What is a Transvestite?

A transvestite is someone who likes to cross-dress. This word is not to be confused with a drag queen or a drag king, which are used specifically for performers.

It should also not be confused with transgender, which is a term that refers to people who live full-time in a gender that differs from their assigned birth sex.

What is a transvestite?

Transvestite is a term to describe someone who dresses in the clothes usually worn by members of the opposite sex. It is not the same as transgender or cross-dresser, although the words are often confused.

Cross-dressing is a form of fetishism that involves dressing in clothing associated with the opposite gender for sexual pleasure. It is sometimes comorbid with foot and stocking fetishes. Drag, on the other hand, is a performance art that combines theatrical costume, makeup, and character. It’s used in performances such as the Wigstock music festival, whose attendees wear makeup and costumes.

While some people who dress across the genders do so to experience desired aspects of their gender identity, most transvestites are satisfied with the gender they were assigned at birth. This is unlike the majority of transgender people, who are uncomfortable with their biological sex and wish to change it. This distinction is important because it helps distinguish transvestism from transsexuality, which includes men who want to live as women and vice versa.

What is the definition of a transvestite?

A transvestite is a man or woman who derives sexual enjoyment from dressing in clothing traditionally worn by members of the opposite gender. This is typically viewed as a kink, and can have comorbidity with other fetishes such as foot or stocking fetishes. Most transvestites are not distressed by their cross-dressing, and keep it a secret from others. This is distinct from transsexualism, where the person feels they should be a member of the opposite sex, and usually undergoes surgery to do so.

It is also not the same as drag, which is a form of performance art that involves exaggerating femininity (drag queens) or masculinity (drag kings). There is a great deal of artistry to good drag, and it is more than just putting on makeup and wearing clothes. Transvestite, transexual and transgender are three terms that tend to get confused with each other, but they are different. A transvestite enjoys cross dressing, a transexual has undergone medical procedures to change their biological sex and transgender is more than just clothing.

What are the symptoms of a transvestite?

A transvestite is a person who enjoys dressing in clothes usually associated with the opposite sex. This may involve wearing a single article of clothing, like panties, or a full outfit complete with wigs and makeup. While cross-dressing in itself is not a mental illness, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), it does become a problem when it causes significant distress or impairment to your life.

A key symptom of transvestic disorder is the repeated sexual arousal you feel from imagining or actually wearing clothing associated with the other sex. This arousal may also occur when you touch or look at clothing, fabrics, or undergarments that are associated with the other sex.

Although some people associate transvestism with homosexuality, it is a heterosexual disorder. It is also distinct from gender dysphoria, a feeling of distress that your birth-assigned sex does not match your personal identity. It is also different from fetishistic disorder, which involves intense sexual arousal or urges related to nonliving objects.