Many people who don’t conform to gender and dressing-up norms often seek answers about their identity. The question Am I a Trans or Crossdresser reverberates when they don’t have the answer yet. Others, however, just want to know the difference and dichotomy between crossdressers vs. trans people.
Today, we’re going to answer all of those and more. This guide was not created to formulate an unneeded barrier between transgender and cross-dressing individuals. After all, some groups of people have already included crossdressers as part of the transgender umbrella.
This was only made to clarify and answer the common misconceptions surrounding the topic.
Transgender VS Crossdresser
Are crossdressers trans? Not necessarily. Yes, there are trans crossdressing individuals but a crossdresser who doesn’t identify as a transgender individual cannot be considered a trans person. In this section, we will not include the definition of a trans crossdresser just yet. We’re going to expound on that in the later parts of the guide.
To summarize, transgender individuals are usually assigned a gender at birth that does not reflect their true gender identities. These are AMAB (assigned male at birth) and AFAB (assigned female at birth) people who often transition physically to the gender that’s the opposite of what they’re assigned.
For example, an AMAB person who on the inside feels like a woman is a transgender individual. Most transgender people physically transition with the help of:
- HRT (hormone replacement therapy)
- GRS (gender reassignment surgery)
- Secondary sexual characteristic surgeries such as removal or addition of breast size
- Dressing up traditionally as the gender they identify with and more
Whereas crossdressers don’t feel like they were born on the wrong body and dress up as the opposite gender they identify occasionally for different reasons.
What is Transgender?
In this section, we’re going to provide a detailed analysis, including breakdowns supporting the sub-groups and the definition of each topic.
Most transgender individuals often suffer from gender dysphoria. It’s a negative feeling brought upon by the mismatch of their gender identity and biological sex, and in some cases, just physical appearance.
Many people undergoing it may experience depression or anxiety and the usual way to treat it is through dressing up according to the gender they identify with, HRT, cosmetic surgeries, and GRS.
The majority of crossdressers don’t experience such, thus, it’s a common dichotomy between a crossdresser vs trans.
Non-op, pre-op, post-op
Transgender people are often categorized as non-op, pre-op, and post-op. The non-op transgender individuals are the ones who aren’t planning of undergoing a GRS a.k.a The Bottom Surgery. They may or may not also choose to have cosmetic surgeries or HRT to achieve the silhouette that mostly goes with their gender identity.
A pre-op trans person is someone who’s planning to get the full surgery and is usually undergoing HRT. They’re called pre-op because they haven’t gone through GRS yet.
The post-op transgender person is someone who has gone through a full transition. They’re mostly also referred to as transsexual.
Read also: Denying that I am a pre-op trans woman
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Most crossdressers do not take HRT medications. They mostly identify with the gender they were assigned at birth which doesn’t compel them to change their natural appearance.
These medications mostly include estrogen, testosterone, androgen blockers, etc. They help in changing the secondary sexual characteristics of a person. For a trans woman, this may mean:
- An increase in breast size
- Fat redistribution to the hips and butt
- Smoother and less hairy skin and more
Gender Reassignment Surgery
In laymen’s terms, this surgery turns the male genitalia into the female genitalia and vice versa for transgender men. It is a common surgery that’s prioritized by trans individuals because it alleviates their gender dysphoria.
However, not all trans individuals are planning to undergo it to experience completion. Some of them already feel complete without the need for GRS.
Read also: What to Expect from a Transgender Surgery?
Trans people do not dress up or act as the gender opposite to what they’re assigned at birth for any other reason than to match their real gender identity. They do not become trans temporarily or for fun.
Generally, a transgender woman will be dressed up traditionally as a woman 24/7 just like how a transgender man will be dressed up traditionally as a man permanently.
Famous Transgender People
To make it easier to determine the persona, here’s a list of some popular transgender celebrities from around the world:
- Caitlyn Jenner
- Laverne Cox
- Chaz Bono
- Haruna Ai
- Nikita Dragun
- Kim Petras
Read also: The World’s Famous Transgender People
Bonus: Trans Crossdressing Individuals
They’re transgender people who enjoy dressing up as the gender they don’t identify with. This activity doesn’t have anything to do with detransitioning. Most of them do it for entertainment purposes only.
What is a Crossdresser?
A crossdresser is someone who dresses up the opposite gender assigned to them at birth for reasons not including transgenderism. Some do it for entertainment purposes. Others make a career out of it. And some are able to fulfill their fetishes by crossdressing.
They don’t have gender dysphoria. They identify with the gender they’re assigned with. They don’t find the need to undergo HRT, GRS, and surgeries to alleviate symptoms such as depression, anxiety, etc.
Fetish or Interest
While some do it for carnal desires, others are just interested in doing it. Many cosplayers crossdress all the time because of the satisfaction they get from dressing up as a character.
Some crossdress out of curiosity and others follow some fashion trends that distort traditional male and female clothing.
Drag Queen, Drag King, and Discreet
Many people earn money and make a career out of being drag kings or drag queens. They don’t shy away from the spotlight and have no qualms in being known for their art.
Others are more discreet with the cross-dressing sessions that they only do it in the intimacy of their own home and only around people they trust.
Moreover, some get a thrill out of crossdressing in a public place whereby people won’t recognize them.
Surgical and Non-surgical
Although most drag queens and drag kings won’t undergo surgery to flawlessly look like the opposite gender, some of them do. Not because they suffer from gender dysphoria but because they want a more polished look.
Some perfect examples of drag queens who have undergone cosmetic surgery to look more feminine are Detox and Chad Michaels from the hit reality TV show Rupaul’s Drag Race.
Not a 24/7 Lifestyle
Crossdressers don’t dress up as the opposite gender 24/7. They mostly live a life based on their assigned gender at birth. However, for the more busy ones like famous drag queens with road shows and who live regularly live on a tour bus, the majority of their time may or may not be used to dressing up as a woman.
Added to that, some of them only dress up. They don’t necessarily have to act or sound traditionally like the gender they’re emulating.
Many well-known crossdressers are usually drag queens. We will not include the celebrities who only appeared dressed up as the opposite gender once or twice for an event, a movie, or a TV show.
- Willam Belli
- Bianca Del Rio
- Trixie Mattel
- Alyssa Edwards
- Elvis Herselvis
Now that you know the difference between a crossdresser and a trans individual, you’ll have a better understanding as to why many trans people don’t like being called crossdressers.
Not that there’s anything wrong with being a crossdresser, but because calling trans people one sort of invalidates their gender identity. Did you enjoy reading this guide? If so, please share it on your timeline. Feel free to join the conversation by writing a comment below.