Cross-dressing is the concept of a person wearing clothing generally associated with the opposite sex, with the most basic example being a man wearing a dress. A cross-dressing individual may also adopt personality traits or mannerisms of the other gender in order to better the illusion. Although it is commonly associated with homosexuality, cross-dressing is not an act specific to sexual orientation.
Over the years, a number of video games have depicted cross-dressing as either a character trait, plot point, or an aspect of gameplay.
Examples of Cross-dressing in Video Games
Final Fantasy V
In Final Fantasy V, one of the main characters, the pirate captain Faris Scherwiz, is introduced as a male. Throughout the game, many male characters find themselves inexplicably attracted to Faris, until at one point in the game Faris reveals that he is actually a she.
Final Fantasy VII
In the early hours of Final Fantasy VII, Aerith suggests that Cloud disguise himself as a woman to sneak into Don Corneo's mansion. This leads to a sequence where the player must gather items to create a proper disguise. If the player is able to acquire the combination of a silk dress, a blonde wig, sexy perfume, a diamond tiara, and lingerie, Cloud's disguise becomes so good that Don Corneo wants to sleep with him!
Guilty Gear series
Introduced in Guilty Gear X2, the character Bridget was the second of two twin boys born in a village where having twins of the same sex is considered to be a bad omen. In order to protect him, his parents decided to raise him as a girl, giving him a very effeminate personality and appearance. While he does state he wants to be more masculine and refers to himself as a he, he seems to be unaware that his appearance and personality still make him look very feminine.
The series' creator and character designer has stated Bridget was originally designed to be a girl, but that he thought she wouldn't be interesting enough that way, and decided to make her a cross-dressing boy instead.
Bridget's particularly effective disguise has lead to the practice of tricking men unfamiliar with the series into commenting on "her" attractiveness, a prank which lead to the now memetic phrase "Everyone is gay for Bridget".
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
Persona 4 contains several characters that cross-dress. At one point in the game, Yasogami High School hosts its annual "Miss" Yasogami pageant. Yu Narukami, Yosuke Hanamura, Kanji Tatsumi, and Teddie all compete as participants to comedic effect.
However, the character Naoto Shirogane cross-dresses as a part of her lifestyle. Though she desires to be a detective, she believes that she wouldn't be taken as seriously as a woman, and thus began dressing as a male and masquerading as a boy. Even after her true gender is outed to the public, she prefers to dress in masculine clothes, finding them more comfortable.
The Fable series of games allows players to actively cross-dress their characters. It is also an example of where cross-dressing has been implemented as a part of the gameplay. A central mechanic of the series has been how NPCs react to the actions and appearance of the player character. When cross-dressed, reactions in the original game tend to be negative, in that NPCs respond with either disgust or bemusement.
However, Fable II has 'transvestite appreciating' NPCs in its Knothole Island DLC and Fable III even features an achievement for having your character wear the clothes of his or her opposite gender.