The following article on cross-dressing was written by Palmeira Practice counsellor Sally Evans.
Societies like to make the complex simple. They insist on taking grey situations and ideas and making them black or white. In this way, people and situations can be more easily controlled and predicted, and the "normal" order can reign supreme.
Except, that isn’t realistic. We all know that human beings are very complex creatures and that life isn’t black or white. While others may like to put us in a box to make things easier for them, some of us just don't fit.
I have had the pleasure of getting to know quite a few cross-dressers through my practice. They have come to me with feelings of guilt and confusion over their desire to wear the "wrong" clothes, the clothes that only the opposite gender is "supposed" to wear. Though they tried on their own to handle these desires and even conquer them, the majority have felt very alone.
Before we discuss "dealing" with your cross-dressing desires, however, we need to make sure we are talking about the same thing.
Cross-dressing vs Transgenderism
Transgender refers to a person who identifies with a gender that does not match their biological sex at birth. While a person may have been born a female with female anatomy and female chromosomes, that person identifies as a "he" in their daily life and may even choose to have gender-corrective surgery at some point.
People who cross-dress often have a gender identity consistent with their biological. For example, a heterosexual man may identify as a male and be attracted to only females and still take pleasure in cross-dressing in women's clothing (in fact, you'd probably be surprised by how common and genuinely ordinary that situation is.) He does not wish to be female, and he is not attracted to men, but he has a strong desire to explore his femininity and feel beautiful.
Are Cross-dressing Desires Something You Need to "Deal" With?
That's not an easy question to answer, as everyone's situation is different. What's important is to feel good about yourself and accept yourself for who you are. If you have feelings of shame or guilt, it's important to talk to someone about those.
You may feel entirely happy with yourself, but your partner may not like the fact that you cross-dress. What do you do in that situation? Leave the relationship, or stop behaviour that makes you happy and is harmless to others?
The best advice I give my clients is to take some time to figure out what cross-dressing means to you. What value does it bring to your life? How does it affect your relationships? Does it negatively or positively impact the connection you have with others?
Though society would like to put you into a box, you are a unique individual and your journey in life is yours alone. Only you can decide if cross-dressing is right for you.
If you’d like to discuss your cross-dressing desires, please get in touch with Sally Evans. She’d be more than happy to discuss how she may be able to help.