Hello Leslie. My reply is not to argue a point but to further explain some basic concepts. And of course none of us like labels since as we travel on this journey we learn how complicated gender and sexual attraction truly are.
We all cross dress as we learn about ourselves. A crossdresser likes to wear the clothing of the opposite gender but they do not see themselves as the opposite gender. For instance, a male that dresses as a female but still sees themselves as male is what we refer to as a crossdresser. Someone like myself, a biological male who has always felt they were female is transgender. A transgender person that has had surgery is a transsexual. Not to speak for the creator of this group but crossdressers and trans people have different perspectives and that is probably why they created separate sites.
I agree that a biologic male that starts dressing as a female to explore their identity may over time determine that they are actually transgender themselves. So I commend the creator of these sites to create both crossdresser and transgender ones.
If I meet a crossdresser I might be jealous of their outward beauty but I sense that their heart and soul are that of a male. When I meet a transgender person I sense that their heart and soul are that of the gender that they are striving to be. I am a lesbian trans girl; I have always felt that I am female and i am romantically attracted to females. When I kiss another lesbian trans girl I know that I am kissing a girl and not a guy.
So Jill, nobody can decide for you whether you are a crossdresser or are transgender; you get to decide for yourself as you explore all of this crazy stuff on your journey. So don’t discount the benefit that a gender therapist has. That gender therapist, besides helping you to identify what is going on in your head is also the first gatekeeper you will encounter. That person will be the one that you get your HRT letter from that you take to your physician to get started on HRT. After a time on HRT there will be physical changes that are not reversible without surgery.