So, Crossdressers Are Gay, Right?

By: Donna Lynn Matthews, February 1998

The following was posted to It is Robie's comments (in blue) and my follow-up on the reasoning behind the assumption most of the cisgendered community holds that crossdressers are gay.

Subject: Re: Telling My Wife
From: (Donna Matthews)
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 15:11:36 -0500

In article <>, says...


Okay, here's another take along that line.

I knew that "Are you gay?" was the number one top question people were asked at their "coming out parties," but I had been married 24 years, and knew darn well that at least *that* question wasn't going to come up.

So, when I had *the conversation* with my wife, whadya think was the first question?

She: Are crossdressers gay?

Me: (calmly) Well, a few are, but not most.

She: (pointedly) Are *you* gay?

Me: (slightly shocked) No.

I think it's like this: About the only exposure the general population has to people even remotely like us is the in-yer-face drag queens who are neither blending in, or hiding, like the rest of us. So, of course people think we're gay. While being gay, in itself, isn't a problem, when introduced into a heterosexual relationship, it could be devastating. So naturally they worry.

I do think that, as Melissa said, worrying about what might be is worse then knowing.

Actually, I need to do some more house cleaning in this area myself.

Ruthie posted about this about three months ago. This seems to be a common concern of society. It is, as you said, the lack of exposure to and understanding of us which causes this.

I am reposting my reply to Ruthie for the benefit of those reading this thread:


Subject: Re: Close Encounters
From: (Donna)
Date: Fri, 5 Dec 1997 09:27:40 -0500

In article <661rnh$>, nuts4news@righthere.rightnow says...

Hi All I'm new to this NG, so forgive me if this has been done to death, but I was wondering, how many of us , have been mistakenly assumed to be Homosexual.


Society, in general, seems to have a hang up about the distinction between male/female - masculine/feminine. Men are 'Men' and women are 'Women', any blurring of that distinction causes FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). People don't like FUD and need to understand and resolve what is causing it.

Society teaches us, for the most part, that men and women are polar opposites. When an individual starts to move towards the other side, the FUD level goes up. People tend to get very bothered by the idea of gender ambiguity, and most have a threshold as to how much they will take before the 'need to know why' kicks in. We seem to be most tolerant of women and their desire for self expression and the like. Men, on the other hand, have been prescribed a fairly rigid set of guidelines for social acceptance, clothing being one of the main ones.

Mind you, ANY overtly feminine traits exhibited by a man will generate a similar reaction; one akin to "what's 'his' deal?" Most people can not resolve the juxtaposition a man and feminine traits. In an attempt to resolve this dilemma, the reasoning goes something along these lines:

  1. Society tends to define individuals by their actions. Apart from physical differences, the way men and women behave is the foundation for the distinction between them. Actions are an indication of state of mind.

  2. In terms of sexual attraction, men are into women, and women into men (part of the perceived polar differences between men and women.)

  3. If a man is exhibiting traits commonly associated with a woman, this living contradiction is resolved by the assumption that the individual is of a feminine mindset (point 1) and as such, must be attracted to men (point 2) as a result.

Interestingly, if you exhibit some 'feminine' traits, but demonstrate (read overcompensate with) other very 'masculine' traits, people will overlook the 'confusing actions'. E.G.: as a rule, guys don't wear two earrings. Less now than in the past, a guy with two earrings was assumed to be gay. However, if the man in question were a biker (for example), it is unlikely that he would be thought to be gay.

I have been asked (by both my father and wife) if I were gay because of my dressing. The answer is no, I am very attracted to women.

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