Steph's Place

Crossdressers - cis or trans?

Why Stonewall should possibly have a re-think.

Crossdressing. When I asked on Twitter if a crossdresser was cis or trans - I got a deluge of replies that I was never expecting. In some ways, it was the best tweet I have ever made because just for once I never had a single TERF or Gendecrit jumping down my throat. All I saw was lovely people coming back to me with sometimes with very detailed replies over three or four tweets or the occasional link to other websites. The best one I had tweeted to me is at the bottom of this article. 

I want to emphasise that people who crossdress should NEVER feel "guilty" or "dirty" when or after wearing different clothes - for God sake, you are wearing clothes! Some crossdressers feel guilty after crossdressing and you should not. 

Anyone who has read my story on my website will know though, that I know a fair bit about crossdressing as my first wife Lin ran two "Dress Agency's" for several years before we split up. Men came from all over - sometimes travelling a 200-mile round trip to wear a dress or skirt.

The reason for my tweet was that I was messaged by a follower bitterly complaining that Stonewall include crossdressers in their umbrella term "transgender" and to say the least, she was very unhappy about it. She did try and tweet about it herself, but perhaps because of the wording of the tweet, she never got much traction. I, on the other hand, did - perhaps because I got some retweets. 

So are Stonewall right in classing crossdressers as trans? Well, based on the replies I got no, they are not. I have not done the maths to the last decimal point, but about 90% to 95% of trans folk say they are wrong.

The responses about folk who are gender non conforming were more varied, but on balance, most people felt they were cis too as they were not making a full change - more like taking a "neutral position". I am not gender non conforming so on this point I too will take a neutral position. I am trans. 

Crossdressers are however as a norm cis (but with some exceptions). 

And we were all cis at some time in our lives. 

For starters, we were forced into our original gender by our sex and parents. Blue = boy, pink = girl. Just for your info though it was not always like that because about a century ago it was the opposite (pink = boy) - that is for a blog one day.

At some point in our lives, some of us said "no" this is wrong; my marked sex does not feel right. It does not equate to what my brain is telling me - I am trans. Many folks who tweeted me used the phrase "self-accepting."

And we often discovered that truth through crossdressing, though a few of us prefer the term "experimenting". Only a small portion of us went straight to "trans," but it is worth noting that an EU report states that 69% of trans women knew they were trans before the age of 15, so there might not be a lot of time or availability to crossdress for the younger ones of our community. The figure for trans men is higher at 73%.

Some folk remain crossdressers all their lives. Sometimes because that is exactly what they want - just the relief of being in the clothes of the opposite gender for a time, and sometimes because of personal circumstances of being "trapped".

Let's face it; it is not easy coming out to either yourself or your friends and family, that you are "trans" - but for sure when you say I am no longer cis, I am trans - you are trans.

From my experience, in occasionally helping my former wife with the Dress Agency, most crossdressers do not become trans, and for sure a few are sexually "turned on" by wearing clothes of the opposite sex. However, from what I saw, this was a small minority. Most crossdressers just wanted to wear clothes they felt comfortable in and connect to their "feminine side." Most just sat, had a chat and a coffee. Occasionally there was the person who wanted to dress as a bride or schoolgirl, but I would undoubtedly say a shopping experience was the dream for many though sadly for some, passing was an issue. Some wanted to go shopping but felt they could not go that far - going out for the first time in clothes of the opposite gender can be scary!

Being stared at - "clocked" - whilst out shopping can be challenging to cope with, it knocks confidence, but Lin would almost always go with a client, and that support was invaluable, especially for first-timers.

And it was probably the case that those who went shopping were the most likely candidates to become "trans" as they were prepared to face society come what may.

Being trans is not about hormones or having surgery, it is about saying my gender is in conflict to my marked sex, and until a crossdresser says that, they are not (according to my Twitter followers) normally trans.

So does it matter who Stonewall encompasses in the trans umbrella?

I guess their philosophy is strength in numbers, but I have to say I join my follower who originally asked the question in saying they should not include crossdressers in the umbrella. Indeed some crossdressers are offended by being called trans!

I think Stonewall dilutes our case for being "trans" - because for sure the TERF's and Gendercrits exploit the fact that the trans umbrella is extensive already. 

So please, Stonewall - think again. The majority of us were cis crossdressers once - but many of us dont think the umbrella is quite right. 



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