Definition - What does Cross-gendered mean?

Cross-gendered is an adjective used to describe a person, behavior, or situation where the expected or established gender is paired with the opposite.

Most commonly, cross-gendered is applied to people, as a synonym for transgender; behavior, which may or may not be linked to transgenderism or gender identity disorder; friendships, and acting.

Kinkly explains Cross-gendered

Cross-gendered people are born with the genitals and internal workings of one gender, but have strong and persistent feelings that they are actually the opposite gender. They are also uncomfortable about their assigned gender as they feel it does not fit their true identities. Cross-gendered people, often referred to as transgender people, are said to have gender identity disorder.

Cross-gendered people typically demonstrate cross-gendered behaviors. These behaviors are atypical of people of their genders and most commonly associated with the opposite gender. For example, cross-gendered boys may want to wear dresses. Cross-gendered women may want to play male-dominated sports on men’s teams. Note that displaying cross-gendered behaviors is not necessarily indicative of being a cross-gendered person. People who act in a cross-gendered way may still identify as their assigned genders but simply be more interested in the behaviors associated with the opposite gender. This is common girls known as tomboys and male transvestites, for example.

Cross-gendered friendships are simply friendships that occur between a male and a female. Unlike cross-gendered intimate relationships between boyfriends and girlfriends or husbands and wives, cross-gendered friendships will not necessarily have a sexual component, although this may exist if one friend fancies the other, even if the emotions or desires are never acted on.

Cross-gendered acting is common in the film and theater industries, when male actors take on female roles and vice versa. Tyler Perry, Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, and Cate Blanchett have all had prominent cross-gendered roles. Often cross-gendered acting is used for comedic effect, but this is not always the case.

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