I don’t know about you, but I wonder where I fit within the broad definition of crossdressing. There is more to it than what meets the casual eye, especially the eye of those who judge us. By now, those who have been around this site for any length of time have come to see, first; we aren’t alone, and secondly; we are a broad and diverse group. So shall we…

I’ve stated it before. We are more than the extreme definition of male or female. Those terms fit better near each end of the spectrum. Those in many circles would say there isn’t any room in between them. We all know (and most likely anyone with conscious thought) that there is more middle than end. Just as there is a difference mentally and physically between manly men and starlet females there are vast thought and physical differences in the CD universe. We even fight amongst ourselves about what is and what should be included or excluded.

If you were a kid who had a hankering for your sister’s panties, were you a crossdresser or just had a fetish? Most of us will acknowledge that this is how we may have started before dipping our painted toes into the realm of womanhood, instead fixating on the tapestries of femininity to start. Things like nylons, slips, bras, perfume, high heels, lipstick, etc. Our fixation on certain aspects without a desire to present as female. Most often associating it with sexuality. If I still felt this way in my forties, I’d consider it more of a fetish rather than being a burgeoning crossdresser. You may disagree, fine by me, but I feel that the broader category for a crossdresser is more than wanting to wear objects of the opposite gender as defined.

A crossdresser isn’t someone who just steps into their first pair of heels, they are explorers of femininity and consumed by the thought of it, much enough that they alter their physical appearance (in whatever manner they can or get away with) to make presenting female easier. I pluck my eyebrows and keep my face cleanly shaven having done so since I was in my twenties. No unibrow for me, but back then my fetish was for high heels and nylons. The thought of going all in was but a distant thought. There was one period where I did have a goatee, but I did so in defiance of those feminine thoughts. And yet… they were a sign nevertheless of a journey to come.

Crossdresser Superstore

I’m going to exclude drag as I believe it is a special form all on its own. There are similarities and differences. Let’s also skip the growth cycle of becoming that established crossdresser. I was a kid that liked? Later I started adding… but fought those feelings, until I came more or less to the point where I logged on to CDH and realized many others feel the same way.

You’re an adult and are you Girly? Feminine? Or a Woman? In Brina’s eye, those of us who are girly are drawn to certain specifics associated with femininity. We are more than just admirers of the look on (genetic or otherwise) individuals; we are excited by and covet said items for ourselves. I use high heels as my example. I can’t stop watching women walk in them (online or in person) and wonder how they would feel and look on me.

If you add Feminine into the equation, I’m also keeping my toenails painted (legs most likely shaved) and have a collection of heels in my closet or hideaway. One who feels they are more Woman than man is considering how long they could wear them, could they walk comfortably in them, and how expensive are they, and do they really have anything to wear with them or are they just creating a huge buying experience.

Are there boundaries to cross (pun there) that take us from one level to the other? How do we know when or which one we are? Truthfully… it may fluctuate daily or even over long periods. You may be in Feminine and then your wife has a baby, and you revert to Girlie to survive. Balance in one’s life is the thing of importance. In a similar fashion, an avid golfer gives up the majority of a golf season to help his family adapt to the baby. He may still get in some rounds but not in the same frequency. The opposite is also true. The obsession with golf grips him and he is on the course daily, with new clubs, has his own cart, and is playing at the expense of other things that maybe should be taking priority.

En Femme Style

I bounce back and forth between Feminine and Woman, even into transgender. There is a differential in my assertion of a Crossdressing “Woman” and being transgender. To me, the biggest point is the absolute feeling of being in the wrong body and the gender dysphoria. I don’t hate my body, I would be happier if I had a full bosom, smaller feet, no facial or body hair, and (undecided on little Johnny…) In the Woman category, we want it all but still have the capacity to be the “Man” that others expect. I think this is where many of us feel that we may be the woman and are instead crossdressing as a man to keep up appearances. I’ve said it before, I’d love to move somewhere new and establish myself as two people who just happen to never be seen together. A true CD’s dream.

Before you start asking where or who is included and whether there are more specifics; what I’m trying to point out is that there is a pattern many of us have taken as we move through our lives. It is where we settle that is the biggest difference. We have all the same similarities; some are wrought with more passion and urge while others find more consistency and satisfaction in having all the necessities available for when they are needed (the frequency to change and not be defined.) I love the look of the “French maid,” I don’t own an outfit but would go out on Halloween in one. Same with some of the other outliers that some of us contend don’t count as being a CD but are more fetish-oriented. I tend to include them because many of those instances will lead a movement to the Feminine or Woman later. And Fetish is where many of us started. My caveat for this is where you are or have always been (generally with sexual gratification) obsessed with certain objects that are female in nature.) An example may be excessively high-heeled, thigh-high boots. It’s more about the object and not the female representation.

We all want to belong, to understand the feelings that plague us, to find some form of peace with who and what we are, and to the eventual point of acceptance and appreciation of what being a crossdresser entails. It isn’t, let me say that again, isn’t about wearing the clothes of the opposite gender. It is the fascination of femininity and finding our individuality in expressing it. It might include a hidden stash of items to full-blown closets full of evening dresses and clothing along with drawers stuffed with more makeup and accessories than the majority of women own, to wanting or establishing a public female persona where our manhood becomes more the secondary consideration, though still vitally important to maintain our existence.


I hope this helps, brings you a little comfort, or at worst, brings back some fond memories of your journey. Until next time, be safe, be free of anxiety, and let the moments when you can be dressed be wonderful and meaningful…


More Articles by Sabrina (Brina) MacTavish

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Sabrina (Brina) MacTavish

Brina is from Iowa. She is currently the Managing Editor of CDH and TGH. When she isn't busy on-site, she spends her time writing--more than a hobby, but still seeking that 1st bestseller. Under her male guise, she has 5 published works of fiction and one short novella under Brina's deplume. A recently completed CD novel should be ready in the next year and Brina hopes it can become a series with fun characters.

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Charlene Victoria
Active Member
17 days ago

Brina, thank you for the article. My journey like so many others has its ebb and flow. But no matter how diminished the desire to dress becomes I can’t escape the ever present sense that at my core I am a woman. I’ve come to conclude that I am not a crossdresser. Crossdressing satisfies little because I know that I am but masquerading. Crossdressing does not “scratch the itch" which feel. Why? Because it doesn’t make me a woman. I sense very strongly and incessantly that I am a woman. I want to be full time in daily life what… Read more »

Melissa Sue
Active Member
16 days ago

I truly enjoyed the article, thank you. Especially, “I’d love to move somewhere new and establish myself as two people who just happen to never be seen together." This statement struck a chord with me. I would never do it (love my life as it is) but would totally enjoy the freedom of being able to choose how I presented.

16 days ago

Thanks for the interesting and intriguing post. You certainly covered a lot of interesting topics in this CD journey we all share yet experience in varied ways. As a “mature” older girl I have landed in an interesting place. I’m happily married and we share a sort of weekly girls (date) night in the confines of our home. I dress fully varying my feminine outfits. My spouse is as understanding and open to my inclination to feel and present as a woman. She has limitations with me presenting as a woman publicly. I dealt with prostate cancer (radiation treatment) in… Read more »

Flora Smith
15 days ago

I think, for me, cross dressing is a rediscovery of my natural femininity.  While I have no recollection of raiding Mom’s lingerie drawer as a child, I was for all intents and purposes, a little girl.  I may not have understood how or why, but I knew I was different from the boys.  I was quite content playing Barbie’s with the neighbor girls and would jump right to the girls’ toys when the Sears Christmas catalog would arrive.  Fast forward to where I’m at now and the clothing is a tool to pacify my controlled gender dysphoria.  Yes, I would… Read more »

Active Member
14 days ago
Reply to  Flora Smith

Fast forward to where I’m at now and the clothing is a tool to pacify my controlled gender dysphoria.  Yes, I would much rather live as a female than a male.  My femininity is the most natural thing about me.  But, I’m also realistic about the choices I’ve made in my life.  And they’re totally on me.  I don’t have any regrets, but am comforted in the knowledge that I am now Ok with my effeminate nature.

I totally agree. That’s exactly where I am as well. 

Joseph Kafka
5 days ago

Dear Sabrina, Excellent article. Covers so many important points to consider. I am actually sitting on my couch dressed in my female attire and watching the NBA finals game while considering your content filled words. I am an old timer now. I was married for 38 years to my wonderful wife until she passed due to liver cancer. Oh well, life and death are entwined. I was always attracted to female attire but now I’m on my own and feel content in my clothing. I really wanted to thank you for this article you wrote. It gives me many things… Read more »

Neha K
1 hour ago

What an article Brina! Truly loved it. “be free of anxiety, and let the moments when you can be dressed be wonderful and meaningful… " I’ll remember this every time and practice this mindfully when Neha is dressing up 🙂

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