Throughout history (and even in the modern world), almost every human society has had generally accepted norms and traditions as it relates to style, color, types of dressing, food, etc. In our ever-changing, fast-paced, tech-driven, neoteric society, however, many of these generally accepted norms are fast receding into oblivion. Such is the case with cross-dressing. It is the act of wearing items of clothing and other accouterments commonly associated with the opposite sex within a particular society.
Examples abound in recorded history and in many societies of cross-dressing. For instance, there is a rich history of cross-dressing found in folklore, literature, theatre, and music. Examples include Kabuki and Korean shamanism. There are many reasons why a man (or a woman) might want to cross-dress, such as "those female impersonators” who look upon dressing as solely connected to their livelihood, actors undertaking roles, individual males and females enjoying a masquerade, and so on.
Some do it out of personal preference for the opposite sex; as a way of disguise (in the dramatic arts or during the political protest). Others do it to challenge or ‘change’ the generally accepted way of dressing. In modern times, however, many of these ‘generally accepted styles’ are giving way to new trends. Such trends are reeled out below.
In recent times, there are more male-to-female cross-dressers than female-to-male. The reason for this new wave or trend is not really understood. Perhaps this is due to the aesthetics (or appeal) of the woman body.
Cross-dressing for fraud
Many purported ‘con-women’ are in fact, men! UK’s Daily Mail of 25 July 2013 reported a case of men, seen in wigs and women's clothes, who struck in York and Harrogate. Officers described them as ‘very charming’ as they convinced victims to part with their bank details and then went on to fleece their accounts. Under the scam, the fraudsters called their victims on the phone, pretending to be from their bank or a utility company. They told the elderly person there has been fraud committed against their bank account or that they have not paid a bill. The conmen then offered to send someone to the victim’s house to pick up their bank card in order to sort out the fraud or to settle the bill. At some point, as part of their ‘plausible’ act, the conmen also managed to obtain the victim’s PIN from them. This trend is also increasing in most developing countries.
Transgender Makeover Program
One of the concerns with cross-dressing is finding the right ‘accessories.’ Thus, there are now experts who offer transgender makeover services for crossdressers who desire either male-to-female or female-to-male transformation. An example is New York Image Consultant (NYIC) that offer services such as makeup lessons, shopping sessions, wig or extension consultations, photo-shoots and cosmetic guidance. Good news! Crossdressers now have everything they need to feel confident enough to live a full, successful, rewarding life with an identity they have longed to embrace.
Although in several parts of the United States (Australia and Canada also), same-sex marriage has been passed into law, the church has not been supportive of this. A handful of churches and clergymen, however, have voiced their support for same-sex marriage and transgender people. In fact, there are now ‘cross-dressing clergy’ who minister to cross-dressing communities in the United States! Great news for cross-dressers!
Many male-to-female cross-dressers are now ‘upgrading’ to becoming transsexual (transgender people who desire medical assistance to transition from one sex to another). This is described as feminization. Famous examples include Caitlyn Jenner, Amanda Lepore, Lavern Cox, Carmen Carrera, and several others.