Crossdressing is when a person (most often men) dress in garb of the opposite sex. Crossdressers are not the same as drag queens who are most often gay and are many times performers imitating famous women singers and Broadway stars. Very often, drag queens appear almost a tongue-in-cheek caricature of biological women. See link for Rupaul quotation.
Most crossdressers are ordinary men (husbands and fathers) that feel compelled to wear women’s clothes, sometimes occassionally, rarely constantly. It’s not an indication of homosexuality and in most cases not related to the person’s sexuality at all. There are crossdressers who get sexual kicks out of dressing (then masturbating in the clothes) and these often love wearing women’s lingerie and tight, low cut clothing; sometimes they masturbate while looking at pictures of themselves dressed. This is NOT the average crossdresser.
“Crossdressing” vs wearing clothes of the opposite sex requires a difference in intent and presentation. A man wearing women’s jeans because they fit better is NOT crossdressing, he is wearing what works, whether it’s male or female. A crossdresser is focused on the perceived intended sex of the clothing: they will wear the clothing because it is “female” or “male”, often whether it fits or not. The intent of crossdressing is generally to present (be viewed) as the opposite sex. Women can crossdress if they wear clothing “for men” because it is “for men.” It is about why, not what.
Most crossdressing men are very macho in their male presentation, but just enjoy dressing either for the emotional freedom or the physical feeling of the clothing. They do NOT want to have their physical sex changed. See ‘Transsexual’ for these persons.
It has been estimated that in the U.S. between 1 in 100 and 1 in 10 men are crossdressers, but because it is perceived as weakness by society for a man to appear feminine, the numbers are hard to pin down: closeted individuals generally do not get counted because they are afraid to be found out. It is very likely you know a crossdresser and they are just like you except they prefer the clothing of the opposite sex to their own (sometimes a little, sometimes all the time.)
They are NOT like Anthony Perkins in ‘Psycho’ or the wacked out killer in ‘Dressed to Kill.’ You often hear of “weirdos” who have dressed up in women’s clothes and are in the news because they were near naked running down the middle of the freeway. Remember the news wants stories of the weird, and these rarities appear very weird to the average person. Crazy sells.
Someone who dresses in a way more appropriate for the opposite sex, most commonly a man who dresses like a woman.
A crossdresser is someone who dresses in the clothes of the opposite sex.