I am very much bothered by those who will only dress part way, (usually things like panties, bra, stockings heels) solely for sexual purpose and yet they call themselves crossdressers. I feel like they make it hard for people to truly accept people like you, me and others who do dress completely and try to present ourselves as a respectable woman. How do we separate girls like us from those who dress simply for sexual purpose?
The short answer is that we can’t.
I think the term ‘crossdresser’ will be forever entwined with fetishism, at least with the majority of the world. There will always be those who will wear whatever they want for whatever reason they wish. And really, that’s okay. Anyone should be able to dress how they want, regardless of why.
Another short answer is that we shouldn’t attempt to dictate who can and cannot use this, or any other word when it comes to identifying as any form of non-binary.
However, I absolutely understand where you are coming from. At times I think the word is a little outdated and should be retired, similar to how ‘transvestite’ and ‘transsexual’ have been more or less phased out but the word isn’t going anywhere anytime soon (or probably ever).
This is an example of how non cis people usually have to qualify, clarify, and explain the nuances of our gender identity with others. When I say I identify as transgender I often follow up with explaining that transitioning, HRT, and surgery are not in my future. When I identified as a crossdresser (and in a way, I still do) I would clarify that what I wore wasn’t for sexual reasons.
But if it was? Well, there’s nothing really wrong with having a fetish. If stockings and panties arouse someone and it isn’t hurting anyone, well, who am I to stop them? Besides, you really can’t. I don’t think anyone can deny who they are and what they want. I think a fetish is ingrained in someone early in their life and it’s unlikely they will grow out of it. I also think one’s gender identity, although it may evolve over time, will always be part of themselves.
Looking at this topic in another way, I’ve been told by trans women who have transitioned that I am not really transgender because I haven’t started estrogen or had gender affirmation surgery. But I am transgender and always will be.
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8 thoughts on “Ask Hannah!”
Like always, you have a way with words and gave a very insightful answer.
I am going to be way more blunt because this is one of my main annoyances.
We are all in a marginalized group and know what is like to not be accepted or to be a “bother” to others. This is the exact argument that cis women make about transgender women.
Can we just stop doing this and just accept each other no matter where they are on the spectrum?
If we can’t do it amongst ourselves, how can we expect the world to not be bothered by us?
Thank you for allowing me to vent.
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You hit the nail on the head big time here!
I’m so sick of the gate keeping and infighting within the trans community. While others may or may not agree with Hanna’s definition of Transgender, I think it’s the most inclusive definition I’ve encountered. Rather than Siloing and trying to own the definition, we need to be welcoming and accepting of all.
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I think the writer is very unfair to many of us “crossdressers”, unless I am misinterpreting the comment. I typically only wear undergarments, but I don’t do so for a sexual purpose. I love to feel feminine and would happily spend most of my days fully dressed, but I feel I would never look very much like a female (much less actually pass as a woman). I have no desire to subject myself to anyone’s ridicule, even my own, so make little attempt to dress as a “respectable woman”. Despite that, I do consider myself to be a crossdresser. I hope you can find room for me in your universe.
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There are many reasons a man may dress up. It certainly isn’t strange to do so because it makes one feel sexy and feel like a woman at the same time. In fact, seeing oneself as a woman is in itself a turn on, sexually and otherwise as well – for example, one may feel sexually turned on seeing himself as an attractive woman person, instead of his usual man self reflection in the mirror. Nothing wrong with this. Anyway, dressing up, including make up, jewelry, etc., is fun, exciting, interesting, and every guy should try it at least once to really know the greatness of doing this act. Maybe then they will understand us better?
labels seem to be the problem eg. the founder of Tri-Ess (Virginia Prince) considered herself to be an heterosexual crossdresser but lived full time as a woman .no wonder the confusion
This is a complicated one for me…
I’m super anti-gatekeeping and think that we should always err on the side of inclusivity.
I’d also be lying if I didn’t admit feeling turned on ***at times*** when I’m presenting female… but I believe that’s a function of feeling sexy and confident with who I am, rather than it being a fetish… it’s the kind of being turned on by feeling beautiful that I suspect many (cis, trans, enby, etc…) regularly feel when they feel confident.
That being said, I also struggle with the optics of sexualizing transness… I know you’ve mentioned getting disturbing messages from perverts, as have I. Despite my IG profile clearly stating I’m not interested in men, I get at least one or two friend requests from men A DAY… considering I only have about 150 followers, getting that many requests that often is kinda creepy. It gets old, real fast.
I also worry about the stigma it creates to “the world around us” who still mostly have Jerry Springer and some Sitcoms as their primary portrayals of trans people. Many view us as panty wearing perverts and I think that there is some burden on us to work towards crafting an image that dispels that… HOWEVER, I also don’t think it’s right to demonize trans people who have had to go into sex work, open up an OnlyFans, or who just enjoy the sexual side of this.
All of that being told, it’s complicated. I really don’t know the correct answer… but I don’t believe it involves excluding fetishests.
I also get annoyed by pics of hairy legs in panties, the owners of whom call themselves ‘crossdressers.’ ‘Femulating’ or ‘Femulator’ might be a better description for those to whom it’s more than a fetish.