Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS A CROSSDRESSER?
A crossdresser is a biological male or female who has the yearning to dress and appear as a member of the opposite gender. Most crossdressers are male, though female crossdressers do exist. Many crossdressers are heterosexual and are otherwise normal, productive members of our society. Most crossdressers experience their first urge to wear the clothing of the opposite sex at a very early age. Throughout their lives, crossdressers often go through "purges" where they destroy their feminine (or, in the case of female crossdressers, masculine) attire in the hope that their need to dress will disappear. It does not, however, and the urge soon returns. In a similar vein, male crossdressers often hope that marriage will end their urge. If there are cases were this is true we are unaware of them. There is no "cure" for crossdressing, if by cure one means the complete disappearance of the desire. Along with purges we've seen ebbs and flow in the desire to crossdress reported. The only productive "treatment" is the development within the crossdresser of a sense of understanding and acceptance of their situation. What each person understands is going to be unique to themselves, and the actions they take based on their understanding and acceptance should be suited to their own circumstances and not governed by someone else's experience or arbitrary rules.
WHY DO I DO THIS?
First off, crossdressing IS NOT a mental illness! According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, the DSM IV, crossdressing is considered pathological only if associated with 1) Distress, 2) Disability - occupational or otherwise, 3) Dare deviling - high risk behavior leading to physical injury, loss of job, family disruption, imprisonment, etc. While for some, crossdressing is compulsive, for the majority, it is not! Beyond that, unfortunately, there are no clear answers. Various theories have been put forth ranging from social "imprinting" to genetics.
We know that some medications will induce personality changes and that crossdressing or the desire to crossdress has been observed in some cases, and ceased on abandoning the course of medication. Further, some cases of extreme hypersexuality associated with a few crossdressers have been treated with selective seratonin uptake inhibitors (drugs in the Prozac family). We do not believe that these rare cases inform us about anything important with regards to the average crossdresser.
As the world of science advances perhaps, someday, there will be an answer. Today, though, there is none.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU MEET?
Alpha Omega meets on the second Saturday of each month in a suburb of Cleveland. Meeting consist of a social period followed by dinner. There is a brief business meeting after dinner, generally followed by a speaker or program whenever possible. In the past, after the program, some members went "out on the town". No one currently makes a habit of this, and in any event those who are not so inclined can continue to socialize at the meeting place. A nominal meeting fee (Members $12, or $20 for a couple, non-members $18 for an individual or $30 for a couple) is charged to all who attend to cover the cost of the meeting hall, refreshments, etc. Rooms for changing are available at no additional charge.
The voice of Alpha Omega, "La Femme Silhouette" newsletter, is published on a monthly basis. Copies are sent each month to our members, other crossdressers' groups nationwide and to select professional who deal with our subculture.
If you'd like to get an idea of what goes on at an Alpha Omega meeting try listening to a recording of one of our meetings. Click here.
WHAT ABOUT CONFIDENTIALITY?
No matter how bad we are at keeping other secrets, the fact that we are crossdressers is often kept from even the most intimate of relationships; wives, parents, children, brothers and sisters. We fear the misunderstanding that such a revelation might bring; loss of affection, being labeled as "Gay," loss of employment, being considered mentally ill, etc. The members of Alpha Omega understand the fear you might be feeling because each and every one of us has felt it too.
Because of these fears, security is paramount at Alpha Omega. Membership information is kept by the Secretary/Treasurer alone and only the Chair of the Board and Director of Membership have additional access. Each of these officers must have been an active member of Alpha Omega for a minimum of one year before they were eligible for office - plenty of time for the rest of the members to assure themselves that the candidates were dedicated to the group and maintaining its security. The only way information on you will be given out to another member is if you give it.
If you have told, or have considered telling, your wife or girlfriend of your crossdressing, know that there are knowledgeable wives and girlfriends of members who are willing to help her come to terms with the situation.
Membership dues are $36 Single and $48 couple (after being held constant for 10 years) If you attend more than six meetings per year it's cheaper to join. The membership dues are less than the old TriEss/AlphaOmega combined dues. In addition to reduced meeting fees members are entitled to to a year's subscription to the newsletter, meeting attendance, committee and voting rights. Hard-copy newsletter only subscriptions are $15/year.
Anyone interested in attending a meeting, be they a prospective member, with/girlfriend or guest of a member must go through an interview conducted by members of the membership committee. The process is relatively painless, but must be done for the security of those who already attend meeting.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?
DO expect to find yourself among a group of people who will do everything they can to assist you in feeling better about yourself as a crossdresser
DON'T expect to find a "swingers club" or other sexually oriented group
DO expect to learn how to make yourself more passable as a member of the opposite gender.
DON'T expect to find an organization where alcohol or drug abuse will be tolerated.
DO expect to find a place where, if she is willing, your spouse/significant other can come for support and assistance from other wives/girlfriends.
DO expect to be treated as a lady/gentleman at all times
DON'T consider joining if you cannot be a lady/gentleman at all items
DO expect that, as time passes, you will be asked to make whatever contribution to the group you are capable of, be it a committee membership, writing for the newsletter, serving as an officer of just giving individual attention to another member who is not as comfortable with her situation as you are with yours.
Lastly, DO expect to find that Alpha Omega will help to bring peace of mind to your existence as a crossdresser.
WHO DO I CONTACT?
When contacting us please be sure to include the following to assist us in getting you the information that you need.
Well, now it's up to you. PLEASE be in touch with us!