Are All Cross Dressers Gay? Transgender? Is It A Sexual Fetish?

by Dr. Karen Ruskin on October 18, 2013


Are all cross dressers gay? Transgender? Is cross dressing a sexual fetish? These are just but a few questions the public asks when they see a man who dresses in women’s clothes. With the recent celebrity gossip about Bruce Jenner and his wife Kris’s split – Star Magazine’s Adriane Schwartz called upon my expertise as a Marriage and Family Therapist to discuss. The focus of this particular interview was on cross dressing. As it has been in the news that Bruce is a cross dresser. Cover story for this upcoming week’s publication. Provided below you will find the answers to the most common misconceptions about cross dressing males. This is not an opinion blog nor an article of judgment. Rather, this blog article is here to set the record straight in bullet point format, based on my experience counseling couples, men, and women.

Cross Dressing- Let’s Set The Record Straight:

  • Cross dressing is more common than many realize, due to it is often done in secret since it is not accepted by society (e.g., female panties worn underneath a man’s work pants, in the privacy of one’s home). Business professionals, doctors, lawyers, blue collar or white collar . . . cross dressing does not exclude based on profession or financial status.
  • Although it is socially acceptable for women to wear men’s clothes it is not for men to wear women’s clothes. Therefore, men who are cross dressers are often viewed by others as deviant weirdo’s to stay away from, to be afraid of.
  • It is a myth to believe that all cross dressers are homosexual or bi-sexual. There are many cross dressers who are heterosexual men. It is those men who report they enjoy the feel of women’s clothes, the excitement of pushing the limits of societal acceptance, and/or enjoy the feel of risk taking (e.g., they could be caught).
  • It is a myth to believe all cross dressers includes a sexual component to the cross dressing. Some cross dressers only do it for the enjoyment of drag and there is not a sexual fetish aspect of it. Whereas other cross dressers are heterosexual males who cross dress as a part of a sexual fetish.
  • It is a common myth to believe that all cross dressers are transgender. Transgender is a term used for a person who experiences a lack of internal fit between their own gender identity and the gender roles made by society.
  • Transsexual is a person who does not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth. In essence, they believe their assigned sex is wrong. Cross dressing does not infer nor mean the person necessarily identifies as a transsexual. For some; yes, for others; no.
  • There are cross dressers who enjoy cross-play cross dressing where their female partner joins in on the cross dressing, whereas others do not partake in cross-play.
  • Cross dressing males commonly report they remember as far back as early childhood enjoying dressing in female clothes.
  • Cross dressers often find an increase in their desire to cross dress as they age. Often taking more risks in terms of where they wear female clothing, and how often, in contrast to their caution of not stepping out when they were younger.

Written by

Follow Dr. Karen on Twitter or Facebook. Media Psychotherapist Guest Expert; Relationships, Parenting, Human Behavior, Analyzes Hot Topics In The News. Has appeared on FOX News Channel's: The O'Reilly Factor, FOX & Friends, FOX & Friends FIRST, America Live, Hannity, America's Newsroom, and FOX Business Network's: Cavuto. Go–to for FOX News Boston including the regular segment; Ask Dr. Karen. Also appeared on ABC's Good Morning America, Lifetime, Discovery Network's Destination America, The Steve Harvey TV Show, and more. Sought after Radio Guest Expert. Columnist. Often quoted in various print media: FOX Business, FOX News Magazine, Boston Globe, Boston Herald,, Good Housekeeping, Yahoo Shine, Parents, Parenting, CNN, TIME, Woman's Day, Men's Health, USA Today, and more. Owner/Founder/President: Dr. Karen Ruskin & Associates, Inc. Based in Massachusetts. Author of: 9 Key Techniques For Raising Respectful Children and Dr. Karen's Marriage Manual. Copyright 2012.


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