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Trope · Genre
Synonyms: Crossdressing for justice
Related: Kink
See Also: Genderfuck, Genderswap, Transfic, Trap
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Crossdressing is a theme in fanworks and in canon [1] wherein a character dresses as a member of a different sex or gender.

In canon, it is often used comedically, as a plot device and as a kink, both sexualized and not. It can be used for comedy or for kink in fanworks as well, but can also be portrayed seriously as an aspect of a character's gender identity or expression.

In some cases, a character is actually trying to pass as a member of the other sex and fool people. This is often seen in stories of women dressing as men to take a job or take part in some adventure that would otherwise be denied them. Coffee Prince uses the trope as its main plot device, as does Ouran High School Host Club and a lot of Shakespeare comedies. In other cases, the character crossdresses only occasionally, either for some plot-related reason or as part of kink play.

The phrase cross-dressing for justice usually refers to works in which the character is undercover as a woman in order to FIGHT CRIME. It may have originated in DC Comics fandom, where people cross-dress for justice a lot.

In anime fandom, a crossdressing character is sometimes called a "trap", especially for males dressing as female. A female dressing as male can be called a "reverse trap". There has been some backlash against this terminology, as some people say it is transphobic.[2][3][4]


Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.


  1. Women dressing as boys is a common device in Shakespeare's comedies.
  2. Traps are not necessarily Transgender, Anime-Traps wikia, 2017
  3. "Why aren’t problematic translations fixed?", Amelia Cook,, February 4 2017
  4. Gender Identity in Convention Culture, Lauren, Anime Boston blog, April 4 2015