What Is the Difference Between Crossdressers and Transgender


As time goes by, we can notice a big improvement in LGBTQIA+ represention. It brings us many benefits, such as the increase in acceptance rate for a variety of gender identity. However, sometimes people get confused, as a result of misinformation or lack of understanding. A common mistake is to assume that crossdressers and transgender people are the same. Well, they are not, and in this article, you shall learn the differences between them.


What Is the Difference Between Crossdressers and Transgender


You’ll see that crossdressing is more of an activity than proper gender identity. Trans people feel that they belong to a gender that is not the one assigned to them at birth, while this may not be the case for most crossdressers. These are two separate things, you don’t have to be one to identify as the other, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be both.


To learn more about the aspects of each category, I’ll give you some examples and explain few things about gender identity. By the end, I hope you’ll be able to tell the difference between crossdressers and transgenders. And after that, you may decide which term fits your situation.



1. A brief introduction to a few terms


What Is the Difference Between Crossdressers and Transgender


Once a person is born, their parents or the doctors tend to assign them to a gender, based on their biological sex. Biological sex is the set of characteristics you have when you’re born, such as chromosomes, hormones and genitals.


What Is the Difference Between Crossdressers and Transgender


Gender, on the other hand, has a different meanings. It’s more related to social values and traditions, and that’s reflected on the way you look, sound, behave, and your mannerisms. Such reflections are referred to as gender expression. Your gender identity is defined by how related you feel to each gender. Each person has a biological sex, a gender identity and one or multiple gender expressions.


2. What is a transgender person?


A transgender person is someone that identify as being from a different gender than the one they were assigned to at birth. They can be classified as binary and non-binary, depending on how they identify.


What Is the Difference Between Crossdressers and Transgender


Binary trans people are those who identity with a single specific gender, usually male or female. I say that because the definitions of male and female may be different between societies. And social context plays a major role in defining  gender role. Now what about non binary trans people? Well, they’re those who identity as both or neither male and female, and everything in-between. This category includes genderfluid people as well, as their gender identity flows between a variety of genders.


What Is the Difference Between Crossdressers and Transgender


Another thing to add is that not every trans person may want a gender reassignment surgery, or do an Hormone replacement therapy. That’s because each one of us experiences gender in our own way, and not everyone feels body dysphoria. Gender transitioning aims to make trans people happy and comfortable with their own body. Therefore, if a trans person is already comfortable with their body, there’s no need for them to undergo any of these procedures. Another quick note, is that the term “transexual” is often used to describe people that transitioned. But you should ask the which term they are comfortable with.


3. What’s a crossdresser?


What Is the Difference Between Crossdressers and Transgender


Crossdressing is an activity rather than a gender identity. It means to dress up in clothes that are associated with a gender different from yours. For example, when a cisgender man dresses up as a woman. Crossdressers may have different techniques and motivations, but that’s the basics of how it works. You can be a transgender crossdresser, but you don’t have to be trans to crossdress. In more technical words, to crossdress is to change your gender expression. And as we saw before, gender expression and identity are two different things.


What Is the Difference Between Crossdressers and Transgender


Crossdressing can be done in a number of different ways, depending on your goals. Some people really want to pass as someone from another gender. They tend to put a lot of effort into their makeup, use a wide variety of shape wear and practice both their voice and mannerisms. Some other are ok with stuff as simple as wearing underwear from another gender. This diversity is what makes crossdressing so versatile and special.


4. Motivations of each one


What Is the Difference Between Crossdressers and Transgender


Transgender people are motivated by the desire of being their true selfs. All they want is to be perceived as who they really are, instead of someone they were told they should be. The gender transitioning is motivated by this desire, and by body dysphoria, which is a common issue among them. The goal is to match their gender expression their identity. To simplify things, we can say that they want to look like who they are on inside.


What Is the Difference Between Crossdressers and Transgender


A crossdresser, on the other hand, may have a wide range of motivations. Learn more>>11 Reasons Men Crossdress

Sometimes, it may be nothing more than a different experience. Sometimes it’s a matter of fashion, culture or even experimentation. Or even, it may be a way to express themselves, a hobby or even for artistic purposes. Crossdressing isn’t bound to gender stereotypes so anyone can do it. Dressing as a woman won’t make a man less masculine on the inside; it’s a matter of presentation. In other words, your gender expression isn’t bond to your gender identity. They are social constructs and can’t hold you back from being yourself or doing what you like.


5. Impact on life


Being a crossdresser is something you can keep a secret. You can dress up at night and change before you sleep. As long as it satisfies your needs, no one needs to know you’re a crossdresser. You won’t feel less valid if you hold back from crossdressing for a while. But if you’re trans, you may want to come out so people see and treat you as the person you really are. Not coming out as trans may cause transgender people to repress themselves. They may feel like they are playing a role or pretending to be someone they aren’t.


What Is the Difference Between Crossdressers and Transgender


In other terms, crossdressers may be able to hide it without suffering too much, depending on their motivation. Trans people, on the other hand, face a wide range of pressures, making it hard to live as a trans person. But if they happen to hide it, they won’t be able to be themselves and may become depressed.


What Is the Difference Between Crossdressers and Transgender


The importance of passability also varies between them. Trans people tend to want it more often in order to feel validated. While some crossdressers want to pass, I want to clarify that it’s not everyone’s priority.


6. Historical context


What Is the Difference Between Crossdressers and Transgender


We can assume that both crossdressers and trans people always existed. Well, at least since we came up with the concept of gender. They are both an important part of ancient history, even though they had different receptions. It was common in ancient Greece and Rome to see a male actor playing a female role in their theatres. We have evidence of trans people existing back then as well, such as Heleogabalus, a former Roman empress.


What Is the Difference Between Crossdressers and Transgender


The main difference between them is how society viewed them at their time. Crossdressers tended to be more accepted but were usually treated as a comic relief or related to art. Trans people had less visibility, and we’re more likely to be victims of prejudice. However, it didn’t stop them from existing or fighting for their right to do so.


7. Methods


Some methods used by trans people are the same that crossdressers use. However, some of them are vastly different. To a certain degree, we can say that transgenders tend to use every technique that crossdressers use, but with a few extra steps. A good example is makeup and shapewear, which both tend to use. The goal of makeup is to make their face look more feminine or masculine, while shapewear changes their silhouette. While these are the main techniques for a crossdresser, trans people use them as a complement to HRT. They do so because HRT takes a few years to make big changes in their appearance. While they wait, they make use of temporary techniques. Many of which are the same used by crossdressers for short periods of time. Another interesting fact is that trans people may keep using these techniques even after completing their transition. They do so to boost their passability.


What Is the Difference Between Crossdressers and Transgender


In the short term, they both aim to achieve a certain look. The difference is that crossdressers use quick and temporary alternatives. It allows them to change back after they are done. Trans people, on the other hand, search for permanent solutions, even though they take longer to have the desired effect.


What Is the Difference Between Crossdressers and Transgender


Even though crossdressers and trans people share some similarities, they are not the same. Everyone has its own way to identify and to express themselves and should have the right to do so. I hope that you can now decide which definition suits you better. But feel free to use both or even none of them. Your identity is up to you, and you’re valid no matter what.

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  1. I am a sissy and just like to appear as a very effeminate swishy male that people will stare and laugh at!

  2. Even though crossdressers and trans people do share some similarities, they are not the same.

  3. There are many male persons who feel like a transgender at heart even though physically they are not . hence to satisfy their desire to look like a transgender they dress up like them . These cross dressers dont wish to feel like dressing up to be an woman because they very well know that everything they use are false from the rising breast . Hence it gives them the pleasure of considering themself to be a transgender for a while getting dressed up like them , walk like them and so on in the hiding while the real transgenders suffer for their exposure in the society .

  4. so cross dressers are outcasts from transgender scene or are we accepted in that scene ?

  5. Well said. I enjoy crossdressing make-up, clothes and underwear. At the end of the day I am still a man. I don’t want to change my gender. It’s nice sometimes to become someone else and escape from my normal life. Woman’s cloth are so much more fun and bigger variety. Wearing body suite and wig is invigorating. High heals is a challenge but it’s fun. No disrespect to women but I am happy being a man.

  6. I am a straight man and love to wear skirts and High heels. I do not put on make up or wear a wig. I love going shopping with skirt and heels. Very often , women compliment for my style or smile when they me. . I wish I could go to work like that but our society is not ready …

  7. I’m predominantly a Crossdresser and have a small wardrobe which wear in Private. I do however have some Transgender traits also. I go through periods where I long to be a woman, I wish I could tuck my male parts up out of the way, I’ve often investigated self medication to present more female. I have feminine manorisms, I prefer female company, I would prefer to go out on a girl’s night out rather than a boys. I have a very soft feminine side which is much stronger than my male side. I’ve recently accepted that I’m Gay which makes things a little tricky . I have good friends so I’m not alone .

  8. Im a female crossdresser. I have invented a male persona named Jimbo Cooley. Did I use for artistic purposes? I have met a few cross dressing women, but most of them use filters are use artificial facial hair, and I get a kick out of being quite handsome and convincing, but at the end of the day, I’m a lady

  9. A male DNA is build up of 50% female X chromosome so, Crossdressing acts as a method to shot circuit this internal XY battery giving out Energy… This is a way to travel inside of you and your raise Consciousness. Loving yourself makes this world good as you get connected with Akashic knowledge, improves patience, internal DNA rectification, reduces stress, reduces diseases, Elongates life, gives us Empathy and lots of technical knowledge automatically…

  10. Crossdressing is a must for all internal healing… And advance our society to TYPE 1 civilization.

  11. I thought crossdressers get a sexual arousal out of dressing like a woman cuz they’re really men and they get sexually charged from it it’s not bad but they just loaded with testosterone because they’re still male whereas trans women and I am a trans woman the hormones make it like our testosterone’s cut way back and we’re attempting to be woman’s levels of estradiol estrogen and testosterone which is way lower than a regular mail as far as getting stimulated sexually all libido so low it might happen for a couple of minutes but it goes away quick and we don’t change our gender after we take our clothes off it stays you can’t hide it after a while big difference

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