FAQ's About Crossdressing 



As the word implies, cross dressing is wearing clothes (dressing:
the act of donning clothing and 

wearing it.) The"cross" comes in when a person goes against the
prevailing socially defined stereotype, dons, and wears clothing
society says is exclusively for members of the sex opposite to
the sex of the person involved. Virtually all people cross dress
on occasion. Many people cross dress with regularity. Both sexes
cross dress. Females cross dress with relative impunity. No one seems
to be particularly upset and many think it is really "sexy" or
just plain "cute" for a female to wear "men's" clothing. Conversely,
unless the cross dressing individual is sufficiently talented
to look convincing, a male who cross dress's is in for social disapproval
which can vary from minor to massive. People cross dress for a
wide variety of reasons. 


Many "reasons" are given for cross dressing. Some are simplistic.
Some are superficial. Some are 

simply wrong. In general, the most valid reasons seen have to
do with the expression of a personal preference on the part of
the cross dresser. Some cross dress for employment reasons, costumes,
etc. Some cross dress as a part of their sexual activity (either
just for fun or for money) and others cross dress literally to
make fun of members of the opposite sex. Those who cross dress
and with whom we are interested in HCDA are almost all male, and
most are married or have been married. Many have families. These
cross dressers dress also for a variety of reasons. The reasons
they give vary with the depth of insight and understanding held
by the individual concerned. For the most part, at the core of
the motivation for most heterosexual cross dressers is an outward expressive
manifestation of an inward feeling set. Something innate, natural
to the person concerned seeks to find overt expression in the external
behavior of the individual. This inner feeling set/external manifestation
takes the form of cross dressing. Such individuals feel a natural preference
for feminine clothing in the same manner the typical female feels
the need to express her femininity in the choices of clothing she
makes. At the core, then, is the fundamental element of the who,
what, and how the person is by virtue of their nature and the
resulting attraction to things feminine. This is an innate attraction,
a natural reaching out of the inner person to find visible means
of self expression compatible with how, who, and what the person
feels self to be inside. It is not generally a sexual thing, or
all such individuals would be same sex attracted. Since a majority
of cross dressers are not same sex attracted, then it is evident
the innate attraction to external symbols of femininity are not
sexual in nature, rather they rise from the most basic centers
of who, what, and how the person really is by virtue of nature.


No! Cross dressing is something quite apart from a sexual activity
for most cross dressers. The 

motivations lie at an equally deep and natural level in the person
as does sexual attraction, motivation and preference, yet they
are different. These two confusing elements of the total person
(sex and gender) are indeed closely linked in most people. So
much akin are they our language does not even have an appropriate
verbal differentiation. Our language wrongly uses the terms "Gender"
and "Sex" interchangeably. It uses sexual terms which refer to
anatomical features as their basis\ interchangeably with terms
which in reality are most accurately reserved for things which
are not sexual in being at all. It uses "woman" when it means:
"female". It uses "man" when it means: "male". It fails us when
it comes to accuracy and this inaccuracy does lead to a lot of
confusion. Nevertheless, cross dressing as practiced by the heterosexual
cross dresser is something quite apart from sex an sexual expression.


Again, the answer is a resounding NO. In fact the NO cannot be
made sufficiently emphatic. Sex 

Reassignment Surgery (SRS) or Sex Change Surgery" as it is sometimes
called, is quite another thing. This is a sexual thing at the very
core. Diagnostically, it is a sexual identity dysphoric condition
in which the person from the very earliest ages, many even before
the onset of puberty, is aware of a feeling most commonly said
to be: "trapped in the wrong body". Such people are diagnosed as
"Transsexuals" for their fundamental feeling set has equally deep
roots which are quite apart from clothing and are in essence directed
to their anatomical structures and many times to the sexual anatomy
of those to whom they are attracted sexually. This condition is recognized
as a medical condition which is commonly treated by long term
psychotherapy, long term hormonal therapy and finally by surgical
alteration of the person's external genitalia. This condition is
found in both those born female and those born male. The predominance
is among males. A terribly distressing situation has arisen in
conjunction with the proliferation in recent years of the so-called
"Gender Clinics" (a terribly misnomer, as it were) and the relative
ease with which many individuals have been admitted to the surgical
suites. This has led to a phenomenon in which borderline individuals
have sought to bolster their own decision to assume the identity
and goals of the true transsexual by "recruiting" and otherwise
influencing other insecure, confused, and often gullible individuals
to set forth on the same course of action. This has been encouraged it
seems, by some individuals in the "Gender Clinic" business for
obvious reasons. SRS is not inexpensive..... 


The issue of children of the cross dresser is an emotionally burdensome
one. There is no formula 

answer. What is the best for one family in which cross dressing
is a natural part of the father's being human could be suitable
for another family and yet for a third family, it could be totally wrong.
In general, taking into consideration the psychological formative
years of the child being essentially from birth to age five as
being those years in which the child learns the most and most personal
patterns are well formed, if the parent discovers cross dressing
and comes to terms with it during those times, it is generally
held, telling the children is appropriate. During these younger years,
the child can grow up knowing "dad" as both a "man" and as a
"woman" with no problems. This is not going to "mark" the child
in any way. The child will be inclined to femininity or masculinity
according to the "luck of the draw" when the influences of the
genetically inherited nature is laid down at conception. The critical
thing in parenting in this situation is to be honest and to provide
the child with positive reinforcement for the inclinations the
child begins to exhibit early on. As the child's nature matures
and begins to manifest itself, in terms of femininity and masculinity,
the wise parent will observe and will be supportive of the child
becoming who, what, and how he/she is by nature. In the case the
parent discovers and comes to terms with multi-general inclinations
and begins to manifest the long repressed gender side of self
after the children have passed about the age of twelve or thirteen,
it is not advisable for the parent to make an issue of cross dressing.
If the children discover it, honesty is the one positive thing
to practice. Children in the teen years are in much chaos already.
The awakening of their own sexuality and the powerful influence
of their peer group have to be taken into consideration. So there
is no "formula" to be given. Each situation, each family, each
cross dresser, each spouse, and each child makes a huge difference.
What is right for one, may be right or wrong for another. Each
must make the best choice they can and work out the negatives if
any develop as a result of the decision made. 


Some do. Some don't. The issue of spousal accommodation to cross
dressing is as varied as are 

the couples in whose lives cross dressing becomes an issue. There
are no formulae. Each person involved has to search self and consider
much more than the prejudices and emotional flaring which commonly
accompany disclosure of cross dressing. Fundamentally, the acquisition
of knowledge and the enrichment of attitude are essential. Remember
spouses grow up subject to the same sociological conditioning interims
of socially approved stereotypes as do the cross dressers for whom
this is a major problem. Cross dressing introduced into a marriage
invariably requires rapid growth in terms of knowledge, self esteem,
and security of the relationship, or the relationship is in dire
threat of falling apart. It is a case of "grow or go" most of
the time. Therefore, it is wise for the cross dresser who discovers
and comes to terms with cross dressing before marriage to be honest
and risk loss of the intended rather than go through the trauma
of disillusionment which so often happens later on. "Tell your
intended first, then work out the relationship before you get into
a legally binding situation" is our advice. A good policy to follow is
for a cross dresser to share cross dressing with a lady no later
than the third or fourth date. Being rejected early never has hurt
so badly as being rejected later on when a relationship has begun
to mature. Further this gives the lady due respect and freedom
to stay or go away as she chooses and there is no "inducement under
false pretense". It is just the honest and honorable thing to do.


Yes there are! There are helping organizations both of the self
help variety and of the "social" 

variety. For the heterosexual cross dressers and those who love
them (families) there is; The Society For The Second Self (Tri-
Ess) (Tri-Ess, 8880 Bellaire Blvd B2, Ste.104, Houston, TX 77036)
for social support. For those who are not so sure they are exclusively
heterosexual or who want a "non-family" oriented structure, there
are multiple "open" groups around the country, contact IFGE, P.
O. Box 367, Wayland, MA. 017782 for referral to various groups.
Contact with Tri-Ess will get local information for you. There
also is, for the cross dresser and those who are effected by cross
dressing the 12 step self help group modeled after Alcoholics
Anonymous. This group is called: Helping Cross dressers Anonymous
(HCDA). Local groups are forming all around the country. Contact
with the founding group in Houston, TX will give you information.
You may contact HCDA at 6804 E Hgwy 6 South #334 Houston, TX.,
77083 Attn..: "Brenda". Please include a return address so your
inquiry can be answered. 


If you or someone you know has further questions not answered
in this set of pages, please feel 

free to contact "Brenda" at the above address. Formulate your
question and give as much background information as you can muster.
"Brenda" is an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor. Your questions
will be given serious consideration and answered as fully as is
within the experience and knowledge the individuals involved. Published
by: Heterosexual Cross dressers Anonymous, 

c/o 6804 E Hgwy 6 South #334 Houston, TX., 77083 All rights reserved
to the Publisher. Copyright 1992.  

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