FAQ – Transvestites: Myths vs. Truths

Source: Unknown

“ALL transvestites are gay.” FALSE.

This is a fear which haunts the “average” transvestite in his early stages of realization and development of his transvestism. But this, like so many of the myths concerning transvestism and the transvestite, is an oversimplification and generalization which is quite popular with law enforcement and judicial, U.S. Customs and Immigration authorities and with the general populace.

Since the Drag Queen and transvestic prostitute are highly visible members of the social picture and dramatized on the evening television news, occasionally in television “dramas” and the print media the “average” transvestite is, naturally tarred with the same brush even though in truth few “average” transvestites are gay or engage in same-sex sex acts. In fact, most transvestites are heterosexual while only a small minority are bi-sexual or exclusively homosexual.

This latter statement is supported by the results of a study done by Dr. Wardell Pomeroy (co-author of the famous “Kensey Reports” and director of the San Francisco based Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality) which found that 68% of crossdressing males are exclusively heterosexual while only 50% of non-crossdressing males are exclusively heterosexual. It should also be pointed out that some gay males are also, incidentally, transvestites but do not crossdress for the purpose of attracting males, either gay or straight for sexual purposes.

“A transvestite is a potential transsexual.” FALSE.

The opinion that transvestites are latent, undeveloped or potential transsexuals, is false. Any other form of ignorance is the result of oversimplification and the failure to make distinctions. It is true both the transvestite and transsexual wear feminine clothing, but they do so for different purposes. While the transvestite often dresses for the physical pleasure of this form of fetishism he always retains or reverts back to and maintains his male gender-identity. It is also true that many transvestites, upon initially bursting forth from their closet assume, because of the lack of information on the subject, they are transsexual. But a true transvestite is quite happy to retain his male gender-role and perform sexually as a male – although he may occasionally fantasize he is the female partner.

Definition and Description of Transvestism

It is of the utmost importance to establish the distinctions between transsexualism and transvestism. Originally, a transsexual (TS) was thought to be a type of transvestite (TV). Outside of the fact both dress in apparel normally reserved for opposite physically gendered individuals, although for different purposes and reasons, and, to a certain point in life, live in constant fear of discovery, they have very little in common.

Strictly speaking the transsexual is not crossdressing when she wears feminine clothing. Rather she crossdresses by wearing masculine clothing to conform with society’s dress code for the physical male.

The bi-gendered or cross-gendered person (both the transsexual and the transvestite) may start, as early in life as perhaps age 5 years wearing items of opposite sex apparel. Often the apparel worn/used, usually lingerie, are items of mother’s or a sister taken either from the laundry or their fresh clothing supply. Occasionally, in early stages, lingerie will be purchased for personal use.

It is not unusual for the transvestite to use items of feminine apparel as sexual gratification aids in the early stages of sexual awakening. This practice may continue into late adulthood. Occasionally an item or type of apparel, such a bra or panties, or garter-belt and hose, etc., may become a fetish item and required to be worn for, or at least close at hand during, completion of the sex act.

Cross-genderists are secretive, because their life-styles are not considered, by non-participants, socially acceptable.

A transvestic male identifies primarily as a male who has and retains male gender-identity. Often the transvestite is married and the father of children. The transvestite seldom, voluntarily, confesses his need to crossdress to his spouse, usually because of the fear of non-acceptance and the resultant rejection, although some women not only accept crossdressing and the associated behavior but seek out males having those needs and traits and actively participate in the “game” – sometimes with each partner reversing roles, not only in social, but in sexual, situations.

Some transvestites profess to be alternately or intermittently bi-gendered, although most of the time they feel and behave like a normal male. A transvestite is satisfied with being a male and generally enjoys the role. It is possible for a transvestite to adopt the female gender-role while retaining his male gender-identity, but that is a rare combination.

Transvestites do not, by definition, want sex reassignment surgery, although a sizable proportion self-diagnose as transsexual when they initially burst forth from “the closet.” Thankfully, saner heads prevail and irreversible reassignment surgery does not occur (one of the logical reasons for the frustrating, to the true transsexual, waiting period and Real Life Test).

A transvestite is, usually, a heterosexual male having a periodic or episodic, sometimes fetishistic, urge to dress in opposite sex clothing. The feminine apparel apparently reinforces the male gender-identity and may intensify male sexual satisfaction. The subconscious mind, apparently, associates dressing in opposite sex apparel with women as sex objects and their own formative male sexual drive; it became imprinted with the same mechanisms which form other fetishes such as the shoe fetish, the panty fetish, the leg fetish, the breast fetish or a fetish for other parts of the female body.

A transvestic fetish is intensified by virtue of the fact that, by actually wearing the fetish items (of feminine apparel) the transvestite is in intimate proximity of, and contact, with the objects. He, often, derives sensual pleasure from the feminine quality of the fabrics; he is reminded of his real sex object (the female body) through the simulation of the outward presence of a woman, and he can take satisfaction in the dissemblance of knowing he is really a man under the feminine finery.

Transvestites are, perhaps, more rejected even more than transsexuals because the transsexual at least attempts to accommodate society by changing to a full-time apparent, and as completely as possible to a, woman while the transvestite switches mode of dress, if not role, back and forth adding confusion to, at least, his visible gender-identity.

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