People (usually males) who call themselves cross-dressers, or transvestites, dress as the opposite gender for emotional satisfaction, erotic pleasure, or just because they feel more comfortable doing so.
They feel a strong recurring desire to cross-dress but are generally perfectly happy with their birth gender and have no wish to permanently alter the physical characteristics of their bodies. Often the cross-dressing provides a pleasant outlet for them to explore feelings and behaviours associated with the opposite gender and therefore they frequently use opposite gender names and pronouns while cross-dressed.
Although they enjoy the actual periods when they cross-dress, some people can initially find it difficult to come to terms with their desire to cross-dress and may spend a period of time struggling alone with feelings of shame and fear.
In due course, most are able to move beyond these negative feelings and simply enjoy cross-dressing with others at supportive social evenings and occasional weekend events.
The opposite gender persona they portray is therefore usually a dramatic or humorous one. Drag performances may take place on stage but they are also often done informally during parties, carnivals and various other situations.