I am NOT a pathology!

Cross-dresser Nun

My wife knows I cross-dress. She went with it for a little while too. That was not nearly as good as I thought it would be. She was uncomfortable being out with me at clubs themed for cross-dressers and T-girls and I felt guilty asking her to go. So I stopped asking, and for the most part, I stopped going except on the rarest of occasions. I moved my wardrobe back into the closet and only dressed in private. I have written before about all the things a wife must feel when she learns that her husband cross-dresses and I know from first hand experience that all of the explaining in the world frequently does little to restore stasis to a relationship after the revelation is made.

For me, I strongly feel that the failures of my explanations is largely due to the fact that I do not understand my urge to cross-dress all that well myself. I also strongly feel that the reason I have trouble understanding myself is because of linguistic limitations. There are many articles here that struggle with those linguistic limitations and many of those articles are constructed around what a cross-dresser ISN’T and I think this makes it very difficult to explain to someone what a cross-dresser IS.

For instance, it seems that most cross-dressers are NOT gay. I have yet to see a cross-dresser use this word in self-reference. A few of us are bisexual. And some of us like men, but only like men AS a woman. But I have yet to see someone admit that they like men exclusively both as a man and as a woman.

It also seems to me that most cross-dressers are NOT transsexuals, and, based on my observations only, that most of us don’t seriously entertain the idea of actually becoming a woman. We all seem to fantasize about it and we all seem to have educated ourselves about it. But very few of us actually seem to go through with actual reassignment. For most of us, I suspect, it is because we recognize ourselves as cross-dressers and differentiate “cross-dresser” from “transsexual”–even though every cross-dresser I have ever met acknowledges an inner woman!

Finally, it seems to me that most Cross-dressers are NOT transvestites. We don’t dress and act like women solely because it gives us a sexual thrill or because sex is only satisfying if we are dressed as our female selves. In other words, most of us aren’t paraphiliacs.

Accordingly, based on my own unscientific sampling I am positing the following affirmative (and admittedly over-generalized) description of what a cross-dresser IS:

Most of the cross-dressers I have come across online and in real life are  (a) straight or bisexual men (b) who feel like women on the inside (c) but don’t have an overwhelming compulsion to physically become a woman, and (d) who find peace and happiness on a non-sexual level when looking like and being dressed like a woman.

Notably, by this definition, we don’t fit into any recognized current or former pathology (homosexuality, thank God, is no longer considered a pathology in the DSM, but gender dysphoria and transvestism ARE still considered pathologies as far as I know). Crossdressing, on the other hand, has never been considered a pathology unless associated with 1) Distress, 2) Disability – occupational or otherwise, 3) Dare deviling. In other words, cross-dressers are sexually and mentally…NORMAL.

But try explaining that to your wife while wearing a dress!

 

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Charlene CrowderDebKatieBree JFalecia Recent comment authors
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Charlene Crowder
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Charlene Crowder

I have read many writtings here. Enjoyed listen to the ladies growth. The struggles, I think pretty much have had and are still having those struggles. Been there done that too and still am to soem degree. My wife knows, we even go shopping together, but as a woman it becomes diffucult for her.
My point to the article above, Well put. Thank you for writting it and I am one that has no desire too lose my hardware, I like it, infact, very fond him, lol.

Thanks for for listening.

Deb
Member

For sure it’s not, I am not a pathology. I finally realized (it’s personal though) that my CD side is only, but such important, an expression of a core part of me (true self). I feel myself as 50%-50% mf and +/- 10%-20% above and below. For me, balance is important. I express my femme side on different aspects of life every day, not always through the act of CD. If I do neglect my femme side then BANG out of the sudden ….. I have that urge… I CD and it’s like having water after a month in the… Read more »

Katie
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Katie

Although I have told my wife about my crossdressing she doesn’t discuss it or want me to dress but I feel I crossdress cos I feel it makes me a woman.I think my man bits shouldn’t be there and I feel my breasts are there thus when I dress this gives me a feeling of being a complete woman although I’m not.Confused or what?

Bree J
Guest
Bree J

What a brilliant discussion!
I am now widowed and my late wife was incredibly uncomfortable with my crossdressing (admittedly very limited) forays. She was willing to discuss the topic but could not fully support it or understand it.
Congratulations to Katie and all of the great respondents
Bree J

Falecia
Guest
Falecia

Thanks Katie for opening this discussion. As I read through the comments, I have kind of reformulated my understanding of the CD phenomenon. I have been crossdressing in some ways since 9 or 10, maybe with burgeoning puberty? As I began to be attracted to women and their shape, I became fascinated with their items of clothing. That was the 1950s and they dressed a lot like some of the women on “Mad Men.” Often buxom with high-heels and belted wastes of all sorts. We had an aunt who lived with us for a while whose clothing (she dressed-up for… Read more »

Vera Jane Gonsalves
Member

Thank you Katie for putting to paper so many thoughts and expressions that usually are hovering about. At this point in my life I have stopped reasoning why I crossdress…… if I feel the need I just find an opportunity and do it…… and click some pictures just to relive the experience again and again….
God bless you,
Vera Jane

April (Pacific Princess)
Member

Wonderful article Katie! You ask a lot of thought provoking questions. I guess it’s like trying to explain why I am attracted to women – sure I can describe the things about women that attract me, but why I am attracted to those particular things I have no idea. Same with crossdressing. I can describe what I love about it, but why I love those things……..again I haven’t a clue. I rarely feel compelled to do it every day, and I can go for days or weeks without crossdressing at all. But when the desire comes back – it becomes… Read more »

*skippy1965(Cynthia)
Member

Very thought-provoking article, KAtie. I too have always struggled to explain (to my ex wife while I was married and to my 24 yr old daughter currently ) why I feel the need to dress. They both always just said “well just stop doing it!” not realizing that they may as well ask me to stop breathing! In my own case there are at least SOME TG feelings as well which complicates matters as I endeavor to determine my path going forward. Thank you for the insights!

Sheryl Johnstone
Member

Dear Katie, what a fantastic, thought provoking article and you have elicited some great replies too. I have heard of estimates of the active gender diverse community comprising of between 2% and 5% of the general population but is that really a true indication of the number of US that there are. Would there be ANY, cis men, who have not, at some time in their life said of something they have just done that “that was a bit girly” or “I let my femimine side show for a minute there”. And is there a cis woman, who has not… Read more »

MacKenzie Alexandra
Member

Katie, Thanx for sharing your thoughts. As I read your article, it was as if you were describing my own situation. I have only shared that I am a crossdresser with my wife within the past year. Though she has been supportive and understanding, she has asked out of curiosity why I believe that I am a crossdresser on several occasions. I have never been able to provide an answer with which I am satisfied.

Thanx again,
MacKenzie

JaneS
Guest
JaneS

Katie thank you for a timely and stimulating post. I agree that it’s hard to explain to someone else something we don’t always understand ourselves. I roughly equated crossdressing with support for a particular sports team in a recent conversation with a friend. My question was “Why do you feel so passionate about that team?” “The response was “I don’t know, I just do.” The hardest thing to explain, and I believe the point most frequently missed, is that we don’t choose to be crossdressers. It is who we are. Yes, we choose to dress at certain times or in… Read more »

janedon
Member

I’ve spent Most of my working life working with food—-
There really is No explain why some folks love certain foods prepared certain ways & other Gag on that Same food–
crossdressing is no different–Except—some folks worry more about (Image) what Others might say–
Jane–London Ontario

Catie Maye
Guest
Catie Maye

Hi Katie An excellent article that addresses many of the key questions that most cross dressers struggle to answer. In response to your final summing up is pretty much spot on…. In fact based on the most high profile surveys of the last century around 75% of all cross dressers are heterosexual and approx 75% are married with family. In Vernon Coleman’s ‘Men In Dresses’ 77% of respondents stated that the reason why they cross dressed was because they liked the feel of female clothing, 59% because it gave them a sexual kick, 48% because it helped them to relax… Read more »

Pat Scales
Guest
Pat Scales

Great post. I have also had a hard time the the “WHY” question. I am a very happily married older CD who loves to get dressed, either fully or even partially as circumstances permit and I have a wonderful and somewhat understanding wife BUT I have never been able to really explain why I am the way I am. Sure I have proffered some explanations but I cannot make a cogent and convincing argument. Several years ago I lucked into the purchase of a 20 year old used Porsche. It had about 10K miles on the odometer and I got… Read more »