The other day, I exchanged a lot of messages and emails with a wife of a crossdresser (I’ll omit her name here; she knows who she is and is probably also reading this 🙂 ) which in a sense made me think a bit about myself and why I crossdress at all. Searching the web I also had come across a blog of a fellow CD who was asking the same question.
Well, I definitely don’t know the answer, but it seems to me that there is not just “one” answer but possibly several causes. There might be a genetic predisposition; there might be environmental issues; there might be educational issues. Some say they had bad “male” role models (like a father or older brother they disliked) or very good “female” role models (an Oedipus complex, or envying a sister). Other had bad experiences with some partners and starting to fantasise about becoming their own “perfect female”. Some just got in touch with female clothing very early on and felt an immediate attraction to the silky touch, the sexy styling, the way female clothes feel on top of your bare skin.
No matter what the real reason is, allegedly we are definitely not alone in this. Some statistics say that up to 5% of all males on the planet are secretly crossdressers, even if they never “come out” (because they suppress the urge to crossdress, as it might not be politically correct to do so; I specially admire the courage of Islamic crossdressers, since in many Islamic countries you might be simply sentenced to jail for crossdressing in public, if not even punished more brutally). 5% is an insanely huge figure — that’s over 150 million of us, worldwide! If we all lived in the same country, we’d be one of the largest countries on Earth!
Incidentally, this is somewhat inside the same range of estimated homosexuals in the world — between 1% and 20%, depending on the study, but most go for the 4-5% range — and they have become much more tolerated these days: some professions are definitely dominated by them, and that’s great! I’m not saying that we’ve fully included homosexuals in our society — there is still a lot of intolerance around, and they still can’t get married legally in most countries — but the tide is definitely turning for them.
Well… when will be our turn? There are just two widespread “acceptable” professions for crossdressers: become an entertainer (a transvestite on a stage) or a prostitute 🙁 In more tolerant societies, you might at least become a member of a CD-support organisation, and work for it full time as an employee. On other societies, there are no CD-support organisations (which is the case of my backwards country — although, ironically, the homosexual activists are quite active, organised, and fully accepted throughout the whole society!)
I believe that the major reason for the lack of acceptance of crossdressers is that we break social norms of behaviour and, of course, dress code 🙂 Homosexuals can go out in public and never be spotted as one; most will lead perfectly normal lives and don’t feel the urge to “dress weirdly” as sadly they’re often stereotyped. Most even prefer members of the same gender that act, behave, and wear things that members of their gender are supposed to do and wear: after all, they’re attracted to it in the first place! While this is not true of all homosexuals, at least it means that they can go routinely to any place on the world without attracting notice, and the ability of mingling within a society is quite important for their acceptance, and probably the main reason why they’re better tolerated.
Crossdressers are a complex case. Sure, when in “male mode”, we don’t attract any attention. But for many of us, adopting a male style and walking around as one, feels like “acting”. It’s just one part of our personality that we explore and exhibit in public; we cannot show our “other” part. That remains (often) hidden, or “comes out” in public usually in “special” places (either CD bars or similar venues, or each other’s homes), although a few have such gorgeous female figures that they can “pass” everywhere. Well… not quite everywhere. In most places, you won’t be able to get a job presenting yourself crossdressed. I can imagine that except for CD-friendly venues, you might find it very hard to enter those places (specially if the require an ID). For instance, I would love to go to the Opera wearing one of my favourite evening dresses. I would very likely be dressing like any other woman, i.e. within the usual dress code for women (if you have seen my videos and photos, you know that I don’t do “drag”, but only contemporary, casual, or elegant styles, even though I might be slightly out of fashion with some dress combinations). But I would still not be a woman, even if I’d respect their dress code for Opera, and very likely I would be barred to attend it.
That’s perhaps what I find so difficult about crossdressing. I imagine that it’s also one reason that some crossdressers finally resort to extensive (and expensive!) surgery and taking hormones — effectively transitioning as a transgendered person — since it’s one way of finally getting accepted that you’re allowed to wear women’s fashion in public, too, if you’re physically indistinguishable from a genetic girl. (Sadly for a few TGirls, not even extensive surgery will help in their case — I truly pity those extreme cases! It must truly be horrible for them!)
But I definitely wonder if after the homosexual “liberation”, which is well under way, since we’re a group of about the same size, if slowly we won’t get the right to wear in public what we like — anywhere, from opera to the workplace.
A girl can only dream… 🙂