• The pretence of being the opposite sex, especially that by a man of being a woman; transvestism.


  • Coined 1920 by British physician and sexologist Havelock Ellis (1859–1939) after Chevalier d'Eon (1728–1810), a French diplomat, spy and soldier who presented as male for 49 years, then as female for 33. Ellis had previously used the term sexo-aesthetic inversion.

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