“Crossplay… is cosplay in which the person dresses up as a character of a different gender. Crossplay's origins lie in the anime convention circuit, though, like cosplay, it has not remained exclusive to the genre.” (Source: Wikipedia)
When I was a kid, crossplay and cosplay did not exist and anime was foreign to me. Halloween was the closest thing to cosplay/crossplay that we had. As a fan of comic books and science fiction, monster, and adventure films, I put together Halloween costumes that reflected those interests.
One year I was the Frankenstein monster, another time I was the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Alfred E. Neuman made an appearance one year and I was a pirate twice on Halloween. My mother often helped me assemble my costumes and when I dressed as a pirate, she insisted that I wear gold hoop earrings as part of the costume. So on October 31, 1960, I had my first experience with clip-ons!
As a kid, I never Halloweened as the opposite gender. In my heart, I certainly wanted to femulate on October 31 and I am sure that my mother would have made me into a very authentic female, but I did not have the guts to do it.
My best friend did it one year and I was very jealous. He even suggested that we both go out as girls the following Halloween, but I still could not muster the courage. (By the way, I am sure that my best friend was trans. He probably suspected I was too and his Halloween invitation was an attempt to reach out to me. I so regret not accepting his invitation --- it would have been wonderful having a supportive sister while growing up.)
Five years later, I did have the courage and made my first of many Halloween appearances en femme, but that’s another story.
Getting back to crossplay --- if crossplay existed when I was in my late teens and early twenties, I think I would have participated and I’d probably attempt femulating Wonder Woman or Vampirella. Since I was able to pull off an authentic Playboy bunny, I think my Wonder Woman or Vampirella femulations would be good, too.
Wikipedia also has this to say about crossplay, “Male to Female crossplay is typically divided quite definitively into these two groups: those engaging in genderplay, and those attempting to pass as female. The stark contrast between these two groups is due largely to the social context surrounding the subject of male crossdressing. For most males, dressing in women's clothing is not something to be taken lightly, and so most crossplayers choose either to take the approach of ironic humor (intentionally not passing), or that of the masquerade (attempting to pass).”
Crossplay and cosplay is a young person’s game and I am way past being a young person, but I can look on and appreciate the efforts the male-to-female crossplayers and cosplayers and think about what might have been.
Three crossplayers attending a recent convention. Guess which ones are femulating.
Wearing Pink Tartan.