I’m saddened how often I see people all over the community using the word crossdresser as if it were the highest of insults. Terms like ‘recreational’ and ‘weekend’ are often used in the same sentance.
Well I am a crossdresser and I’m proud of it!
I spend time on crossdressing forums and see post after post, topic after topic of people begging for a cure or an explanation for why they have such a deep need, temporarily, to appear different to their birth sex. That is not the behaviour of someone with a quaint hobby or who do this as a recreational activity. Sure most of these people are not transexuals, sure they do not want surgery to permanantly change their sex. Plenty of them also just aren’t sure, existing in a state of conflict alternatly considering hormones and rejecting them, wrestling with intense feelings of guilt and confusion.
Many crossdressers I have spoken to wish that they were transexual, envy transexuals because if they could be happy with permanantly changed sex then they feel they’d be more accepted by family and friends… and also by themselves. I am not the only one who has had a close family member screaming in my face ‘you can be one or the other but you can’t be both!’. Now I’m not saying that this acceptance would be the case, only that this is the way that many I have spoken to feel.
For many of the crossdressers I know there is indeed a sexual component attached to some of their dressing. For many that is a phase that lessens or passes as they increase their self-acceptance while for others it is consistant. That does not however mean that it is a purely sexual act even when there is a sexual component.
And, lets be rational here, so what if it was? Is it unethical to be aroused by a fetish of clothing? It clearly can be practised by informed consenting adult humans. It doesn’t intrinsicly involve bodily harm or the risk of such. So then if it was just a fetish then it would be just as valid as any other ethical sexual preferance, activity or inclination. In which case demonising crossdressing as a sexuality is just as invalid as demonising any other ethical sexuality or sexual act from homosexuality to heterosexuality.
Regardless for the vast majority of crossdressers I have spoken to it is much more than a sexual proclivity or a hobby or a recreational activity. It is more than sexual for most (though admitedly so is homosexuality etc). It is a deep intrinsic need that they cannot quit or excise no matter how much they throw their clothes in the garbage, charity bin or fire. It is something that they cannot permanantly stop even when threatened with divorce, loss of custody, loss of family and friends. No matter how hard they try to get rid of it, it comes back.
Crossdressers don’t understand why they need to dress the way they do, they do not know why they cannot quit, they do not know why this is an essential part of who they are but they find out, often the hard way, that it is an essential part of who they are. It appears that no-one knows or even has a reasonable idea what the cause is. Is it some form of sexuality? Is it a kind of mild or partial variation of transsexualism? Is it something else again?
Now I’m not trying to co-opt anyone elses movement. In my view there are only two real positions in civil rights, ‘everyones rights’ or ‘rights only for some people’ and I hold to the first position as the criteria for the 2nd are in my view arbitrary, illogical and bigoted so I support all civil rights struggles (and yes someone can hold the first position and prioritise the order of their fights, though I’d prioritise it on basis of need, not the ease of winning personally). I’m also not trying to say that crossdressers have greater need or are more sympathetic victims of circumstance than anyone else. I am absolutely not putting hate on any other group of people at all. There are bigots and haters in every single group and community whatever they are and crossdressrs are no exception, there are people who believe in inclusion and equality and tolerance and acceptance in every group and community too.
Just please remember everyone, no matter what your argument with another person might be, no matter how you choose to define yourself, no matter what differences and distinctions are important to you and which are unimportant to you, no matter your opinion on terminology…
Crossdressers are people too. They are human beings. Their blood is just as red, their tears are just as real. They are no more and no less valid as people as anyone else.