Thursday, August 7, 2014

C is for Cross-Dressing

Today our C word is cross-dressing.  I have written about drag and cross-dressing before, but a refresher is always good.  Cross-dressing is wearing clothing associated with the opposite sex.  The word cross-dressing does not imply motive and can be done for any number of reasons.  The main reasons are:

Drag: a drag show is performance art associated strongly with the LGBT community.   Men called drag queens dress as women and women called drag kings will dress as men.  In character they usually dance and lip-synch.  Sometimes they do comedy routines or have formal drag balls.

Gender Disguise: people have cross-dressed throughout history to get around the social strictures of their times.  For example Deborah Sampson and Margret Corbin disguised themselves as men to fight in the American revolution (there are also stories of men who dress as women to escape military service).

Practical/Utilitarian: sometimes cross-dressing is simply pragmatic.  For example male scuba divers who wear pantyhose under their wetsuits for extra insulation.
Theater: Historically women were not allowed to act so all women’s roles were played by cross-dressing men.  There is also a common theme of characters who cross-dress as  a plot device.

Transgender: Some people who cross-dress are transgendered and wish to become the opposite sex.  Living full time for a while as the new gender is required to receive sexual reassignment surgery.

Transvestic Fetish: Probably the most common reason for cross-dressing, some people get turned on by wearing the cloths associated with the opposite sex.  This is usually a straight man dressing as a women for autoerotic reasons, but there are cases of women dressing as men.

So what does this have to do with intersex?  Since there is no intersex department at the clothing store, are all intersex people essentially cross-dressers?  Socially are we allowed to wear anything, or nothing?  We all socially must at least check off a box for legal reasons, is this the sex’s clothing for us?  I’m afraid I have no easy answer for this.  People should wear what they are most comfortable with.  Its only clothes, no reason to get your panties in a twist (pun very much intended).   

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