I have answered this question before and I may provide links to these answers for further reading.
There are huge differences between these two. I have answered these questions before but let’s say that I am a bit more mature now and may have a different approach to this question.
The difference is that one (transgender) is a sexual orientation and by that I mean you realize you are in the wrong body, you wake up every day and you as a woman are frustrated to see breast protruding from your chest, very feminine features. Or wake up as a man and see a flat chest, men clothing is not as appealing, nothing is interesting.
A cross-dresser (what I am) is someone who is in touch with either masculinity or femininity without feeling like changing anything on their body. Sure some cross-dressers go to the extremes of making minor changes to have a gender neutral face, or keep a rigid diet to have a gender neutral body. But that’s about it. In my case I am bisexual, I love women and I love men too, growing up I loved cross-dressing, then hated it, and loved it again. It’s pretty hard for a bisexual to accept femininity at least for me that was my case. Being a cross-dresser means that for me is just clothes, I would love the full makeup, with a sexy female outfit, when I go out as a man, I want to look equally flashy as a man.
As mentioned in some of my past responses, there are reasons why some cross-dressers stay on the shore and don’t go swim deep and that is because cross-dressing is a very expensive life. In 2018 I spent nearly U$ 500 in feminine items including wig and makeup. So you have to buy clothes if you don’t want to use someone else’s style, then if you have other hobbies such as fishing, gaming you spend money on that too, if you are in a relationship with a female then is the perfect excuse to get subscriptions to fashion and style magazines while you read them too. Sure not all cross-dressers would like to go all female some just like the sensation of panties or other undergarment but in some cases the fear or diving deep and ending up buying for two is a reason not to dive deep into cross-dressing.
WHAT IS ANOTHER FEAR WITH CROSS-DRESSING?
You know, if you are born a woman in the body of a man, you will be a miserable person, in some cases you don’t even know, you know something is wrong with you, life is not exciting. Trying on female clothes is in the back of your head just to do something crazy. You try it, and you feel good. Now here is another problem, you have a social life as a man, and feel extremely uncomfortable in male clothing, you can’t wait to get home, get off that fake facade and slip into some panties, wig, light makeup, skirt and blouse and sandals and just relax. Sure I have no problem doing this, I would love to spend a whole day as a woman. However, I am perfectly fine being a man in public I don’t feel urged to get home and change into a woman. The problem is finding out that you were cross-dressing all along and you are in fact a transgender.
Here are some related answers
When I look at guys that remain guy and cross-dress (non-feminine) I see someone who is ignorant of what is masculine or what is feminine. For him panties and men underwear are the same thing although panties are used for him to feel sexy, walk feeling sexy. Same for a woman there’s no difference between the two. Being a cross-dresser has nothing to do with being a transgender as previously stated and yet being a trans-gender has nothing to do with sexual orientation. I am on social media and although I get hit on by some guys, the ones who hit on me the most are fellow cross-dressers like myself. They consider themselves lesbians, they still love women, reject guys and only want to approach women, transgender and cross-dressers. I have also seen the case with a few friends who transitioned from female to male and still date men as they felt attracted to men but born in the wrong body. In other words is very strange to see your friend with long hair, big breasts saying she’s gay. The thing is you don’t understand she actually meant she’s a gay trans-man, she’s in the wrong body.
Trans-gender is someone who want to make extreme changes to the body such as lose the breasts or gain breasts. While cross-dresser is someone who enjoys wearing clothing from the opposite sex without the need of making extreme changes to the body or no changes at all