Dressed as a Boy (DRAB)

Last Updated: February 17, 2020

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Definition - What does Dressed as a Boy (DRAB) mean?

Dressed as a boy, known by the acronym DRAB (although it generally is not written in all caps; we have chosen to do so in the definition to make it easier to see), is also known as "dressed resembling a boy.” The term originated in the Elizabethan and Jacobean period of English history, when it was used to describe the practice of female transvestites dressing as men. It was an alternative to drag, used to describe male transvestites dressing as women.

In time, all transvestites were said to be dressing in drag when they wore clothes typical of their opposite gender. This led to a shift in the use of the term drab. Today the term drab is used to refer to the practice of male transvestites wearing male clothing.

Kinkly explains Dressed as a Boy (DRAB)

When a male transvestite dresses as a woman he is said to be dressing in drag. However, when a male transvestite dresses as a male, he is said to be dressing in drab.

Transvestites may dress in drab for several reasons. They may only dress in drag for work or special occasions and prefer dressing in drab the rest of the time. They may wear drab in certain company, such as when they attend church or family functions. They may be closeted about their love of drag and dress in drab whenever they leave the house.

Dressing in drab is more socially accepted than dressing in drag, as it fits social standards concerning about how men should dress. Dressing in drab can make men feel more comfortable in their surroundings because they do not stand out. However, many men who love dressing in drag may also feel stifled by dressing in drab and long for the bolder outfits that make them feel more confident.

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