Difference Between Transvestites and Transsexuals

When we see someone that looks like a man, dressed as a female, there are a number of things that can run through your head. Society today, unlike the past, has begun accepting the fact that there are a number of things that must be kept private between people and instead of exploiting the actions, letting them express themselves freely is the way to move on.

Differentiating between transvestites and transsexuals is not that easy, especially if you are unfamiliar with these terms and what they actually represent.

A person, who dresses like the opposite sex by wearing clothing, accessories and also applying makeup when and where necessary, can be termed to be a transvestite. This term is usually known to be associated with cross dressing men but can also apply to women who choose to act and look more masculine instead of feminine. It can easily be said that a majority of transvestites are men in the clothing of women but it is not completely necessary that this be a cause of mental issues or hormonal imbalances. Transvestites are usually people who choose to look like the opposite sex just because of their feeling to do so without any specific uncontrollable impulse.

On a more serious note, a person who was born with a congenital neurological condition, also known as Benjamin’s syndrome or HBS, makes one a ‘transexual’ because of the confusion they have in relation to their gender identity. When they physically are born as a man or woman, their mind does not accept that fact and chooses to act, dress and want to be the opposite. Such cases require medical care, which most of the time includes hormone therapy and in some cases, even genital surgery. Through this, transsexuals can live the life in the gender that they prefer.


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    Usually men and even women, who choose to dress, act and behave like the opposite sex are known to be transvestites. This does not mean that a cross dresser is suffering from a mental condition but can be associated with their own decision making ability and freedom of choice.

    - Image Courtesy: tgforum.com

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    Those people who suffer from Benjamin’s syndrome and do not feel at one with the anatomy they were born with can be termed as transsexual. These people usually have to undergo various medical treatments to allow them to live a healthy and normal life.

    - Image Courtesy: nypost.com

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