Androgyne is also sometimes used as a medical synonym for an intersex person.
The term cross-dresser is not exactly defined in the relevant literature. Gilbert, professor at the Department of Philosophy, York University, Toronto, offers this definition: "[A cross-dresser] is a person who has an apparent gender identification with one sex, and who has and certainly has been birth-designated as belonging to [that] sex, but who wears the clothing of the opposite sex because it is that of the opposite sex." This definition excludes people "who wear opposite sex clothing for other reasons," such as "those female impersonators who look upon dressing as solely connected to their livelihood, actors undertaking roles, individual males and females enjoying a masquerade, and so on.
These individuals are cross dressing but are not cross dressers." Cross-dressers may not identify with, or want to be the opposite gender, nor adopt the behaviors or practices of the opposite gender, and generally do not want to change their bodies medically.
The majority of cross-dressers identify as heterosexual.
Drag is a term applied to clothing and make-up worn on special occasions for performing or entertaining, unlike those who are transgender or who cross-dress for other reasons.
Some drag performers, transvestites, and people in the gay community, have embraced the pornographically-derived term tranny to describe drag queens or people who engage in transvestism or cross-dressing; however this term is widely considered offensive if applied to transgender people.Bigender and androgynous are overlapping categories; bigender individuals may identify as moving between male and female roles (genderfluid) or as being both male and female simultaneously (androgynous), and androgynes may similarly identify as beyond gender or genderless (postgender, agender), between genders (intergender), or moving across genders (genderfluid) or simultaneously exhibiting multiple genders (pangender).Limited forms of androgyny are common (women wearing pants, men wearing earrings) and are not seen as transgender behaviour.The THP recommends that clinicians ask clients what terminology they prefer, and avoid the term transsexual unless they are sure that a client is comfortable with it.
Harry Benjamin invented a classification system for transsexuals and transvestites, called the Sex Orientation Scale (SOS), in which he assigned transsexuals and transvestites to one of six categories based on their reasons for cross-dressing and the relative urgency of their need (if any) for sex reassignment surgery.People who cross-dress in public can have a desire to pass as the opposite gender, so as not to be detected as a cross-dresser, or may be indifferent.