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Crossdressers - Get to know them now!

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Crossdressers in your area

Although modern society is much more tolerant that we were in past decades and especially centuries, roles and categorizations persist. Crossdressers consciously break through these categories and as such, send a clear signal.

What are crossdressers?

Crossdressers are people who leave behind the usual, typical or socially recognized or required clothing that is attributed to them by society. Originating from the word “cross", which refers to changing to other clothing. First and foremost, the crossing of the line between sexes, or much more commonly, gender roles. Typical examples are men wearing women's dresses or skirts. Women in men's suits or tuxedos are also well-known examples. Ultimately, however, crossdressers are not bound by any limits or conventions, so that any fashionable role reversal, whether complete or even partial, can be understood as such.

What is the origin of crossdressers?

The phenomenon of crossdressing is as old as humanity itself. For as long as gender-specific clothing have existed, cases have been documented in art and literature in which at least some people adopt fashions that are actually reserved for the opposite sex. The now well-established concept of crossdressing, on the other hand, is comparatively young. It only emerged in the United States in the 1970s, primarily to distinguish travesty artists, who consciously adopt a different gender role for artistic reasons, from homosexual men. Previously, it was common to view men who occasionally wear women's clothing and thus assume certain roles as homosexuals, thus lumping the two completely different groups of people together.

Why do crossdressers “change” their clothes?

The mixing of the facts described, which led to the emergence of the term “crossdresser”, may actually involve a certain degree of overlap. That means there are certainly homosexual men who crossdress. However, this does not necessarily mean that all crossdressers, whether male or female, are homosexual. A closer look at the phenomenon in its entirety, shows that there are a variety of reasons and occasions for wearing clothing that is supposedly reserved for others:


It is well known that in Victorian England various women wore men's suits when hunting. Sexual orientation definitely didn't play a role here. Instead, it was about pragmatism. Because off-road, the men's saddle, which is still popular today, offered more support. But you simply couldn't use this while wearing the typical Victorian dresses with their sweeping skirts and petticoats. It was only possible to sit securely in the saddle and take part in the hunt in a suit and trousers. In addition, countless other examples could be found, where it seems appropriate to reach for the clothing of the opposite sex, even if hardly anyone would speak of a crossdresser here.

Fashionable motives

Those who follow the tabloid press will always notice people who use the red carpet to attract attention at award ceremonies, vernissages or other public events. In individual cases, men wear dresses from highly respected designers or women use the male tuxedo to show a completely different facet. In these deliberately staged individual cases, it is largely about attracting attention and displaying fashionable eccentricity. But here, too, sexuality plays a secondary role, if at all. Of course, comparable examples can also be found away from celebrities, where they usually generate just as much attention in the respective sphere of activity as the media echo of the examples already mentioned.

Liberation and self-determination

Whether it is as activists, celebrities or any other politically and socially active person - crossdressers set an example. One reason for reaching for gender-neutral clothing is the conscious display of established boundaries and their transgression. If a man with a full beard and chest hair wears a low-cut ball gown, it currently causes quite a stir. This sensation is deliberately created again and again and then used to discuss topics such as equal treatment, gender identity and also the rights of homosexuals, queers, etc.

Sexuality and identity

Although not exclusively, there are still people in the ranks of crossdressers who actually associate sexual or identity-related issues with it. Although these people have always existed, it is only in recent years that society has accepted people who identify as either the opposite sex, both sexes, or no sex at all. It that case crossdressing can be a conscious statement, with which a female or even binary consciousness is to be expressed despite, for example, male sexual characteristics. Anyone who feels neither male nor female naturally uses aspects of both fashion worlds in order to develop their own individual fashion language as a crossdresser.

Crossdressers in contrast to other forms

Despite the variety of different motivations of crossdressers, they are still strongly equated with other forms of gender role dissolution. In essence, crossdressing refers solely to the process of “changing clothes” regardless of the motive. The situation is different with the so-called ladyboys or shemales. These are actually people who not only adapt a style of clothing, but also adopt a complete gender role. Ladyboys present themselves as feminine in all facets and, of course, also use feminine attributes such as make-up or clothing. Shemales go one step further, because here the biological transition of the sexes is already heralded. Whether congenital or as part of a gender reassignment, shemales have sexual characteristics of both sexes, usually female breasts and penis. Here, too, wearing certain clothing is part of the overall concept. However, it is by no means to be equated with the concept of crossdressing, which is purely limited to fashion.

Transitions and gray areas

To put it simply, many people who are between the biological sexes are also crossdressers. They may only or predominantly have characteristics of one sex, but support the change to the other sex through the conscious choice of clothing. Conversely, it cannot be said that all crossdressers are therefore transgender or binary. The gray area here is certainly quite wide, so that ultimately an exact demarcation can only be made in individual cases.

Conclusion - Crossdressing - a form of expression for a wide variety of motives

It can therefore be concluded that crossdressing is particularly common in certain groups of people. Ultimately, however, it is a facet that occurs for a wide variety of reasons throughout society. It is clearly too simplistic to describe crossdressers as transgender, ladyboys or the like. Rather, crossdressers deliberately expand and transcend traditional clichés and role models for very different reasons.