The Cross-dressing community may be taking a backseat in the public dialogue on transgender women. With the reveal of Caitlyn Jenner as a transgender woman, the media coverage and the large number of trans shows on TV, there has been a breakthrough for the transgender community in creating awareness. Supported by government legislation in recent months, it appears that the trend for acceptance and equal rights will continue, even if there are bumps along the way that may slow down the process.
Yet, why is it that many of the cross-dressers who affiliate with the transgender community feel as if they are left out of the “party” and compelled to fend for themselves? They are seeking the same acceptance and rights as the “full-time” girls, but often find themselves in a difficult situation because of their bi-gender status. For them, being a full time woman is either not possible based on their life circumstance or may be that they are comfortable being in both their male and fem roles; not everyone needs to transition.
So what is the future for the cross-dressing community who are fortunately coming out more often in public presenting as their fem self, while sharing their long-held secret with their loved ones? How do they garner the same acceptance as their transgender friends who are living life full-time as a woman and who for many it has been a life-long dream?
I certainly don’t have the answers, yet I do believe the term cross-dresser needs to be tossed away since it confuses most people who are not educated on what a cross-dresser really is. This term has included the fetish/sissy cross-dressers who, in my opinion, are sexually motivated by their fem side. Look on the Internet and there are umpteen photos of close-ups of crotches in panties. This image doesn’t help the cause for cross-dressers, as it only confuses the public as to what a cross-dresser really is.
I like the term bi-gender, as it more accurately describes most of the cross-dressers I know who are comfortable with their dual-gendered life. When they are presenting as a woman, they are a woman and expect the same respect and rights as the full-time girls who self-identify as a trans woman. And it appears, for the unsuspecting public that “passing” is more important for both groups.
Even with the new term bi-gender, the workplace is a slippery slope, not to mention traveling with an ID that represents one gender that may be not the one they are presenting as. Our society wants us to be one gender. Being bi-gender has its challenges, as you well know. Yet, what the cross-dressing community needs is to do first is unite under a new name and brand identity as a community. Only then can they receive the acceptance, understanding, respect and rights that they well deserve.