Do you ever feel misunderstood?
Sadly, there’s a lot of ignorance out there. That’s why I decided to put together a post debunking some of the most common myths about crossdressers and transgender women.
Let’s start with one of the BIGGEST myths of all:
Transgender women, crossdressers, and drag queens are all the same.
I created this site to be a welcoming place for transgender women, crossdressers, and those on all sides of the gender spectrum. But as you know, these are distinct groups and the terms aren’t interchangeable.
Here’s how the GLAAD Media Reference Guide defines some common transgender terms:
- Transgender women – People who were assigned male at birth but who identify as women. Many transgender women are prescribed hormones or undergo surgery, but transgender identity is not dependent upon medical procedures.
- Crossdressers – Men, typically heterosexual men, who occasionally wear clothes, makeup, and accessories associated with women. This activity is a form of gender expression and is not done for entertainment purposes. Crossdressers do not wish to permanently change their sex or live full-time as women.
- Drag queens – Men, typically gay men, who dress like women for the purpose of entertainment.
- Gender non-conforming – A term used to describe some people whose gender expression is different from conventional expectations of masculinity and femininity. The term is not a synonym for transgender or transsexual and should only be used if someone self-identifies as gender non-conforming
- Non-binary and/or genderqueer – Terms used by some people who experience their gender identity and/or gender expression as falling outside the categories of man and woman. The term is not a synonym for transgender or transsexual and should only be used if someone self-identifies as non-binary and/or genderqueer.
Now that the record has been set straight, let’s look at some of the most common myths about crossdressers and transgender women.
7 Myths About Transgender Women
- Being transgender is a choice.
- Transgender people are gay.
- Transgender women aren’t “real” women.
- Your sex is defined by your chromosomes and/or hormones.
- You have to have surgery to be a “real” transgender person.
- You aren’t transgender until you start HRT.
- Kids and teens are too young to know if they’re really transgender.
7 Myths About Crossdressers
- Crossdressers are gay.
- Crossdressers are perverts.
- Crossdressing is a psychological problem.
- Crossdressing can be cured.
- Crossdressers want to change their sex.
- Crossdressing is a destructive addiction.
- Crossdressers can’t be good husbands or fathers.
Have you heard any of these myths before? They’re frustrating and hurtful, aren’t they?
It’s time for the world to wake up and realize this truth:
Your gender is who you are on the inside. There are infinite gender expressions and all are valid!
GLAAD has some excellent resources to spread awareness of transgender issues. I highly recommend checking them out.
Recommended Resources from GLAAD
- Transgender FAQ
- Tips for Allies
- GLAAD’s Work on Transgender Issues
- Report Defamation
- Transgender Resources
Now let’s hear from you…
What’s the truth that YOU’D like to set straight? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments below!
Of course there is alot of xenophobia out there.Give yourself a gift.Accept what cannot be changed.If one needs professional help in this area get it.Life is a gift and needs to be enjoyed.Unfortunately,not only in this area but in life blind spots abound.Obviously,there are those that are not ready to accept others as they are for various reasons.Some of these people are close to us.I see no reason in many situations to alienate these people so keeping things private often may be best course.Afterall,self acceptance is what matters.In other areas of life often in areas of disagreement one does not engage in alienating others.In the meantime those of us that are not xenophobic can learn, enjoy,and share our insights on sites like this.We should all be so thankful for all the resources this site offers in human understanding etc.It is in fact a gift that keeps on giving.Thankyou Lucille and staff.
Thanks Lucille, it’s good to make the differences visible. Next step – is going on, for sure in the Netherlands!- is sharing it with ”normal” people, to make them aware and accepting those ”things” (as no disease or free choice) with respect…
I am married, having best wife and two beautiful kids, so happy with my family. I am crossdresing since I was 13 years old and did it always when no one was home and I still do. I don’t know how to say about it to my family and how they will react afterwards…
Oh my word …me too …you sound lovely. Are you in the USA or Europe ?
Oh my what a surprise ..I too dod not expect a reply ….yay !!!!
I am from South Africa …..
Love Elaine xoxoxox
Sorry for such a late reply. It’s not very often that I am checking this webpage. I didn’t expect any reply.
I am from Europe. Where are you from?
Understanding the labels is a very necessary thing. Attaching any label to anyone individual is very dangerous! Of all of them “crossdresser” is by far the worst! A part time not considering HRT or GRS or even calling themselves Transgender continues to deminish all under the trans umbrella! If s person for what ever reason identifies some aspect of cross gender feelings they can not and should not be deminished! The word “Crossdress” has a social stigma attached to it! One that each time it’s used hold a bright spot light of condemn nation for all of us. I’d almost consider it as offending as any racial or sexist slur! A heterosexual male who occasionally is compelled to present in a feminine or female like person should not be placed in some expectation of a label which you and other define. People are unique individuals with individual stories and paths. Do not hold them back with ignorant stereotypical labeling.
Very well said ….yay !!
Thank you, I did mess up a couple of points gramicly but I do appreciate the accolades. “Crossdress/er is a derogatory term we need to stop using it. Much prefer bi gender, non gender or not ready or can’t transion to full time. We are all transgender. Mostly because the expressions of gender are societal and somewhat functional and have evolved to where they are today. But there will always be many folk not just those who identify trans that lay some where on the trans spectrum even if they identify cis gender.
Thanks Lucille for the article and for your contribution to the tg community.
For what’s it’s worth. I try not to label myself. I feel female and I live as a female. Simple enough, but it works for me. I am accepted by folks as a woman and that’s how I now live my life now that I’m retire. I love my life now. Being retired is fabulous. Oh by the way ladies, here I am today at The Rack at Nordstrom. If you have one of these stores by you, you should check it out – great clothes, shoes, lingerie, etc.
Hi yeah totally agree they are all different not the same, I am almost totally sure I’m transgender mtf but am going to find out very soon, about 3yrs ago seen a documentary about a trans person in my shoes and it was like a documentary on me and how I felt growing up.. so been dressn since v young 7yrs old was trying on sisters clothes and shoes. Its awfully confusing living as a man when I know I’m a girl. I’m now 39yrs old and known I was like this since about 18 , finally going to go in and seek therapy but huge doubts about living as a Lady and implications involved. Who knows could just be a crossdresser but goes deeper than that. Funny old life we live but would really help if people could try to understand it’s not our choice to be this way it’s just the way it is…
“Most female people become WOMEN through their girlhood & adolescence.
This female person has BECOME through her transgender nature & experience.”
~Brettany Renée Blatchley, #GracefullyTrans