Although not the number 1 cliché, this idiotic myth is probably the most damaging to crossdressers than any of the other myths combined. This one alone plays a significant role in society’s general unacceptance of us. Myth: crossdressers are perverts. Fact: Most crossdressers are certainly NOT perverts, but rather regular guys who have a strong feminine side. Only a small percentage of crossdressers are perverts. It is probably proportionate to the number of non-crossdressers who are perverts.
I’m not exactly sure how this myth originated in terms of what line of thinking was involved. It is probably due to many factors, from general misunderstandings blown out of proportion to things that are completely just made up. I’d like to explore a few possibilities that may have lead to this terrible assessment of crossdressers.
Most crossdressers experience a period of time in their life in which crossdressing often leads to sexual arousal and masturbation. In most cases, the arousal phase is temporary. It starts around puberty and fades away over a period of time. I think there may be some general knowledge of this among non-crossdressers. Did this arousal-while-dressed phase contribute to the notion that crossdressers are perverts? To take this in a slightly different direction, wouldn’t anyone who ever sat in front of their computer masturbating to porn also be considered a pervert? Porn is arousing to most, is it not? I won’t even get into the various types of porn people get off to. Is everyone who masturbates considered a pervert? May as well rename planet Earth to Planet Pervert if that is the case. You can nix crossdressers from the pervert list since the arousal phase is usually only temporary. After that phase has passed, it would effectively mean that crossdressers are the exact opposite of pervert… if “pervert” is coming from the idea of arousal and masturbation.
There has been bad publicity of crossdressers on TV. An episode of the show “Cops” comes to mind, in which a crossdressing trucker is ripped off by a prostitute and gets tackled while being chased by the police after an altercation. Perhaps scenes like this embed in people’s minds that crossdressers are perverts. What about non-crossdressers who pick up prostitutes and may or may not end up on TV shows like Cops? Aren’t they then perverts as well? Wouldn’t anyone who ever picked up a prostitute be considered a pervert, period? I’d say we’ve got a hell of a lot of perverts in (political) office right now if that’s the case. Why would this perversion be limited to a crossdresser if it seems more based on being caught with a prostitute? Does one’s attire while being with a prostitute create the divide between pervert and non-pervert?
Some crossdressers have been known to be prostitutes. Does that make ALL crossdressers everywhere prostitutes? Maybe we should explore this twisted logic in a different light: Some women have been known to be prostitutes. Does that make ALL women everywhere prostitutes? Maybe only crossdressing prostitutes are perverts but the female prostitutes are not? Care to explain this logic in a way that doesn’t sound stupid? Good luck.
Every once in a while one might spot a very outgoing, not-quite-right-in-the-head “freak” while out and about… one that also happens to be a crossdresser. Maybe this strange person makes strange comments and looks at people in a strange way while hopped up on some strange substances. Call them a freak or weird-o or whatever. Might this have people thinking that crossdressers are perverts – because of a freakish crossdresser found here or there? I suppose that only crossdressers are freaks and non-crossdressers are not? I’m not sure about you, but I’ve met PLENTY of non-crossdressing freaks – people who have truly freaked me out and just started talking to me out of the blue in a very not so ordinary way. They’ve always been just plain men or women, not crossdressers. While at a party once (in guy-mode), a drunk man kept touching my hair while talking to me. Repeatedly he touched my hair while complimenting me on it and would not leave me alone that night. It was very difficult to get rid of this guy without creating a scene (which I was trying to avoid doing). He had a mustache and dark hair. Oddly, I did not come to the conclusion that all men with dark hair and a mustache were freaks or pervs. Should I have?
The shame factor
I think some people throw the word “pervert” out there to shame a crossdressers into not being a crossdresser anymore. This selfish tactic may be used when a wife finds out about her husband being a crossdresser, or when a crossdresser comes out to friends or family. Calling a crossdresser a “pervert” in order to shame them into being “normal” is like calling a police officer a “pig” in order to shame them into not giving you a ticket. It will only cause more problems, if anything. Though some crossdressers will feel a sense of shame when a loved one calls them a pervert, it will not change who they are. It only serves to make the crossdresser feel bad about themselves simply for being different, and often leads to deep emotional difficulties in their lives.
There are at least a dozen more theories I can explore on this, from TV clips of rather outrageous drag queens at Mardi Gras to homophobic attitudes that crossdressers are trying to fool straight men into liking them (which is another myth all together). Who started the myth that crossdressers are perverts and why? I believe the why is out of a lack of knowledge combined with pure hatred. In terms of who, unfortunately most people who are naive to the realities of crossdressing will believe whatever negative garbage they’re fed by people even more naive than they are. The baseless lies are passed down from generation to generation: from parents to their kids, from hate-filled religious “leaders” to their congregations, and person to person in general conversation.
While it is true that some crossdressers are perverts, it is also true that MOST crossdressers are very good people: loving fathers, husbands, brothers, community leaders, doctors, teachers, etc. who are not perverts at all.
I’ve met a lot of people in my time and many have called me friend. In the last decade, there have been several people who have looked up to me as a mentor and someone they trust. I’ve listened to their problems, offered them advice, helped them when they’re down on their luck, etc. I wonder – if I told all of these people who’s lives I’ve made a positive difference in, that I’m a crossdresser… would they immediately throw out all the good they’ve come to know in me and deem me a pervert? Perhaps I should test that some day and find out.
If you happen to be a non-crossdresser who once believe that we’re a bunch of perverts, I hope you understand a little better now. If you still believe we are a bunch of perverts, then why? We just want to be accepted in society and live our lives without being labeled as such terrible people. If you think we’re perverts simply because we’re different, then I’d say YOU’VE got the problem, not us.
Related content: Crossdressing Myths