Through the Looking Glass, Column 14

What Crossdressers Want to Know Part 2: Am I Gay?

Welcome back to my series on the most common questions I hear from crossdressers. Now keep in mind, folks, that though I’m a highly qualified psychiatrist/crossdresser, I am Alice Novic, after all, and I’m not always going to give you the answers you expect to hear—or want to hear, or what your wife wants to hear, or what your brave transsexual friend wants to hear, n’est-ce pas? What I will offer you is compassion and my best attempt at accuracy.

Today’s question is Am I gay? The short answer is No, your not, but you’re not exactly straight either.

To me and to most gay men, being gay describes a specific thing. It ‘s more like saying “He’s Mexican,” rather than “He’s definitely not from around here.” As a crossdresser, you’re clearly not gay in the sense of wanting to be a man sexually with a man and all the stuff that so often comes with it, like a head-spinning appreciation for the male form, an Oscar-Wilde-like wit, and a passion for fashion and celebrities. Oh, sure you may be loving all the little nuances of ladies’ clothing, but that’s not the same thing. Just the simple fact you call yourself a crossdresser means that you’re not gay, for most people (and specifically me in part 1 of this series) define crossdresser as a primarily straight man who is profoundly satisfied to imagine himself as a woman. So, you’re fundamentally heterosexual on some level or sorely misusing the term crossdresser.

But, are you completely straight? Well, hey, to answer that question I first owe you a definition of the term straight. Completely straight, or completely heterosexual describes a man who is only interested in sex as a man with a woman. You, my dear reader, may—despite your crossdressing consider yourself such a man, only for that to change—if you’re lucky—as opportunities present themselves. What if you had the chance to make like lipstick lesbians with your wife, another beautiful woman, a breathtaking transsexual, or another nice-looking crossdresser? Or what about my favorite: getting to be a sweet, slender girl in the arms of some giant of a man?

I imagine a lot of hands going up out there—and a few liars. Or, I should more compassionately say, people trying not to think too much. After all, there are enough pills to swallow in everyday life, without having to take on the hypothetical ones. Nonetheless, people, we all know that any number of these scenarios sound pretty sizzling and they may not be man-on-man gay but certainly ain’t straight either, in the sense that non-TG men take no interest in these things. Believe me I know; I work with plenty.

The truth is that, if you’re a crossdresser or even a transsexual reading this article, you may not be gay but you’re not a wholly straight arrow either. Or look at it this way: You may not be chocolate, but you’re not pure vanilla either. You’re strawberry. You are, no doubt, a love-to-be-femme (started-out-straight, secondary, autogynophilic if you must) MTF transperson. Yes, that describes the (in my view) intersex condition we share, but it also seems to shape our sexuality, sexuality in the sense of the things that turn us on.

I admit that that’s an inconvenient truth and different from what you might hear from most folks in our community. But I’m a psychiatrist, after all, not a propagandist, no matter how righteous our cause may be. I’m who you go to when the comforting illusions have fallen flat. I am strawberry, and I’m okay with it and hope the same for you, if you suspect that deep down you’re a little fruity too.

Life’s rich, complex, and full of possibilities. Be careful and enjoy!

Alice Novic, M.D.

To learn more about me than you’d ever dare to ask, please see my smart, sexy memoir, Alice in Genderland: A Crossdresser Comes of Age.

Also, if you wish to eMail Alice with Questions, Comments or Topics for Future Through the Looking Glass Articles, feel free to send her an eMail at or to Post any Comments below.