What does it mean?
Someone who uses the clothes or presentation of a different gender. The act of doing this is called “crossdressing”. This may be an activity that is done some or all of the time.
“This describes a person who wears the clothes usually associated with the “opposite” sex.” – BBC
Crossdresser is sometimes abbreviated to “CD”.
Crossdressers are different to drag queens and drag kings, who wear these clothes as a performance.
Defined by breaking norms
"Crossdresser" is a word that describes whether people are breaking the rules - “norms” - of how people are expected to behave or describe themselves.
Words like this can:
- make visible that it is possible to break norms
- help explain how people are discriminated against or targeted for breaking norms
- help explain the privilege given to people who do not break norms
However, words like this can also:
- imply that only certain people are allowed to break norms
- be confusing, as almost everyone breaks at least some norms
- be confusing, as people may not know whether they break enough norms to use the term
- hide that some people don't just experience discrimination for breaking norms, and experience gender dysphoria too
- result in the term being used to mean “normal person” or “abnormal person”
Think carefully before using this word to describe someone or a group of people - they may not wish to be described that way.
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