I came across an article entitled " Who is a crossdresser? How is he/she different from a transgender?" And while I imagine they were trying help sort things out, all they did was confuse an already confusing topic.
The words we use to describe different gender conditions has shifted through the years, so people' understanding of those meanings have also changed, and continue to be misused.
In this aforementioned article, the writer seems to put forth the idea that the act of dressing, and to what degree, is what defines one as a cross-dresser, transgender, or transsexual, etc.
Recently in a comment to one of my posts on one of my Facebook pages, a woman stated categorically that the character in my recent book "An Unexpected Turn" can't be transgender, because, she said, the character hadn't undergone a sex change.
When I attempted to educate her to fact that surgery is not what defines one as transsexual, but rather is an optional solution to it, she argued on. While I tried to explain a transsexual is always a transsexual, whether they have surgery or not, she was unwilling to consider it.
Transgender only emerged as a term a few decades while the much older word 'transvestite' is hardly ever heard any longer. But transgender is not a specific identification; rather, it is a catch-all term -- sheMales, cross-dressers, transsexuals, gender fluid, non-binary, drag queens, sissybois -- they are all subset categories that fall under the umbrella term "transgender."
Many in mainstream still consider 'transgender' to mean man in a dress; big burly men looking to prey upon young girls in the ladies room. Ignorance is aplenty in America today.
I've written about transgender perspectives for decades, gleaned from observations of the CD, gay, transgender, and mainstream communities, my own evolution, and interviews with many well-known performer, some of which are transsexuals, others gender-fluid, and/or drag queens.
You can read some of these essays under my Website Blog, like the recent What Makes a Cross-dresser, on SissyLife.com, such as Are You A Sissyboi?, and many others on my magazine Tglife.com (re-launching in June, so get on the mailing list for announcements of articles, news, and updates)
Until next time, be healthy, stay safe, and always think pretty!
- Brianna Nicole Austin