Transgender 101

America's Foremost Transgender Woman


What is the Difference Between a Transvestite and a Crossdresser?

Transvestite vs. Crossdresser?

This variation is perhaps the most subtle compared to all the other comparisons in this section.


So what's the difference?

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Before we get to that…

If you're looking for additional insights in the category, these other similar chapters in this section might be of interest:

Variations in Transgender Expression: An Introduction
What is the Difference Between Transgender and Transsexual?
What is the Difference Between Transgender and Gay?
What is the Difference Between a Transsexual and a Shemale?
What is the Difference Between a Transvestite and a Crossdresser?
What is the Difference Between a Transsexual and a DRAG Queen?

Transvestite vs. Crossdresser

What is a Transvestite?

(AKA TV) Although the Latin derivation for the word transvestite is basically "crossdressing”, it’s most commonly associated with the more “fetish-based” and “over the top” interpretations of womanhood in trans-world versus standard cross dressing. Transvestite styles are rarely created to “pass” - but to explore and test the most exotic and erotic side of femininity. It also usually includes more make up, bigger hair and lots more trimming. I was certainly the poster child for this definition in the 1990’s but I personally never bonded with this “term”. The word itself sounded too much like some pervert, to me.


What is a Crossdresser?

A “crossdresser" (AKA - CD or CDer) is a man who fulfills a need for transgender expression through occasionally - or often - dressing and presenting as a woman. Some cross dressers share their craft publicly: shopping, socializing and going to dinner - often with other similarly evolved trans-women. Some only do it privately - either because their spouse or friends would no be supportive, they worry about life issues associated with if someone finds out or they feel they could never “pass” in public.

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I've found very few men in the world who have not at least tried being a "one time CD" by donning a woman's panties. Why is this so widespread? Who knows! I'm pretty certain the fact female undergarments look and feel so much sexier than jockey shorts plays a minor role!


There’s also the “fetish cross dresser” - whose primary motivation for cross dressing is the sexual stimulation associated with such activities. The internet is a boon for most cross dressers - allowing them to connect publicly and privately as never before.

Some of the healthiest and most balanced members of the trans-community are cross dressers.

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However, that’s not always the case. One cross dresser variants - we call the “fantasy cross dresser” is notoriously problematic. These girls are usually closeted cross dressers with a strong sexual tie to being transformed. They’ll use photos and images of other transgender women - or born-women - and engage others on-line with their female persona’s. Both men and other trans-women have been fooled by these con’s. Fortunately, the trans-world is a rather small community and they always eventually get “found out” regardless how good the con.


Thus, in summation:

A Transvestite and a Crossdresser are both members of the transgender community. Both are born with a desire to express a gender opposite from the one they came into this earth.

A transvestite is going to be more exotic: over the top - if you will. Their trans expression often includes a more sexual flair. A crossdresser is most often driven to be accurately represent a female persona that can also go to generic public venues and 'pass" as female.

A transsexual's desire is strongest - and will include plans or dreams to live full-time as female and completely change gender. A crossdresser does this representation on a part-time basis - maintaining some sort of comfortable balance between male and female.

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Additional Main Chapters in this Area, include:

What is Transgender?
Introduction to Transgenderism
How to respect a Transgender Person
Men Dressed as Women
Urban Dictionary: Transgender Terms
Urban Dictionary: Transgender Slangs
Transgender Labels
What do I do if I think the girl you're dating might be transgender?
My husband watches shemale porn: Is he gay?