Has crossdressing helped you clarify your gender identity?

This poll asks if crossdressing has helped you clarify your gender identity.

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  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • No
  • Other
  • Creator
  • #716361
    Holly Morris
    Registered On: April 15, 2022
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    Hi ladies!

    When I grew up, there really were only two genders — male and female. That was it. You were either a man or a woman, there was nothing in between, and there definitely weren’t men who wanted to be women! Uh huh, right… We know that was wrong. However, at least publicly and in most publications, that’s all that was ever presented. So if you were a person who either did something shameful like crossdressing (GASP!), or worse, you felt you were a woman trapped in a man’s body (FOR SHAME!), then you would be ostracized and considered an outcast from society. Yeah, growing up a few decades ago before the Internet was a blast… Not really. So for those of us who crossdressed as women, like me, even as children we knew something was off, but we couldn’t talk about it or share it with anyone. And if you did somehow find out that you weren’t the only person who felt that way, it likely was through some magazine that came from a seedy porn shop. But still, at least those magazines helped you know that you weren’t alone in the world. There were others out there just like me who felt the need to dress like women, express themselves as women, live like women, and in some cases, even have surgery (although not in the US) so that they could fully become the opposite sex. That proved there were others like me. Being able to crossdress was a way to help me get one step closer to who I wanted to be, and to be able to understand that the woman within me was just as real as the man I lived as. While I know that I am biologically a male, my preferred gender is female. Crossdressing lets me express that femininity and share her with the world, so crossdressing has helped clarify who I am. In other words, crossdressing helped me clarify what my gender identity was (although back in those days, those terms weren’t used).

    So that got me to wondering…

    Did crossdressing help you clarify your gender identity?



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    • #720512
      Janet Woodham
      Registered On: January 21, 2021
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      Hi Holly.

      Definitely yes! I have come to realise over the last two years that I want to live as a woman as far as it possible.

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    • #720458
      Registered On: January 5, 2023
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      I had to vote other, While I enjoy when I am Syndee and being all dressed up I still have to present as a man the rest of the time. While I know I was born a man and I present as a man during the day I would say that if anything I feel myself leaning more towards being non-binary now. I wouldn’t say I have clarified my gender identity yet but it has opened my eyes more to what I feel I should identify as I guess.

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    • #720296
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      I came across this post yesterday and I had to think about this before I replied.  I voted “somewhat” because I do like thinking of myself as a woman sometimes, and have even replayed past memories and replaced my male self with my female self just to explore the fantasy.  That being said, there are times when I’m more comfortable being a man.  It’s not like I feel very feminine when I’m mowing the lawn or snaking out my house’s sewer line and I’m sweating from all the exertion.  I have thought about transitioning from time to time, and have researched it, but since I’m in my 50’s I don’t think I could go through the actual process.  I could live as a female 24/7, but I don’t know if I would want to.  I think being a crossdresser for me is a good compromise, and helps me deal with my longing to be more feminine, but I can change back whenever I need to.  Maybe this will change when I get older.  I guess I’ll see.

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    • #720283
      Patty Phose
      Registered On: May 7, 2016
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      I’m a guy. I like being a guy. Patty is a character I created to experience how it felt to be femme. I get lots of thrills, excitement and enjoyment out of it. But I wouldn’t want to change into that character.

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    • #720064
      Abbie Normal
      Registered On: June 13, 2021
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      It eventually helped my awareness but there were several decades of confusion, false starts and misunderstanding on my part before I arrived at any real clarity. What finally made me consider my gender identity was the combination of ‘transgender’ being talked about publicly and an opportunity to dress the way I wanted, sometimes for 5-10 days at a time, for months on end (thanks pandemic!). When I could only do it for a few hours every other week it wasn’t enough to wake me up. Those short stints just reinforced the idea that it was a fetish. This opportunity to dress as a woman consistently actually occurred twice in my life, once at 29 and again at 51. Both times I realized I was a woman but the first time the societal awareness and open discussion wasn’t there yet (to me anyway) and I felt I had to bury it to get on with my life. Seems crazy now but you gotta do what you gotta do.

      — Abbie 🥰

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    • #716851
      Cece X
      Registered On: April 8, 2020
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      Thanks for posing the question, Holly. Both the question and the responses are intriguing.
      I do not believe crossdressing has clarified my gender. I am male, and always have been. None of the other options describe me as well. I am a hairy, bearded man who is about to put on his pink nightie and go to sleep.

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    • #716815
      Alison Anderson
      Registered On: October 15, 2018
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      I have to answer no. For starters, I had fantasies about wearing dresses/skirts as far back as I can remember. But it was never that I wanted to be a girl. I didn’t get the opportunity to actually dress until I was 12, but covers wrapped around my legs became my skirt, or the barber’s cape was my dress. So how can everything I remember clarify my gender identity.

      With the coming of the internet, I was able to find photos of men who dressed as women and went out in public. I realized this was the only way I would be able to go out (not counting sneaking around my back yard late at night or taking out or bringing back the trash late night or early morning. So I sought out a transformation place and went out in public. Since then I leaned to act like a woman to minimize being read.

      Now I am comfortable presenting as a man or a woman, although I still consider myself male. But now I’m more confused about my gender identity, since there are so many terms and not everyone agrees on the definitions. Am I transgender, bi-gender, gender queer, gender fluid, dual gender, a male ctossdresser? I’m not even sure I could define the subtle differences, although sometimes I tell myself I’m gender fluid.

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      • #717022
        Betty Govinda
        Registered On: February 7, 2023
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        thank you for your thoughts Alison – i can relate to much of the end of your post as i enter a somewhat self reflective period. Ten years ago I would have related as a bi/gay man – having moved from almost all straight, little bit gay. Queer then seemed to fit best for sometime – it is only in the last many months that I have realized that i am a serious crossdresser – for about five years before that dressing was something of a lark, playful. I don’t want to lose that feeling, but I also seem to be very drawn to presenting as woman much of the time. I have never gone out dressed, but would like to in a controlled social situation (my fantasy is going to friends house for a dinner party where there are other gay couples, one of whom is dressed. My partner recently expressed his desire that i dress as often as possible around him, as it strongly satisfies him to relate to me that way. So far we have co created the journey – and it has been deeply rewarding for both of us on many levels – emotionally, psychologically and sexually. So, what am I ? gender queer, two spirit or just me integrating the feminine and masculine? I do not really want to transition to being a woman, but i love the womanlike expression I’ve got going. And at 73, who would have thought that all this would be going on? betty


    • #716710
      Carolyn Kay
      Baroness - Annual
      Registered On: August 25, 2016
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      I had to answer – yes. Now because of the clothing but rather how wearing the clothing has made me take a closer look at who I really am. I have found I am being more honest with myself about my gender. I found emotions I had felt before, but never understood. I am slowly accepting who I am and letting myself be happy with it.

    • #716626
      Holly Marie
      Registered On: August 8, 2022
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      I absolutely have to vote “YES” – though my reasoning and background will probably seem a bit strange to some of the ladies out there…  Thanks for a great question, Holly (still a fantastic name, by the way!)  I find myself increasngly unsure of the term “crossdressing”; the clothes I love to wear merely reflect the Holly side of my personality, and as such I acknowledge that Holly is just a single aspect of what is a very complex and intricate being.  I wear clothes deemed “appropriate” to both (clinically defined) genders, but wearing “women’s” clothing has merely confirmed to me that NO person is entirely of one opposing “gender” or the other.  It’s true – my chromosomes are XY rather than XX but that merely confirms that I am Homo Sapiens; if (some time back in the 16th century) it had been determined that “only men” should wear the previously unisex item of tights, rather than “Women Only” well… what would the debate have been now?  Those websites we have all seen would have been showing pictures of XX Chromosome Humans wearing tights and no-one would have given two seconds of thought to it.  My “crossdressing” has clarified my gender identity; I have both X and Y chromosomes – but surely my “gender” is human???  Anyroadup:  should we stop using the terms “women” and “men”?  Now, there’s a subject that could run and run……  Holly XXX

      • #720198
        Marlene Roberts
        Registered On: December 9, 2019
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        “anyroadup”: Have not heard that expression for years, about 60 when iIlived in Birmingham, UK. Still relevant it seems. Best, Marlene.

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        • #720348
          Holly Marie
          Registered On: August 8, 2022
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          Soz, me duck – not Brummeghum, rather Lestah.  Them southerners dunno what theyz missin’ like……’Ollie

    • #716599
      Rhonda Lee
      Baroness - Annual
      Registered On: September 29, 2021
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      This question requires deep thought, as the terms “identity” and “gender” are subject to various interpretations. All of the responses are helpful, but I find JJ’s the one that most hits home with me.

      I regularly give classroom presentations to help people understand crossdressers better. I have changed the subject as the term “transgender” is interpreted different ways at different times. I came to the conclusion that there are at least 4 different aspects to gender/sexuality: biological, expression, identity, and sexual orientation… all distinctly different and not necessarily correlated with each other. The best way I have seen to depict this is the genderbread person (itspronouncedmetrosexual.com), which more recently has added distinctions between sexual and romantic attraction.

      My sense of “identity” is that I was assigned male at birth, viewed myself male in part because others did, and consider myself male. However, I also believe all people have a female component and mine is stronger than for most males. I have a compelling urge to EXPRESS that side of me… might even do so full time if society could accept and I could perform my “male” roles while presenting as a woman. But society has a ways to go for that to occur. My partner, in particular, while more supportive than most, is not attracted to me if I present en femme. Since I don’t view myself to be a real woman, or woman trapped in a man’s body, with all the connotations of such, and have no desire to transition or think that surgery would cause me to view myself any differently, I am content to merely EXPRESS my female side as often as practically possible.

      My journey has helped me better understand the distinctions between gender and sex, the fact that sexual attraction has nothing to do with gender identity, and that “expression” and “identity” are distinctly different things. I believe there are biological reasons for the way we are..our identities were determined before birth… we have no choice about who we are and how we were made so would do well to try to understand and accept who we are rather than change the unique bits that define this. We cannot control how others view us… we can only educate in hopes we might be better understood and accepted. So focus on self-acceptance and better understanding of who WE are so we can decide how best to live our own lives in recognition of what we CANNOT change, absent a need to have others change what they WILL not change, seems to me an optimal strategy.

      I believe the explanation above is a clarification of my gender identity, something that has taken me years to understand and is an ongoing process, so would answer the question “yes.”

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      • #717024
        Betty Govinda
        Registered On: February 7, 2023
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        rhonda this post is particularly well stated – thank you – betty

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    • #716576
      Marian Andersen
      Registered On: August 13, 2018
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      I said “yes” although for some of the same reasons a few ladies commented “no”.  That is, for me, crossdressing has allowed my femininety to express itself and to be realized!  I could physically and emotionally feel the joy and wonderfulness of being female!  Yet, no matter how much this persona appealled to me and how great it felt, I also realized I enjoyed my male self and life and would not transistion any further.   Thus, crossdressing brought me the realization I was compatible with two genders and one sex; often referred to as “the best of two worlds”.

      When younger there were only two (well defined) genders and crossdressing/trans information only came from porn magazines, which wasn’t, nor is an upstanding reference.   So pressure to be one’s born sex was substantial and guilt was heavy on the crossdresser.  Then came the internet with other types of views that explained “why” the crossdressing urge exists as well as the “how” to live with it.  These realiztions are what made me secure in my crossdressing, even though there are many non crossdressing attitudes and people in the world.

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    • #716550
      Registered On: March 19, 2021
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      I said no because I did not decide I want to be a woman for differnt reasons until late 2022.

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    • #716540
      Lisa Leigh
      Registered On: April 20, 2022
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      I would have to answer with a NO on that.
      For as long as I can remember, and I’m going back to 1960, as a 5 year old I have always thought of myself as the opposite sex. Yes at 5, so it is possible at that age realize something is not right. Many people dispute this is even possible, but it is. I did have a conversation with my mother back then and I remember the highlights well;
      A- Don’t tell anyone that.
      B- God made you, he doesn’t make mistakes.
      C- You can never be who you think you are.

      I guess you could call me the neighborhood sissy.
      I use to play with dolls, I really enjoyed dressing them up. “DON’T DO THAT!”
      A childhood friend in the neighborhood and I use to place towels on our heads for long hair and play girls.

      I even remember being tested as a child. brain testing, evaluations and so on (My dad was in the military, Army, so we use to go to doctors at the Naval Yard or Air Force hospitals. If anything it made it worse for me. I had to had it.

      Eventually in my teens I discovered my sisters closet and dirty close hamper. The stories I could tell. I did dress up but mostly, like now to feel at peace with myself. In my teens I will admit I had some WoW moments when dressing. I will admit my sister did catch me once.

      A few years ago a had cancer and was seeing a therapist. He gave me a written personality test. In the questionnaire was a question about how do you view sex. So I wrote down the truth. At 60 I still felt I should have been born a female not male. When he reviewed my answers we spent a total of :30 seconds on it. If anything I needed help was that! Even a referral would have been nice. He was more interested about relationships at work!? I guess I should have told him in a past life I was a lesbian!

      But I have never acted on, or told any friends, except the sisters here, about how I still feel at the age of 67. I learned to live as a man and act like a man, but inside I still feel like I am a woman.

      Side Note: I watched Quantum Leap last night and it showed me how how far we have come in the past 60plus years. It was a great episode, make sure to watch it!

    • #716535
      Barb Wire
      Baroness - Annual
      Registered On: September 16, 2021
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      A big NO for me!

      My gender identity was never about the clothing, but it did point me in the right direction: Wolford, Reitmans, The Bay, Laura Canada, En Femme, Victoria Secrets…


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    • #716532
      Emily Alt
      Registered On: August 24, 2019
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      Like many of us, I grew up when any deviation from the binary was viewed with extreme prejudice.  I learned that harsh lesson when I was 4 years old.

      Crossdressing was the clarion call for the life I was meant to live.  Of course there were plenty of other signs.  But crossdressing was the most obvious.

      Ironic that the clothes I wear became less important once I started living authentically.  Now I’m chasing experiences.

      I can only wonder what might have been had I figured it out decades earlier.  Better late than never.


    • #716526
      Cassie Jayson
      Registered On: September 29, 2019
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      I to was fearful about these desires I had to crossdress. Growing up where crossdressers and trans persons were disgusting or evil?? Purging and vowing to quit seemed the thing to do. But i the last 4 years Cassie has come out to play and really live. I am still a little fearful about thinking of myself as transgender so I call myself ‘gender questioning’ till I can accept myself as transgender.

      . Cassie

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    • #716522
      AnnaBeth Black
      Registered On: December 31, 2022
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      Very well said ! That’s exactly how it was for me from feeling alone to reading of others in seedy magazines. You were so ashamed there was no thought of coming out. I answered somewhat because this  gender thing has confused me my whole life and dressing only offers me brief relief. I have never gotten over the shame and I would still never willingly come out.

    • #716515
      Lauren Mugnaia
      Registered On: November 1, 2021
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      Hi girls,

      I just got home from work, so I haven’t read any of the posts on this thread except Holly’s intro.

      Where I work I am viewed as, treated as, and considered to be, a woman. At this point in time, almost a year after I transitioned and pass as a woman at my workplace, many of the staff aren’t aware I am a trans woman. Like Holly I knew at a very young age that I was different, always wanting to be a girl. I started dressing in the clothing that I considered to be proper for how I felt. From a teenager I dressed this way and often went out in public, continued doing so until I accepted that I was transgender and transitioned to living as a woman, legally a female.
      So yes, crossdressing definitely played a large role in clarifying my gender identity.


      Ms. Lauren M

    • #716495
      Betty Govinda
      Registered On: February 7, 2023
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      what a great thread – and such a spectrum of responses! crossdressing has given me a sense of security with my Man – we are both very clear about the roles – and it has given me a sense of relief – I think seeing myself as his woman/wife and entering into that role over the past few years has allowed me to feel more fulfilled sexually and emotionally. On the surface it would seem confusing – acting typically masculine in our public but rural setting, then privately putting on makeup and a dress, cooking dinner, etc.. The reverse is happening – i fell less confused, more certain, and more connected – to him and to myself. It simply fits for me.

      5 users thanked author for this post.
    • #716491
      Fiona Black
      Baroness - Annual
      Registered On: November 23, 2019
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      As my dressing activities expanded to the point where I now live 90% of my life as a woman, I read extensively about cross dressing, gender identity and transgendered issues to answer questions I had about where I fit into the trans spectrum. It helped me be much more comfortable with who I am and how I see myself.


    • #716487
      Paula Here
      Registered On: April 13, 2020
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      I answered NO,

      Crossdressing has added to my co fusion about my gender, and gender role.

      I never thought about being anything other than a straight man.

      Now the hole thing is up in the air and questioning everything.


    • #716465
      Jennifer Connolly
      Registered On: November 27, 2022
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      I voted no, I guess I’m in the minority, because I enjoy both worlds.  I love the idea of being able to be a woman, and get to wear all the nice things that males are denied, but I love my outside of Jennifer life too.  I can’t say things won’t change for me, but I’m pretty old, and set in my ways.

    • #716424
      Angela Booth
      Registered On: August 1, 2020
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      Like you Holly it was the same as a youngster, you were either a male or female, there was no other choice. I knew I was male and that was enforced, although I knew I wanted to dress and be like the girls, which confused me but got on with life. I knew what my identity was, I needed no clarification, but there wasn’t a definition available at the time.

      Now we have gender I sit quite comfortable living as a woman who happens to have a male body which is an inconvenience, but not a disaster.

    • #716415
      J J
      Registered On: September 13, 2019
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      I replied yes, but it is more complicated. The more I dress, the more I realize that I am a guy who likes to wear dresses. Therefore it helped me define myself, but the complicated part is that I never really questioned my gender.

      As for gender history, I have to disagree. We have always had gender issues, the only real change of late is people who were in denial a decade or more ago are now have to admit it is real. It has been an issue throughout history and across societies, and in most of history people had just come to accept it even if they chose to ignore it. C

      I had a human sexuality class at university in the 70s where we discussed this in very clear terms. Just like sexual orientation, it has been with us throughout time, it is just ignored to more or less an extent at various times.

    • #716409
      Roberta Broussard
      Registered On: July 20, 2020
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      I said somewhat because I was certain I was a male who just liked to put on female foundation clothes. This only happened for very short periods and not very often. Then about 5  yrs ago i retired. I went about two yrs before it hit me. I started with just pulling on some undies and didn’t want to stop there. In a matter of days I  soon had full outfits. The more I dressed the more I questioned my true gender. Perhaps I’m just a little afraid to admit what I feel in my heart.
      I sure do enjoy looking and feeling like a woman.

    • #716404
      Liara Wolfe
      Registered On: August 14, 2021
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      It has made me realize how feminine I am.

      Hugs, Liara

    • #716387
      Registered On: April 29, 2021
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      I have dressed on and off since I was 13.  Like you stated if you were outed then society looked down upon you.  Yes the porn magazines were out there talking about men who liked to dress up.  I got outed several years ago and lost so called friends who to this day won’t have anything to do with me.  I love how I feel.  Society may be changing but there are a lot of people still having to hide it because those around them don’t want to see them.  It is tough.


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