Plenty of (non-crossdressing) people seem to believe that crossdressing is nothing more than a personal choice. They think that for whatever reason, some guys just decide to go against the grain of society and wear women’s clothing and makeup. Maybe they also believe that we enjoy the ridicule and rejection we often face as a result of our “choice”.
Myth: A crossdresser chooses to dress in women’s clothes, doesn’t need to, and can also choose to stop. Fact: Crossdressing is a very necessary outlet for feminine self-expression in some men. It is no more a choice than choosing to be left-handed or right-handed.
It’s difficult to find a good analogy that will properly illustrate the inaccuracy of this crossdressing myth. There are many comparisons that can be made, but few carry enough weight to suitably convey the reality. Because most (non-crossdressing) people are accepted in society as they are, it is nearly impossible to explain the fundamental need for self-expression and the devastating negative emotional and psychological consequences one can suffer when deprived of their ability to do so.
There seems to be no shortage of people who think crossdressing is nothing more than a sexual fetish. The origins of this myth however, are rooted in reality, at least to some extent. Sadly it’s been blown way out of proportion by people who don’t understand what they’re talking about, and little has been done to fill in the blanks of reality. Please allow me to clarify things for you.
Myth: Crossdressing is just a sexual fetish because crossdressing men are aroused by dressing up and do so for sexual pleasure. Fact: Although crossdressing is a sexual fetish for some, the vast majority of crossdressers do not experience any arousal as a result of crossdressing, nor is it a factor in their desire to do so.
Because this crossdressing myth is of a sexual nature, it is necessary to discuss some aspects of sex and masturbation. Although I will do so tactfully and on an informative level only, if this kind of subject matter is offensive to you, it may be advisable to discontinue reading… and you should probably never consider a career in the medical field. ;) If it is the truth you seek however, read on. Sex and masturbation are simple facts of life, just like eating, sleeping, and exercising. It is society that chooses (and teaches us) to make some topics taboo and others acceptable discussion material.
This myth is fairly common among (unaccepting) loved ones of crossdressers and subsequently many crossdressers themselves. In online transgendered communities, countless times crossdressers have expressed guilt about being themselves sighting this exact myth as the source of their guilty feelings.
Myth: Crossdressing is a purely selfish act and the time spent crossdressing could be better spent doing more productive things. Fact: Crossdressig is no more selfish than time spent reading a good book, watching TV/movies, exploring a personal hobby, or any other activity of personal interest.
We’ll start out by examining the meaning of the word “selfish” and then get into why there is little merit to this myth.
A lot of people seem to think that crossdressing is an addiction because most crossdressers cannot stop crossdressing even if they tried. Sadly, there is a good number of crossdressers who feel that their own crossdressing is a terrible addiction they need to rid themselves of. We all grow up learning about how “wrong” crossdressing is. It’s driven into our heads repeatedly throughout our lives.
Myth: Crossdressing is an addiction like alcoholism or any other drug dependency that must be overcome. Fact: Although crossdressing may be addictive to some, crossdressing itself is not an addiction, but rather a personal trait like being right or left handed.
“A man dressed up like a woman?? Why… he MUST be crazy! This man needs help! He should be institutionalized! Hurry – get him off the street before anyone else catches this terrible mental disease!” Oh please. This attitude and severe lack of knowledge is so pre-1950’s. Crossdressing is a mental illness, babies come from storks, and the world is flat, right?
Myth: Crossdressers are mentally ill and that is why they have the urge to crossdress. Fact: Although it is possible for a mentally ill person to also be a crossdresser, crossdressing is not the result of a mental illness, but rather one of many personal traits that some people have genetically woven into them. This particular trait just happens to be widely misunderstood and have a social stigma attached to it.
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.
It is a popular misconception that because a man dresses like a woman, he wishes he was born as a woman or wants to have sex reassignment surgery (SRS). This is often the second question asked when crossdresser comes out to someone – just after being asked, “are you gay?” Myth: If a man dresses like a woman it is because he wishes he was one and plans to have SRS. Fact: Most crossdressers do not want to be a woman or have SRS, but rather crossdress in order to explore and express their feminine side.