Skip to Content

A CD glossary

There are many common words and abbreviations that have a particular meaning in the crossdressing community. Here are a few:

  • Being made, getting clocked: being read.
  • Being read: being found out when you're attempting to pass.
  • CD: crossdresser.
  • Coming out: admitting you're a crossdresser or a trans person, whether it's to family, friends or the public at large.
  • Drag: “dressed as a girl”. There's also the less common opposite term, “drab”. Usually used like “drag queen”: someone who dresses for entertainment or amusement value, or “street drag”: mixed-mode dressing for shock value. The term comes from the theatre of Shakespearean times, when women were not permitted in the theatre. Men played all parts; thus stage directions would state, for example, "Juliet, played by John Smith, DRessed As Girl" - which became abbreviated to DRAG.
  • FTM: female-to-male (crossdressers or transsexuals).
  • En femme: dressed and acting as a woman, from the French la femme: woman.
  • Full-time: living 24 hours a day as a member of the opposite sex.
  • Gaffing, tucking, padding, binding, taping: various techniques of concealing or enhancing body parts.
  • Gender Dysphoria: From Steadman’s Medical Dictionary: “Gender: The sex of assignment by oneself or those who raise the individual. Dysphoria: [Phoria, a bearing] A feeling of unpleasantness or discomfort.” Hence, the feeling that the gender you believe yourself to be and your physical body don't match, to a greater or lesser degree.
  • GRS: Gender Reassignment Surgery; surgery to convert a penis to a vagina, or vice versa. A more modern term for SRS.
  • Hormones: substances that help alter body shape, hair growth etc. with a view to achieving the body form of the opposite sex.
  • HRT: Hormone Replacement Therapy. While this is a common medical treatment for the symptoms of menopause, in the transsexual context it refers to a course of hormone therapy with a view to altering one's body form to that of the opposite sex.
  • MTF: male-to-female (crossdressers or transsexuals).
  • Outing: disclosing that someone (not necessarily yourself) is a crossdresser or transgendered. Also used as "being outed"
  • Passing: being accepted in public as a member of the opposite sex.
  • Purging and binging: many crossdressers go through phases where they will renounce their habit and get rid of all their clothes, makeup etc. (“purging”). Most eventually give in to the continuing urge to dress and buy everything all over again (“binging”).
  • RLE or RLT: real-life experience or real-life test. A period of time, usually one or two years, of living full-time in one's identified gender, prior to being approved for GRS.
  • SRS: “the operation”; Sex Reassignment Surgery.
  • T* (T-star): any or all of the above.
  • TG: transgendered.
  • TS: transsexual.
  • TV: transvestite.



This one term 'Purging and Binging' described me so perfectly. It has been the very bane of my feminine existence for years.

But no more. I have finally taken the bull by the horns (with many thanks to this lovely society) and my purging days are over. Binging is no longer the correct term either because today I bought a very lovely lacy camisole and I just knew that it would stay with me forever along with the other lovely things I have just purchased.


Nobody is one block of harmony. We are all afraid of something, or feel limited in something. We all need somebody to talk to. It would be good if we talked to each other--not just pitter-patter, but real talk. We shouldn't be so afraid, because most people really like this contact; that you show you are vulnerable makes them free to be vulnerable too. It's so much easier to be together when we drop our masks.
-- Liv Ullman