Common Crossdressing Myths
By Tina Johnson
In the past few years, crossdressing has become a hot topic in the media. Many TV shows and movies have depicted crossdressers in a positive light that shows the emotions and drive behind crossdressing. With all this new media coverage, it’s no surprise that there are tons of misconceptions and confusion behind this culture. Read on to find out if you’ve ever experienced one of these false ideas or whether you’ve ever believed one could be true.
1. If you’re a crossdresser, it means that you’re gay.
This is an extremely common myth. It’s not surprising that crossdressers are lumped into the lesbian, bi, gay and transgender category because they often are associated with these groups. Although many crossdressers can be a part of one of these groups, not all crossdressers associate with the gay community. Many men who dress as women decide that they still want to be with women sexually. Many women who dress as men still love men in a sexual way. Crossdressing doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with sexuality.
2. Crossdressers are all men who wish they were all women.
It’s easy to confuse crossdressing with the transgender community. If a man dresses like a woman he must do so because he wants to be a woman, right? Not necessarily. Sometimes men simply feel more comfortable in women’s clothing. They love wearing dresses, makeup and long hair. Sometimes crossdressers don’t love all of those things. Much of what is considered “gender” clothing is labeled so by society. Many crossdressers don’t associate with the opposite sex, but they associate with the clothing of the opposite sex.
3. All crossdressers want gender reassignment surgeries.
Shows like “Transparent” have shed a lot of light on the crossdressing and transgender community. Yet these shows are confusing to people who do not pay attention to the plot or who assume that every crossdresser or transgender person is exactly like the main character in the show. Some crossdressers decide they want gender reassignment surgery and to complete the transformation into someone of the opposite sex. Yet some people simply want to wear clothing typically associated with the opposite sex. Many people don’t want surgery but want to take growth hormones to accentuate their breasts or grow facial hair. The important thing to remember about crossdressing is that there are a lot of gray areas.
4. Male crossdressers spent too much time around women as children.
Many people make the assumption that men who want to wear women’s clothing are more effeminate because they spent so much time around older sisters, aunts or their mothers as children. Girls who wear pants more than skirts are often labeled “tomboys.” Yet crossdressing doesn’t have much to do with a saturation in the opposite sex. Many boys who dabble with crossdressing as kids grow out of the phase; many girls who are labeled tomboys grow up to desire more feminine styles of clothing. Crossdressers generally gravitate to wearing clothing typical of the opposite sex on their own – although they may have access to the other sex’s clothes through friends or family.
5. Crossdressing is a side-effect of a midlife crisis.
Another common misconception is that crossdressers are simply having a midlife crisis. Many men and women come out of the crossdressing closet later in life, so friends and family often hope that the lifestyle is just a phase. True crossdressers won’t grow out of this “phase.” They simply chose to begin allowing others to see them as their true selves later in life. They probably have been crossdressing for a much longer time period than most people expect.
6. Crossdressing is an addiction.
Since many crossdressers do so because they cannot live a lie any longer, many people assume crossdressing is a fix in an addiction. This is completely false. An addiction is something you do that hurts other people and hurts you that you cannot stop doing. Crossdressing isn’t an act of hurt; it’s an act of love. When you show your true colors and come out of your shell, you’re able to love others more fully and accept their love in return. Crossdressing should never be thought of as a “tick” to be ashamed of.