As a transvestite Andrew goes by the name of Caprice, here he discusses some of the more common misunderstandings surrounding transvestism.
One practice in modern life that isn't dealt with very often is that of the transvestite and transgender community, and there are a lot of myths and misunderstandings surrounding them:
Men who dress as women are gay.
Not always. Determining the sexuality of a cross-dresser is just as varied as determining the sexuality of the next person you pass on the street. There are a lot of sub-groups in the cross-dressing community and they all do it for a variety of reasons:
* Sissy: cross-dressers who dress purely for the amusement and pleasure of others. This is an extreme form of role-play and can involve dressing up in uniforms of occupations like nurse or school girl, and women's clothes in general. Most sissies are thought to be straight.
* Drag Queen: Very glamorous and flamboyant, drag queens are probably the most well known type of cross-dressers. A general rule of thumb is that most drag queens are gay; but as some transvestites adapt drag looks, it also covers straight and bisexual dressers.
* Transsexual: Transsexuals are sometimes seen as the butt of jokes ('I found out my wife was really a man'), however even here sexuality is not clear-cut. Transsexuals believe they were born in the 'wrong' body, and suffer from a condition known as gender dysphoria. Whether the individual chooses women or men following the surgery is a choice of the individual.
*Transvestite/Tranny/TV/Crossdresser: The terms are used interchangeably, but dressing ranges from those who wear women's lingerie under male clothes, to the man who goes shopping in the latest ladies fashions to the man who lives 24/7 as a women. It is impossible to classify what cross-dressing is to each tranny, statistics have shown that over 80% of cross-dressers are straight.
* It's wrong to wear women's clothing: No. How many women have you seen wearing trousers? Or baggy jumpers? It's no more incorrect for men to wear strappy sandals and backless dresses as it is for women to wear the aforementioned items. A lot of cross-dressing involves confidence and achieving a look you are happy with. Not to mention that cross-dressing is associated with glamour, decadence and excess. Even celebrities have adopted androgynous looks, women's clothes or drag. Wesley Snipes, Brad Pitt, Mick Jagger, David Bowie and even David Beckham have played with their feminine side.
Am I putting myself at risk?
No more than with anything else. Safety is all-important and it is up to the individual how far they wish to take their cross-dressing.
Should I tell me family/friends?
It depends on your personal situation. The biggest scenario every girl dreads is coming home to find her husband/boyfriend stretching her new dress and imitating a girl's voice. You know your friends best, and you must judge for yourself how they may react. As a tranny myself who has told my friends and family, I must admit it took an immense burden off my shoulders and let people into a side of my personality that some didn't see before.
This all sounds very heavy. Any good points?
Of course! Dressing is one of the coolest things around, as it is very creative and artistic. 'Girly' shopping (ie. shopping for the hell of it) is often a delight to cross-dressers, and the whole subject of fashion is open for discussion. There are plenty of clubs - both non-TV and TV based - that accept glamorous TV's through their doors. And whilst unspoken about, most girls do have a soft spot for guys willing to adopt the drag look! The possibilities are endless. Sadly, whilst most cities have several transvestite bars and clubs, smaller towns do not. Such bars/clubs will be listed in your local paper or guides such as City Life (Manchester) or Time Out (London).