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Transvestite vs transsexual

By Betty Jašková, February 14, 2008, 15:41, Reflections

This article focuses on explaining elementary terms and I'll add few personal advices that could help, especially if you're searching for "yourself". Please note, those opinions are subjective - they are based on my personal experiences and observations. I'll also explain difference between sexuality and gender.

This post has a follow up, which deals with transexuality, being different and process of sex-change in Czech republic : Advice for transgender and different

Basic dictionary

  • transvestite (abbreviation TV) - a person, that dresses into clothes of opposite sex. The driving mechanism could be sexuality, fetishism or assexual need to impersonate a woman. The change can include complete outer change: make up / styling the hair / wig and clothes of opposite sex. A transvestite doesn't want a sex change, he is satisfied with his gender. Check also the Wikipedia definition
  • crossdresser (abbreviation CD) - the same as transvestite, but crossdresser is satisfied with a partial transformation. For example he puts up only a skirt or lingerie. Check also the Wikipedia definition
  • transsexual (abbreviation TS) - a person, who personally feels to be born in the wrong body (body of opposite sex). That means a transsexual desires to have a body of opposite sex and to be perceived as person he desires to be. Some of them even undergo a sex-change operation. Check also the Wikipedia definition
  • tranny, trannie - informal spoken expression, identifying transvestites and a transsexuals. Some think it's rude, in my opinion it's absolutely normal.
  • transgender - term identifying / concerning crossdressers, transvestites and transsexuals. Trans means in Latin “through” or "cross", so freely translating it's like "changing lanes" 🙂
  • shemale, ladyboy - spoken term used in erotic industry. Mostly they mark transsexuals without main sex-change operation (pre-op TS).
  • drag queen - term used in entertainment industry.

What I'm I?

I'm sure some of you asked yourself this question already. Differences between TV and TS are sometimes very small, and it's even harder to distinguish in individual cases. In most cases though, it starts with transvestism and develops into transsexualism. A transvestite realizes, the reason for dressing like a woman is he wants really become one. Of course there is an endless number of factors that have impact on psychology and a formation of a transvestite / transsexual, but those rather topic of scientific discussions.

My advice

  1. don't suppress it and accept yourself - most of TV/CD/TS people tend to suppress their otherness, mainly because they afraid of mockery and non-tolerance in nowadays society. You may be afraid of public condemnation, obstacles or mockery, anyway you shouldn't suppress what you feel. Often you try to suppress these feelings by intense work, sports, drinking or even drugs. But believe me, from my personal experience I know this doesn't help. Suppressing yourself, avoiding solving real mental issues can lead into heavy psychoses, which are really serious and could be hard to get through. You are, what you are. No one has the right to tell you what you should be
  2. find help - tell it to your friends / girlfriends or families, or find a professional help of therapist (psychology , sexology). Explain what it means, how you feel about it. If scared, tell at least a very good friend, A real friend will not mock you , personally I know it was an amazing enlightenment to tell my friends
  3. think about what you desire and want - if you want only get dressed secretly at home or go out, or even a sex-change. But don't push it!
  4. don't say, I can't, but ACT! - so many trannies says, they can't be themselves, saying they have no space, opportunity or premises, etc. You can dream about it or you can act. If you want to find a way, you'll find it. Even I was like that, I complained to an English trannie and she said: "If you don't want to, you search for reasons. If you want to, you search for ways." AN d that changed my mind, cause I realized she was right. I can wait that life gets someone into my path that will do my makeup or I can learn it. I can spend endless hours chatting & complaining on net or I can read something that relates to me. I can say I don't have conditions / opportunities or I can try to create them. Conclusion? Act, it's the only way to change your life.
  5. meet similar people - talking to people with similar people help a lot. There are meeting just for trannies, be it social or entertainment event. For start you can find friends online, but don't spend too much time chatting only online. Your real problem doesn't get solved via net, use net only as a tool for finding people. Don't do the same mistake as I did, I used it to create some form of social existence. Real friendship builds up mostly on personal contact!
  6. don't worry about your looks - some trannies say „ I don't have it simply, so I'm not going to do it”. Nonsense, no one is ideal. I myself have days when I tell myself I'm ugly, but I know I'm what I'm. there are thing sI can change and the things I can't change. Care rather about your soul, you will not have a nice impact on people if you wiill not be more balanced. I got the best feedback from people when I was balanced, but not when I was nervous / sad / unsure.

Transgender  and cross-dressing personals - now on mobile too!

Gender versus sexuality

Transgender people are special because they differentiate gender and sexuality , what is not common in society. Men are normally men, act like men and are attracted to women. What some people don't know a trannie can be heterosexual, bisexual or gay. There are happy marriages when there is a woman and a man-transvestite. Being a trannie doesn't automatically mean you are gay. It's only a very simplified scheme produced by bourgeois people/ But the most important thing is understanding, your sexuality is only your business, no one elses'. People should care about themselves, not about others.

Transgender  and cross-dressing personals - now on mobile too!

29 Responses to Transvestite vs transsexual

  1. Lisa Marie Kelly says:


    Go Girl!

    9/5/08, 2:12 p.m.

  2. Johanna Averillo (Xspecial6) says:

    Just, wanted to say, how interesting, your web site is. x

    • Mano says:

      I checked out your westibe and was really impressed with your work.I made my living in the theatre and lived in NYC for several years. I've written several plays, some of which have been produced.I'm also a comic book fan and have co-written something that I'd like to turn into a comic book. I'm gay and would like to collaborate with an LGBT artist on this project. I thought you might know some specifics about how to make that happen. I'd really appreciate any insight you might have.Thank you, and I hope you're having a great week!

  3. Jennifer Lynn Fitch says:

    Dear Betty,

    Thank you for having such an informative site for us girls.


  4. QueenCatalina says:

    Thanks for providng a classy website for ts-tv’s. Well done, you go girl!
    Queen Cat

  5. marie says:

    thank you betty
    after years of supresing marie,such joy to be liveing 24/7
    real happyness at last
    love marie

  6. Holly says:

    Great site. thank you.

  7. Loreana says:

    I can’t imagine to come forward with the fact that I am a TV or CD simply because, where I live, that is unacceptable… I am thinking to move to another country or something just to break free……



  8. Georgia says:

    Hi Betty…love this site, just found it today. There’s another term I use and have started to hear a lot these days – and it’s one I use for myself – Trans-Lesbian. I love being a Transvestite or CDer (depends on what circumstances will allow!) and I also love all things femme. I don’t dress to be with men, or to look attractive to men, although when a wolf-whistle happens while all femme, it most definitely is flattering!

    No, I dress for myself as a woman and my wife – who loves being with Georgia, and all other women. The idea of two women together (however they appear under their skirts) is a total turnon.

    So for me, it’s all about being a lesbian while being femme.

    Thanks for a great site and cheers in sheers…


  9. Tara says:

    Congratulations a well thought out page. My only concern is the missing element of the fetishistic transvestite who loves to dress in a particular way that explores a different part of their sexual makeup. Many people think that becoming a Transvestite will lead to eventaul transseuality. This is not the case many of us move down the road of crossdressing and to Transvestism then stop wishing to take it no further. To people like myslef its a harmless sexy pastime not a life altering situation. Each one to their own taste. xxx T

    • Betty says:

      hello Tara,

      sorry for the late reply but I was extremely busy.

      Fetishism transvestism is mentioned in the article only shortly, but it’s true that that it’s one of the most common forms of transvestism. Unfortunately, fetishism can’t be explained – you are either into something or not. Explaining why someone loves latex may sound very strange to someone who doesn’t.

      And yes, you are right in saying being a transvestite doesn’t mean you will become a transsexual, but for some people it’s certainly opening a doorway. Very important is realizing is what you need, what makes you happy and choosing according to that. Being “just” a transvestite works for me too. Curiosity about having a female body is there, but that thought may cross mind of any man 🙂

  10. Jennifer says:


    Thank you so much for your supportive words. I’m so glad I found your website.

    Keep up the good work!



  11. sue says:

    I have been transvestite almost all my life and really love it. I thought all your comments and very interesting thoughts on your site are all balanced nicely. I wished a lot more people would read and understand people like us are about. I dont harm anyone but when I am just slipping into a skirt I really feel happy and at ease with the world.

  12. Sam says:

    Hi, my dear. I'm a transgender still closeted from Brazil. I have my body shaved, my nails long and done and even took some female hormones, though. I am attracted by far mostly to women, i adore women and trans too, although I feel feminine. I identify as a "pre" shemale. That's because my dream and goal is to to assume a female/feminine presetation in all venues 24 hours a day. Some say shemale is a derogatory term toward non op transgenderes in the porn industry, but i can't find a precise term in English since transvestite would be synonym with crossdresser, is it correct? In Portuguese the translation for shemale is travesti. What counseling would you give me about coming out of the closet? I need courage to do it. Do you live as a woman all the time? Thank you very much for help us.

    • Betty says:

      Hello Sam, yes shemale is mostly used in porn industry. I rarely hear outside porn or sexual context. More polite would be saying transsexual or transgender person. Maybe "tranny", but some girls say it's derogatory, regardless of that I used it even for one of my sites – http://www.TrannyLadies.info

      As for advice for coming out: take a deep breath, think it over if you really need it and if yes, start working on making it happen. Of course people may react, but that's a price that goes with it.

  13. Lady Josephine says:

    I just wanted to say that I will send a few of my gorgeous Tgirlfriends on this site.
    I am a biological female, and identifying as bisexual all my life, I discover recently that I am incredibly attracted to CrossDressers and Tranvestites.
    There is a beautiful complexity and depth that I don't find in males nor in females.
    Your writings are extremely interesting.
    I'll be back:-)
    Lady Josephine

  14. Sam says:

    Hello, Betty, thank you for your reply. In fact i already have a somewhat androgynous look and feel feminine, but lacking female attire. I feel my dysphoria mostly when people address me using male pronouns, which is unpleasant and saddens me a little. In Brazil, where i live, transgender people have right to be called by their chosen woman's name and female pronouns despite many news publications, etc, fail to respect this right. I think one of the major challenges to live as a trans woman is my sexual orientation (i am a bi mostly attracted to women). Nevertheless, I know gender identity has nothing to do with sexual orientation

  15. Sam says:

    Regardless my sexual orientation I feel my gender identity is feminine

  16. J~A says:

    Transvestite may seek to transition, but they are not real transsexuals born feeling trapped in the wrong body. Transvestites seeks to transition as their result of their fetish driven by their male libido, resulting in moderate-high gender dysphoria; but quite different from what true transsexual experiences since their early childhood due to misalignment (or intersex development) of their brain wrt to external physical body/genetalia.

  17. Paris says:

    Wow what can I say ? I`m a closet to the rest of the world lover of all thing femenin.
    I have a wonderfull partner who is out and out Female but loves that softer side of me dressed as a female in every way other than sexual ( thats the way we like it).
    We shop,she/we pick out things that she thinks I would like,or she likes but can`t wear.
    My angel debi is her real name does my makeup and just accepts who I am.
    We even got married opposite dressed(both ex divorcees ourselves).
    Yes I have worn the suit once,so this time I wore the wedding dress and vice versa.
    Other than that day I have never been out dressed because Oh reason`s.
    But the key is the word I don`t like but have to accept is S.O she is your,my best friend and I love my (Angel,Debi,S.O) to bits and she loves me in drab or dressed to the nine`s on a monday night sat in front of the Television.

    So anyone reading this, my point is there are females out there to support and comfort us.

    Thank you Betty for this page/site from the bottom of my heart X

    • Betty says:

      Hello Paris, thanks for your post.

      People, Paris is just another proof you can get happy and find and accepting, hell even SUPPORTING partner. Don't give up!


  18. Paris says:

    I know I am a lucky person to have found a special some one who cares and loves both of us.
    As Betty says Don`t give up!
    Be who you want to be and there are girlfriends,wives,lovers out there who! Will be supportive and live your dream with you,stay strong and find that person

    Love to all xxxParisxxx

  19. Ashley Nicole says:

    I recently found your site and I enjoy reading the articles and the many comments too. Many of the sites I've visited are too concerned over labels and definitions of transvestites/transsexuals, crossdressers, shemales, trannys, whatever. I don't think it matters much what category I fall into, but I know I'm gay man, I dress up as a woman which has always been a huge turn on for me. I consider myself a transvestite/transsexual/tranny which to me are all one and the same thing. More often than not, people think of me as a transvestite. People I work with have more than a few names for me, but mostly they call me a tranny, a sissy, or one of several other names, none of which I mind and have never disagreed with anyone over it. There may be some slight differences between the them as many people seem to believe, you that being a transvestite sometimes opens doors, as it has for me. My fetish always was and still is dressing en femme, there isn't much of a difference now except for one thing – my male libido is more intense than ever before. That can be a problem because I have no interest at all in women. Most women aren't interested in being with trannys, real women want real men for the most part. And gay guys aren't usually into having sex with trannys either. That's a problem because real women want real men – straight men who don't get off on wearing panties and bras and other girlie things. Most gay men want other gays, masculine, manly men – not femme looking and acting gay trannys. That doesn't leave not much of a choice for femme tranny guys like myself other than tranny chasers, but it sure is better than nothing at all.

    • Betty says:

      Hello Ashley. very good observation about attraction, however I think more and more people start to think outside the box (just like you do).

  20. DD says:

    From my experience women are very much attracted to me when I'm dressed, and they are more aggressive than men or other trans. Maybe it's the my look or demeanor. Not all trans are created equal.

  21. Betty says:

    A follow up to this post has just been added – it deals with transexuality, being different and process of sex-change in Czech republic : http://www.transbetty.com/reflections/2016/03/30/advice-for-transgender-and-different/

  22. Sissyjan2 says:

    Betty, i really don't know who i am at this late stage of my life, but thanks to your article, i've got some sign posts. i've been crossdressing age 12 and in recent years i have felt the desire to become a TS woman. Being a TS woman would be exciting and just right for me…and, i'd like to be castrated because i think it'll help me with my femininity, There's no going back from that step but then if i had no balls it wouldn't upset me at all…just make me closer to my dream….what do you think? xxx jan

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