I don't feel like I'm a "crossdresser". I enjoy wearing a lot of pretty things that society considers "for women" - nail color, skirts, nylons, wedges/heels/thong flats, panties - but I've never attempted to present myself as a female or to fool anyone into thinking I am. To me, clothing has no gender - the "for women" is a sexist societal prejudice imposed ONTO the clothes. There is no significant difference between a skirt made today "for women", and the skirts worn by the Roman Army when they conquered Europe! Today, "gladiator sandals" are sold as "women's shoes"... but gladiators were men - big, tough, hard fighting, hyper-masculine MEN. As recently as the 1800's, "men's fashions" included high heels, nylon (edit: no nylon in 1800's, I meant silk..) stockings, ruffled blouses, wigs, cosmetics including artificial "beauty marks" (moles, like Cindy Crawford's.. though hers is real). So - there is precedent for the male use of everything I wear. The only way to consider me a "crossdresser" is in the context of my defiance - a deliberate act of protest - against the sexist societal customs which say "men can't wear [these].. because they're for women only.. and anything feminine is demeaning and bad." But, I don't accept the label, because I don't accept the sexist segregation of clothes - in my view, anything which is OK for anyone, is OK for everyone else.. and the only time society needs to consider what's between my legs, is if they start checking one's sex for access to public restrooms. What influenced me?... I lost a bet, and had to paint my toenails neon pink for a week. I loved it! - and I started thinking about the cultural influences that had kept me from wearing it sooner.
steve66oh steve66oh
46-50, M
8 Responses Aug 16, 2014

Steve, have you ever read anything by Eddie Izard (English, stand up comic).

If not you should, he wears clothes he likes and isn't intimidated cross-dressing stigma's. He also has a very quick and cutting wit that usually stops any maggots in their tracks if any attempt is made to heckle him.

I think he's brillient.

My 3 sisters dressed me in their old frilly party frocks apparently from birth almost. My Mum would laugh that when small, people would think she had 4 girls as there was so much pink around me. Dad never seemed to notice his son was missing. I was trained to walk, talk and act as a girl, right down to putting an ST in my knickers! I was hopelessly out numbered and so accepted it. However, being a cute lil blonde haired blu eyed girl I learned exactly how to manipulate men from a very early age.

Lucky you, Gracie, and what a great Mum and 3 sisters to have! ;-) Bet your Mum enjoyed having 4 girls including being able to pass on to you hand-me-downs from your sisters.
Lee

I fundamentally agree with your point. Anybody should be free to dress any way they like (within the bounds of propriety of course). In my case however, I want to look like a woman! I'm comfortable with the cross dresser label. If the dress fits, wear it:-)

True for me also. We do live in a patriarchal society where the dominant paradigm is male, and therefore it ok for anyone, m or f, to express themselves in male dress. However, as someone who identifies with the feminine, I want to look feminine when I dress up. I am not looking for a unisex dress code, rather a society that doesn't denigrate the feminine when expressed by men.

Absolutely! Thanks for your comment, Barrbara.
Jaimee.

You take a very valid position on this subject. We still must fight current social norms in order to get to the point where you and I can truly wear whatever clothing we want to wear and not be vilified for stepping out in accepted female attire.
What I fear is that the decorations and beautiful clothing of the female gender will disappear as men and women move toward a rather boring unisex attire.

In the day, in the week at work I dress gender neutral clothing consisting of :-
Big baggy shirts
Drainpipe jeans or leggings
deck shoes (yes I even have a white pair)
A singlet, sometimes a chemise under my open neck shirt
Lots of bangles
Neck and ankle chains
I'm blonde, so a lil mascara
Earings
A small (cute) satchel, (my handbag)

Oh and a lil Chanel No.5.
Now my sexuality is my business, no one would dare challange it.

I have been known to change into a lil number at work if im going out. Yes others at work have seen me leave the building in a dress up my arse and teetering on 6" fukme pumps, who cares, certainly not me. I'm my own person and am not fazed by square heads.

Very well written article. I don't like the term "crossdresser" either. I under dress just about everyday, bra, and panties ,sometimes pantyhose. I don't know if anyone has ever noticed. The problem is that society is to blind to our cause. According to them, it Is not "normal" for a man to dress in a skirt, and that is what keeps a lot of gurls in the closet. I don't go out much for fear of being harassed. I had planned on going to the beach this summer but I don't know if I want the problems. Again, very well written article and I couldn't agree more !!!

The most popular newspaper in Britain is the Sun, most popular TV program is Corenation st. Please don't speak to me about popular taste, haha

Its others problem, not mine.

Anything you do which is out of the "norm" of being a guy is considered in the category of cross dressing.
There is nothing wrong with a guy wearing nail polish or wearing skirts or wearing lingerie under your clothes as long as the public cant see it. Guys can wear girls shoes, but the more girly they look the more people will notice.
I wear girls knee shorts and skinny jeans with cotton tops with flat sandals or flex flats and no one bats an eye, but if I wear a dress, then all eyes are on me for sure. You can dress anyway you like as long as you do so in a conservative way.

I'm sure that a lot of people see me in a skirt and think "crossdresser" - because they apply their definition, which is something like "anything outside the 'norm' for a guy". MY definition of "crossdresser" is "one who attempts to convince strangers that they are a member of the sex opposite their anatomical sex". I'm not trying to "pass as female" so people assume I have a vag and accept my skirts etc.. on the "woman" they assume I am... I'm demonstrating that these ARE suitable attire for men, despite the societal prejudice to the contrary. My point is that "the norm" is a form of sexism and prejudice - so I refuse to give credibility to a definition which is based on illegitimate social expectations and prejudices. I reject "..as long as the public can't see it" - there's nothing wrong with me wearing a skirt in public, as a man - what's "wrong" in this scenario is anyone thinking they have a legitimate objection to my attire based on their expectations for my sex.

I absolutly agree with the attire could be for either gender. And I have seen on line that they do make skirts for men if they choose to wear them. And if more guys would wear them then more people would start excepting them for sure.
I didnt understand the statement below:
Your saying you are not trying to pass as a female, but you are saying people are assuming you have a vag when wearing your skirts, It sounds to me like you are not looking like a girl, you are a guy in a skirt, so why would they assume you have a vag.

I wear girls clothes b/c I like wearing the lingerie and dresses more for sexual reasons and to pass as a girl, but everyday I shop and run errands in my town wearing girls shorts, capri's and jeans with girls tops and I either wear flats or boots and everyone has excepted me as a cross dresser. They treat me just as they do anyone else and sometimes their are some people that maybe visiting on vacation and they make a big deal over me, laughing and calling me a ***, but I dont let it bother me b/c I like who I am and dont care what others think or say.
If you like what you do and want to wear skirts then do so, People will always want to criticize and knock the norm, just be yourself and you know you are dressing different, so just learn to live with it.

To clarify: all of this: ".. to pass as female so people assume I have a vag and accept my skirts etc.. on the woman they assume I am..." - all of that is what I'm not trying to do. I'm 6'0" tall, 200#, square-jawed, broad-shouldered, usually sporting a few days of facial stubble, I've never worn fake boobs, I don't "do a voice" - when I wear a skirt, there's never any doubt that I'm a male, in a skirt. And, big part of the point is to show that it IS OK for men to step out of the narrow "normal" male dress code, and we can still be men.

great have fun

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Good for you dear and when you look back isn't it great you lost that bet and had to go around for a week with your toenails painted neon pink!
Lee

Definitely! By the end of the week, I couldn't wait to put on a new color!

Now why doesn't that surprise me! ;-)
Lee

yummy!

I luv having my toes painted at the parlor for sure

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Nicely written!!!! I agree.! Keep true to. Yourself!!