written by Adrian

Don't confuse presentation with gender identity

It is interesting perhaps that as we traverse the gender spectrum the words we use to describe ourselves tend to reflect our presentation.

Crossdressing in my experience isn't about your inner gender, or who you are. It is about how you express yourself - your presentation.
I would suggest that crossdressing is nothing more than occasionally wearing clothes normally associated with the 'opposite' sex. Most of us, irrespective of our inner gender identity tend to crossdress at some time or other.

A similar line of thinking leads me to conclude that a transexual is also a statement about presentation. It is someone who has changed their presentation by surgery so they no longer appear externally to have their birth sex. The audience for genital viewing is I hope more restricted than for crossdressing but it is an important aspect of presentation for some.

Presenting as a transexual or a crossdresser tells us little about the inner state of mind. There is no subjective way of determining the inner gender identity - the identify that drives us to present in a certain way. Nor are there any labels that can be applied as the spectrum is continuous and without agreed dimensions. Only we could know how we feel inside - but we are so wrapped in discovering ourselves we have difficulty accurately explaining our gender to others.

Crossdressing and transexual are therefore superficial boxes - all about presentation and not about the person inside. But we love this superficial categorisation by presentation - we dismiss people as "only being a crossdresser" or "not being full time" as if the way we present says more about our true gender than our opportunities.

This leads me to strongly disagree with the concept that we might go on a gender journey traversing from crossdresser to transexual. Although you may crossdress, considering your gender to be "a crossdresser" is to confuse presentation with gender identity. Thinking we are what we present is too simplistic and ignores the biological and societal constraints we live with.

Personally I think the truth is that our inner gender never changes, but are awareness of how it can be expressed does. The journey is one of understanding and not one of changing gender. Many of us wander along changing our presentation over time till circumstances, understanding, and confidence allow our appearance and inner gender to align.
Whether we present as a transexual, she-male, crossdresser, androdyne we, and only we, know what is realy going on inside.
Chances are that what you see is not necessarily an accurate reflection of what is buried inside.

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