oldsalt1 wrote:Things are just as muddy on this side of the pond.
Actually, it's not muddy in the slightest. Here's what's going on:
-  We have the dictionary definitions which are available in print for all to read equally. This makes for a great levelling factor.
 We have the words as they're used in common use, including slang usage, and by various "interested parties" who will actively try to manipulate the language to achieve their goals.
The two are incompatible. Full stop.
Given the above incompatibility, it then falls onto the person contemplating the term -- whether in the first person or third person -- what the speaker's (or writer's) intent
was, and what that person's leanings are. The term can either be one of factual matter or an outright slur. Since the pejorative uses of "crossdressing" and "transvestism" (identical terms, mind
) are more common, it's likely safe to assume a comment was not meant in the dictionary manner. Note that both are also diagnosable as "disorders" in the psychiatric profession -- FOR MEN ONLY
-- so there's another issue to be aware of.
For the above reasons, I eschew the use of the term and advocate that others eschew it as well. The more we
use it to describe ourselves, the more we encourage others to use the term against us
. In short, don't do it -- unless you're trying to masquerade as a woman, that is.
Language and words have power; don't offer ammunition to a potentially hostile party by using the language the way he wishes it be used.
I find it vehemently offensive that I can be clinically categorised as having a disorder simply because as a male I happen to shop the distaff aisle in the clothing department. It can't happen with women, why should it happen to men? The flat answer is that it shouldn't. This is the sort of differentiation I'm referring to -- and it's discriminatory, arbitrary, and pernicious. It needs to be stamped out, and we're the ones to do it.