Crossdresser refers to a person, similar to transvestites, who dons the clothing of the opposite gender, either because of sexual or practical reasons.
The difference between the terms crossdresser and transvestite lies in the fact that a crossdresser doesn’t necessarily act as the other gender and doesn’t want to be of another sex.
Origin of the term
History has several examples of crossdressing.
In Norse, Greek as well as Hindi mythology, for example there are several stories and sagas where gods, demigods and men alike disguise themselves as members of the opposite sex.
During the antiquity, women were forbidden from entering theaters, so their characters were acted out by crossdressing men with masks. Cases of crossdressing women are also documented, where they volunteered into the army as men.
Spread of the term
The tradition of crossdressing, while changed in modern times, is still a prominent practice, with the golden age of the LGBT movement.
Men and women alike are encouraged to come out and even become transsexual, resulting in an all-time high for crossdressers as well, though the practice remains widely embraced in non-sexual ways, especially on festivals as well as comedies.