right or even desirable.

    And yes, the whole “gay = bad/insult” garbage has to go. I really don’t get how this one still exists. Just like all the idiotic negative stereotypes trans folk are subjected to, so are gays with the whole “gay” being used as a generic derogatory term for just about everything. I think suggesting that crossdressers are gay is sometimes more intended as a flat out insult rather than a misunderstanding about the kind of person they really are. It’s often thrown out there to just to insult and shame ceossdressers.

    I personally don’t like being called “gay” (among the other profanities that are intended to mean much the same thing) because it is used as an insult by so many. Even so, there are far worse things people could equate me with. Honestly, most of the gay folk I’ve had the pleasure of knowing have been some of the coolest, open-minded, talented and genuinely caring people I’ve known. Like I said, though, it is the intended insult that is complete senseless bs.

  16. By sheri on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Hi, I have been crossdressing as long as I can remember, and as I got into my teens, I began to be confused about my sexuality. I am still confused, and I am 50 years old, haha! I was always a good looking male, yet I was always very tiny. I was under 5 ft until I got into my mid 20s, and peaked out at 5ft 5. Many times through my life, women would say that they wished they had my eyelashes, or said they wished they had my bum, or legs, etc. Each time I heard this, I was pleased, as it confirmed my thoughts that I made quite A pretty girl when I dressed up. I still look great in a mini-skirt! anyhow, I have always been attracted to women, and have had many girlfriends, though never married. I have always hidden my dressing, and still do. The thing that confuses me in my sexuality, is that I find myself fantasizing about being with a man when I dress up. I definately do not feel any gay feelings whatsoever when I am not dressed up, and although I fantasize about men when I am dressed up, I still do not feel that I am gay in my feminine persona. I have always felt better in an emotional sense, when I am dressed, and I sometimes think that I may be transsexual, as I feel I was born with the wrong plumbing. I guess the best scenario that I could imagine, is to live as a man 99% of the time, and have a secret male lover to make me feel whole, for the other, less than 1% of my life. Noone has ever seen me dressed, and noone even knows about it. I doubt if anyone even suspects that my legs and underarms are hairless and silky smooth, at least for the winter months. Contrary to how I feel, I come accross as a manly man. Probably because of my size, and that I am desperately trying to cover up the girl beneath. I don’t know how many times I have met a nice girl, started dating, then I have had to grow the hair back, and throw away all my accumilated ladies wear. I love wearing the sexiest lingerie, and I cant count how many times I have built up a very expensive set of panties, bras, garters, corsets, hosiery, etc, only to end up wearing a girlfriends undies when I can sneak them on, haha!..The women in my life have always absolutely adored me. This is probably because we become best girlfriends, unbeknownst to them. The relationships are usually good, until I begin to get feelings of depression, and just need to be alone again. I get very lonely, and I isolate, and cannot speak to anyone I know about my mixed up feelings. I actually feel better just getting my feelings out on a forum like this, because I know that someone may read this, and tottally understand what I feel. Someday I may find someone in my life that will accept me for who I am, but it will never happen if I never tell anyone about it. I am getting on in the years, and at times, I wished I would have come out many years ago, and began to live as a woman. It would be difficult to be in a relationship with a man with my male parts, and I often dream that I find a man that could understand that I am not gay, that I would not want my male anatomy to be involved in any sexual scenarios, and that I want to be treated only as a woman. This has never happened in my life, but I know that It would be the happiest moments in my life, if it were ever to come to pass.

  17. By Gabrielle on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks for sharing a bit about yourself, Sheri. :) I’m sorry you feel so confused about your sexuality. Your confusion is probably the result of feeling out of sync with the “social norms” that have been etched into your brain as “normality”. Your feelings are in conflict with that which you have been taught is “normal” and/or “acceptable”, hence the confusion.

    Your feeling of being “not gay” as a man, yet longing to be romantic with a man when you’re exploring your feminine side is not uncommon. I’ve read several accounts of similar very feelings from other trans folk. This topic is often debated, but some (who feel this way) strictly express that they are not gay, but rather “straight, depending on gender expressed”. Technically, this is categorized (in terms of sexual preference) as bisexuality. The definition of “bisexuality” (taken from Wikipedia) is Sexual behavior or an orientation involving physical or romantic attraction to both males and females. Labels and categories can be a useful means of communicating things more efficiently, but often less than undesirable to many. My reason for bringing this up at all is intended to hopefully alleviate some of your confusion.

    I understand your reservations about sharing this aspect of your life with anyone. The fear of rejection from others is a rather powerful obstacle to overcome. I think it would be a good idea for you to consider therapy. A gender therapist, specifically, will be able to help you work through your feelings of confusion and shed light things you haven’t been able to work through on your own yet. Not all therapists are created equal and I strongly recommend doing thorough research before deciding to visit one. There are online resources (groups, forums, articles, etc.) to help you find a skilled and upstanding gender therapist within reasonable distance of your residence. It may take some effort in just locating a good one, but that effort may lead you down the path to having some peace and understanding of yourself.

    I hope you can work through your confusion and maybe begin to truly share yourself with someone you care about. Taking that first step out of the closet is a very scary prospect, but the rewards of doing so can be plentiful.

    Check back for more comments from others from time to time. Comments are a bit slow to trickle in, but someone may identify with your specific scenario and share how they worked through their feelings. Don’t just wait for others to comment though. Do yourself a big favor and start looking for a good gender therapist. There is no need to be confused about who you are. A good therapist will certainly help you see that for yourself.

    I wish you much luck and all the best in straightening out your confusion and working toward truly living your life as the person you feel are inside. :)

  18. By Wendae on May 17, 2011 | Reply

    I’ll be 70 soon and I don’t believe “we” will ever really be accepted. Let’s face it we are men dressed as women. Educated populace or not what’s the difference? We don’t fit! We are not “normal!” So in most minds we are all gay, perverts, mental cases, etc! You really have to sit back and look at it all in a logical manner from their perspective not ours. So our best hope is to stay stealth and do our best to blend in and pass. It takes a lot of work but it is worth the effort. The same questions will always be asked of us. If you take the chances of being outed, be prepared for some bashing and rejection by those close to you.

  19. By Gabrielle on May 17, 2011 | Reply

    I can certainly understand your feelingings on this, Wendae.  There is no doubt in my mind that crossdressers will indeed someday be no more outrageous or abnormal to society as interracial marriages are today.  Society is slowly growing up, gaining knowledge, and maturing.  It may not happen in our lifetime, but the day *will* come.  The sad part is that for now, and probably for our useful lifetimes (at least for mine), we will be looked down upon by many.

    In terms of looking at things from “their” perspective (as in, non-trans folk), I’ve already been there.  I know what that perspective looks like.  For most of my life, I lived in denial about who I truly am.  The mere thought of a crossdresser was humorous and something to poke fun at.  That’s what my peers taught me in my youth, and I’m pretty sure it works like that with most people.  We’re all taught what kind of personal traits are desirable and “normal” and what to laugh at and make fun of.  We may or may not even really think something is funny, but still laugh out of fear of rejection for thinking or feeling differently than “everyone else”.  This kind of “follow the leader” or “herd mentality” game is more a part of our youth than adult life.  There is usually some kind of social pressure for conformity present even in adult life, though.

    The point I’m trying to make is that if people are *taught* what “normal” and “not normal” is, then people can also be taught that “normality” is little more than the facade pretty much EVERYONE wears; a practiced and fake manner of behavior intentionally broadcast to others in order to avoid the unpleasantries of being ridiculed for whatever unique traits lay underneath.  Everyone has secrets to hide, usually completely harmless things they just don’t want to be given a hard time about.

    Perhaps someone is afraid to admit they’re a big fan of a particular recording artist that might be unpopular with their friends/peers, so whenever there is discussion about that particular artist, they poke fun and laugh with everyone else.  On their way home from work (or school, or whatever), they enjoy the music they’re too afraid to admit in public while in the relative privacy of their own car.

    The gravity of example I just spelled out is absolutely featheright compared to the social stigma of being a genetic male who exhibits feminine behavior and appearance, but the concept is similar enough.

    No, I’m not “normal” – not by a long shot.  When I say that, I don’t even mean the feminine aspect of my life, either.  What the hell IS “normal”, anyway?  It changes from place to place, society to society, corporate environment to corporate environment, country to country, year to year, etc.  There IS no universal normal.  Centuries ago, even crossing gender lines was completely normal.  Seriously – spend some time researching that one.  It’s only been in recent centuries that gender lines were established (by who exactly, I’m not sure), and enforced with a vengeance… at least with men.

    To hell with “normality” and that complete and total FAKE notion that anyone is really normal.  People tend to be cruel to other people, especially when they feel it may gain them respect or “cool points” in the eyes of others.  People often make fun of others for being “fat”.  Is being overweight normal?  In my town, very overweight people are a common sight.  Because the percentage of overweight people is relatively high, there’s nothing unusual or “not normal” about seeing them out in public.  “Normal” or not, there are a lot of people who ridicule others for being “fat” on a pretty regular basis.  Kids pick on other kids for being fat.  Teenagers pick on anyone for any reason, but “fat” is a sure fire thing to laugh about and make fun of people for in that age group.

    What’s NOT normal is this whole idea that everyone has to live according to the expectations of others…

    Ok, getting too long winded on this.  I understand your sentiments, Wendae, and I understand why you feel the way you do in this regard.  I just hope you don’t ever allow yourself to be filled with all that bs society tries to drive into our heads everyday.  Everyone has secrets and keeps those secrets a secret to avoid ridicule from others.  If you keep secrets, too, does that not just make you as “normal” as everyone else?  What does it matter that the secrets are?

    In regard to bashing and rejection, people bash and reject others all the time for a number of reasons.  In short, people do this to “punish” people into conformity.  People who treat you like this are openly letting you know that their company isn’t worth the dog crap stuck to the bottom of your shoe.  It never feels good to be laughed at or ridiculed, but knowing who is and who is not worth your time is valuable knowledge indeed. :)

  20. By lovely1 on Sep 3, 2011 | Reply

    Dear Gab,
    If my husband a cd isnt gay then why does he look at other men in dress and get turned on and masterbate? Im still confused by it and just need questions answered.
    Thanks Lovely1

  21. By Gabrielle on Sep 3, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Lovely1. I understand your confusion and the question you ask is a rather complex one to answer, but I’m going to try and keep it (relatively) short. Ironically, some (straight, married) crossdressers I’ve spoken with end up confused themselves in expressing their attraction to other crossdressers. Believe it or not, there are many homophobic crossdressers out there who end up purging (discarding all of their feminine items) because they feel so disturbed and insecure about their own attraction to other crossdressers. This kind of reaction is generally limited to those crossdressers who are both homophobic and fairly insecure about themselves as a person.

    So, how can a straight man who crossdresses be attracted to, aroused, and masturbate when looking at other crossdressers, in other words, other genetic males in makeup and women’s clothing? The short answer is in the illusion of femininity and one’s attraction to that which appears to be female, even if only an illusion there of. One way to look at it is to question why anyone might be aroused by a series of flat images displayed either on a tv/computer screen or magazine? In reality, those images are nothing more than illusion as they are not actually people, but rather just colors and shapes on paper or an interactive screen that the human eye perceives to be photographic representation of that which the image depicts. In many cases, it is not the man being attracted to other men, but rather being attracted to the illusion of a beautiful female, even if that illusion is created by a male.

    Back in the early 1990′s when tv talk shows were all the rage, I remember watching one particular show about calendar pin-up models. One of the pin-ups was actually a genetic male (with his genetic male parts intact) who happened to be a professional female-looking model and made a living as such. This model did not appear in transgender-oriented calendars, but rather in regular “sexy women in skimpy outfits” calendars that men display to admire that which the majority of men admire most – beautiful women. Does it make any man “fooled” by the feminine illusion that this particular female-impersonating model creates gay? Certainly not. Of course, in this case, men admiring the beautiful women would have no knowledge that what they’re admiring is anything but completely real, genetic women. I bring it up to illustrate how any straight man can indeed be aroused by looking at another man under these conditions.

    If a crossdresser goes looking for photos of other crossdressers and finds it arousing, the knowledge of exactly what is being looked at is present – there is no being “fooled” about it, but the feminine illusion-factor remains intact. This gets kind of tricky to explain when factoring in exactly what elements are causing the arousal. The feminine beauty is an obvious factor – whatever is under the clothes and makeup, even if a genetic male, still appears to be female (or female enough, depending on the admirer). For some crossdressers, the act of crossdressing itself has an element of arousal. It is possible for crossdressers that experience sexual arousal (because of crossdressing) to also experience a level of arousal simply in knowing that what they’re looking at is a crossdresser. It’s a vicarious experience for them.

    Will all (straight) crossdressers experience arousal in looking at photos of other crossdressers? The answer is no. Does it make a crossdressing man gay for being aroused by the images of known crossdressers? Probably not in and of itself, although there may be an element of bisexuality or bi-curiosity at play for some. That depends on what happens when the crossdressing man consciously thinks about the male parts of the crossdresser being admired. If the thought of a penis and any other masculinity under the clothes does not put-off the admirer, then there may indeed be at least some bi-curiosity going on. If it breaks the illusion enough to significantly diminish any arousal achieved by looking at a crossdresser, then it may be concluded that the arousal was all in the illusion of feminine beauty, period, and the chances of being bi or gay are very low.

    Long as this response turned out, it is still just a very, very simplified and “nutshell” version of what may be coming into play when a straight crossdresser is aroused by another crossdresser. Like most things in life, there is no black and white answer to this, and not even shades of gray. When it comes to human sexuality and preferences, it’s more like the entire color spectrum, including non-visible forms of light, and then some. If I had the time, I would explore your question in a full and proper post, edited, polished, and filled with better examples, but I hope this helps a little.

  22. By venus on Sep 18, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Gabrielle, it is very nice blog…and, i totally agree with this article
    sometimes i personally experienced that when i was with a “alisha”(friend)..i always wanted to be like her.every time i tried to look at her bra and shape of waist n all. and i passed time with her and follow her strictly.. when i was alone in my room i acted like her ..but..after some more days.. when i saw her with his boyfriend and at that moment i felt soft corner in heart for men..and i decided that being “gay” for being total alisha…

  23. By Gabrielle on Sep 18, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Venus, thanks for commenting. :) I’m not sure I fully understand your message because of language differences, but I think you’re trying to express that you really appreciate and admire (genetic) women, with the desire to appear feminine, yourself. It’s kind of unclear as to whether you were expressing an attraction toward men because of your feminine desires, or if you were expressing that it was undesirable to be with a man. Either way is fine. In my article, I was trying to point out that it is a misconception that crossdressers are gay because they crossdress, but rather many are straight (attracted to women, only) and some are gay or bi.

    Non-crossdressers are not automatically straight because they don’t crossdress, nor are crossdressers gay because they do. It’s too bad that so many people get all caught up in the whole “gay/straight” thing, anyway. Does it really matter? I mean to people other than insecure homophobes?

  24. By venus on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Gabrielle,thanks for your response,
    In previous message i meant that i m confused about my recent condition ..
    alisha is my female idol, she is bold and she has boyfriend too..and, i have feeling that me also wants boyfriend.
    the confusion is that my feeling is about which condition
    1. if i m gay (myth is true)
    2. else i wants to be like her (myth is wrong)

    bt..i personally like to live with females as (cd).. bt i have softcorner in my heart for man.. and… i feel that sometime i need only single man..no women…

  25. By Gabrielle on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    Venus, I don’t think your confusion is so much about being gay or straight, but rather you seem uncertain as to which kind of romantic relationship to pursue. I would suggest you ask yourself what kind of *person* you feel you may be more compatible with and likely to enjoy a long term relationship, and not worry so much about whether it is a man or woman. Based on the little you’ve written, I sounds like you may be bi-sexual, having romantic interest, or at least curiosity in romance with both sexes. In the end, it is not your sexual orientation that will play the biggest role in your romantic life – it is how compatible you are with the one you are interested in that will count the most. Every relationship has uncertainties. People always wonder if they should be with this person or that, or what if the right person comes along when you’re already involved with someone else, etc. It’s the same with gay and bi folk, just like with straight people. The important thing is to be with the person you feel is right for you, and make sure that person feels the same way about you as you do about them. All that sexual orientation stuff only complicates matters if you get caught up in the idea of it. Gay, straight or bi, there will always be some question as to whether you should have dated this person or married that person, or whatever. Try to look at things for what they are, and not get caught up in labels, categories, groups, social taboos, etc. Romance is a tricky game, regardless. Good luck with everything! :)

  26. By venus on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    Gabrielle.. thank you very much..
    :) :) lots of luv to you..

  27. By Gabrielle on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    You’re welcome, Venus. :) Much love and all the best wishes to you, too.

  28. By Jeremy on Apr 19, 2012 | Reply

    personally i think it should be taught at the college level or possibly late high school. in my experience most crossdressers are gay with straight ones being rare. but honestly on the subject of gender i think that clothing and behavior do not determine gender and its actually sexist to label a male female if for instance they enjoy wearing dresses. I see gender being as simple as being determined by what sexual organs you have or want to have. for example if a man says he is a woman but dosent want to go through the surgery (i dont mean he cant afford he just dosent want female genetalia) then he is a man. why is it so hard to think that a man can enjoy things that women do and still be a man? But thats just my opinion i hope i didnt offend anyone as it wasnt my intention to do so.

  29. By Antome on Apr 20, 2012 | Reply

    I agree, jeremy. I don’t know if most crossdressers are straight or gay, there is just not enough space for generalizing. To me there are so called female activities and topics that could as well belong to the other sex, gender expressions are mostly cultural, I like girls, but sometimes I’d like to use make up and experiment, I don’t really have two personality or a real “feminine” side. Just like girls now using “male” clothes, short hair no make up (and I can find this sexy as well) or engaging in what in the 50′s would have been deemed as “masculine” behavior, or have a strong personality are not really expressing a “male” side, just what culturally has been seen as masculine.

  30. By Xandra on Jul 30, 2012 | Reply

    Hi there

    I have lived a frustrated life due to the protocols of society for too long. I have always wanted to crossdress but was too afraid to because of the “crossdressers are gay” myth.

    It’s not that I am in anyway homophobic; In fact I detest bigotry of any kind. But neither do I like being miscalled as something I patently I am not, not through any fear but just because I detest ignorance and I have a low tolerance of stupidity. I am not attracted to men in any way, shape or form. In fact, I think the human penis looks ridiculous. To steal from the BBC sitcom Red Dwarf, so this is the best they could come up with? The last turkey in the shop look? I do however champion the LGBT community and often contribute to the group Wipeout Homophobia.

    Being brought up with two elder sisters, there was always plenty of opportunity to explore wearing their panties when I was younger. By the way, what is it with women leaving their panties rolled up in a ball on the bathroom floor – not that I’m in any way complaining. I loved the feeling of my sisters’ satin panties and their delicate frills. Of course, as a pubescent boy, there was a sexual aspect to it and I would often sneak a pair of panties into my room to masturbate in. I also liked to wear them all night though, and when feeling especially brave, I would also sneak a black, see-through babydoll nightie to sleep in, making sure to have it off me before getting up in the morning. I would also love to look at myself in the babydoll and panties in the mirror and soon progressed onto trying on other clothes such as blouses, skirts and dresses.

    Time went on and I found myself alone and with a string of failed relationships. Being something of a sex maniac, I have often voiced that to see a woman naked is sexy but to see a woman in lingerie, or revealiing clothing, not THAT’S erotic. I have come to the conclusion that when looking at such pics, It was not so much the woman I was interested in but what she was wearing. I confess there have been times I’ve seen a woman wearing something and longed to try the garments on myself.

    Yet it is not necessarily a sexuel thing. I love to come home and slip out of my male clothes and into a pair of panties and a skirt or dress. I have found another identity; my feminine side if you want, and I intend to fully explore that side of me. I simply love to dress and feel feminine.

    To that end I suppose I am luckier than most men to have found myself a girlfriend who not only respects and understands my needs, but indeed actively supports them. For my girl, me dressing as a woman is a huge turn on for her. My girl is bi and she feels that to the best of my ability, she has a boyfriend and a girlfriend wrapped into one person. Probably just as well that I love going down on her. And there is another facet to this; I dress in my girl’s clothes and, as she is away a lot of the time, it makes me feel closer to her. She also loves when I message her and tell her I went out wearing her panties.

    And my girlfriend could tell you that I am not in any way gay. I am all man for her when she needs me to be so, and feels loved and protected by me as a woman should.

    Is it not in 2012, the third millennium CE, that we stopped pigeonholing people? We all, each and every one of us, have our little quirks and differences, and what is normal to one may leave another quite cold. Yet because we all have these quirks, not one person has the right to judge or condemn another. So long as the person is doing no harm to themselves or others, then what each of us does, either in or out of the bedroom, is frankly nobody else’s damned business. Undoubtably, some crossdressers are heterosexual, some are homosexual or bisexual, and suprising as it may seem to society, some will be completely asexual.

    Indeed, as I stated before, to suppress our innermost feelings, our needs, our wants, can only be harmful and lead to all sorts of psychological hangups. I know it’s trite (and not a little “gay”) but better just to admit, I am what I am, and what I am needs no excuses.

    Loves,

    Xandra

  31. By Christjan on Aug 27, 2012 | Reply

    Of course they are not gay, if they are gay they are not crossdressers they are drag Queens.

  32. By Julia on Apr 28, 2013 | Reply

    This is a good thing to get out there. I was just arguing with some doofus who seem insistent that at least 70% of cross-dressing individuals were gay, and he kept citing his source of information as a news blog on google currents. Odd, I can’t seem to find that blog even when I search for it beyond the tenth page… Does anyone else know of this BS article or if it even exists?

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