A travesti Latin American person who was born male, has a feminine gender identity and is primarily sexually attracted to non-feminine men ("androphilia").

Travestis' feminine identity includes feminine dress, language, and social and sexual roles. However, in contrast to transsexual women, they often don't see themselves as women, and many describe themselves as gay or homosexual. Travestis may modify their bodies with hormones or silicone, but rarely seek genital surgery.

Travestis can be contrasted with transformistas (drag queens), who dress as women for performance and entertainment. As with other non-Western sex and gender identities, travestis don't easily fit into a Western taxonomy that separates sex and gender. Some writers in the English language have described travestis as transgender or as a third gender.

The male sexual partners of a travesti are not themselves seen as gay, unless they take a passive role in intercourse. Rather, they are seen as "normal" masculine men.

Travestis often work in prostitution; one travesti organisation in Argentina reported in 2005 that 79% of the 302 travestis interviewed in Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata work principally as prostitutes.[1]


  1. La gesta del nombre propio, edited by Lohana Berkins and Josefina Fernández for ALITT (Asociación de Lucha por la Identidad Travesti y Transexual, "Association for the Fight for Travesti and Transsexual Identity"), published by Ediciones de Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires, 2005


  • Kulick, Don (1998), Travesti: Sex, Gender, and Culture among Brazilian Transgendered Prostitutes (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998) ISBN 9780226461007
  • Prieur, Annick (1998), Mema’s House, Mexico City: On Transvestites, Queens, and Machos (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998) ISBN 0-226-68257-9
  • Fernández, Josefina (2004) Cuerpos desobedientes: travestismo e identidad de género, Buenos Aires, Edhasa, 2004.
  • González Pérez, César O. (2003) Travestidos al desnudo: homosexualidad, identidades y luchas territoriales en Colima, México, Miguel Angel Porrúa, 2003.

See alsoEdit

es:Travestismo pt:Travesti

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