Is crossdressing a case of split personality?
Sometimes I wonder whether the crossdressing is a case of split personality or more accurately dissociative identity disorder (DID). Before I give my own opinions on this, I need to make a disclaimer that I am no psychiatrist or psychologist. According to wikipedia, DID ‘is a mental disorder on the dissociative spectrum characterized by the appearance of at least two distinct and relatively enduring identities or dissociated personality states that alternately show in a person’s behavior, accompanied by memory impairment for important information not explained by ordinary forgetfulness’. Just by the definition itself, I am quite sure that crossdressers are not suffering from DID.
For crossdressers, while the male and female side may be kept relatively distinct in their life, I doubt there is any memory impairment that a person have with regards to any encounter while in their female mode. Again, crossdressers exist in a spectrum. Some dress up only fully in female clothing complete with makeup, while others may just don on a pair of panty hose under their suit. You can read more about the different levels of crossdressing from my previous post. In this post, I am only going to refer to the spectrum of crossdressers who dress up with the aim of being a passable female.
Myself, I kept my female and male persona separately. Perhaps the reason is that the society that many of us are brought up in accepts gender as only male or female. Many times you hear people saying things like, dolls are for girls, guns are for boys, dresses are for girls etc. In most people mind, the idea of gender exists only in two buckets; male or female. The concept of two buckets is something that many people can easily understand and hence most widely accepted.
Because of the need to conform to such social norm, there will be cases of suppression of one’s expression or passion. Girls who like body building, guys who like make-up just to name two. Of course there are your homosexual individual who remain in the closet. The results of this suppression may lead to later stage ‘realisation’. At the ‘realisation’ stage, the person has a strong desire to break free of social norms and be true to himself or herself. This is what many refer to as coming out of the closet.
I don’t really like having the separate persona. To me, it feels like splitting an atom. I’m who I am. I like to be a man at times and like to dress up as a girl too. Sexually, I’m straight. See the point is many don’t see the differences between sexuality and cross dressing. To crossdress is not necessary a mean to attract men (again I’m referring to MTF cross dressing). I crossdress because I like the female clothing. Just like how female will have their own coveted designer dress or gown, why can guys have the same desire?
I’m one person with different personal expressions of what society would prefer to be kept separated. I do not have split personality problem but rather I am simply trying to work around the social norm. Sadly this is the world I am born into. With more awareness, I positive that the future generation of cross dresser will have greater acceptance and understanding just like how homosexuality is more acceptable today.