Study Guide

Tiresias - Unlikely Cross Dressers

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Unlikely Cross Dressers

Tiresias went further than a lot of the men in this group who just dressed like a woman at one time or another. Instead of just putting on ladies' clothes, Tiresias became a full-fledged woman after he hit two mating snakes with his staff.


You may be a wee bit surprised that Achilles is a member of this clique. After all, we tend to picture him in gleaming armor, rather than dresses. But it's true: he spent a while in the court of Lycomedes disguised as a woman while trying to avoid the Trojan War. It was his mom's idea, but he seemed pretty into it.


Though he's considered one of the biggest, manliest Greek heroes of all, Heracles also spent a little time in women's clothes. It all went down when he was forced to atone for a murder by enslaving himself to an African queen named Omphale. The queen thought it would be fun to make Heracles dress like a girl while she wore his lion skin cape and pranced around with his club. Apparently, this little switch-a-roo really got them both going, and pretty soon they were all over each other.


Yet another beefy hero strutting his stuff in lady's clothes. When the giant, Thrym, stole Thor's magical hammer, Mjollnir, Thrym said that he wouldn't give it back unless he could marry Freyja, the smokin' hot goddess. Frejya wasn't about to marry a giant, though, so Thor got out the wedding catalogue, picked a pretty dress, and went down to giant land disguised as Thrym's blushing bride-to-be. Pretty soon, Thrym was getting a hammer in the face, instead of the wedding night kisses he was expecting.

White Hawk, the Lazy

In her 19th-century book American Indian Fairy Tales, Margaret Compton recorded the story of "White Hawk, the Lazy." In this tale, a young man named White Hawk disguises himself as a girl and marries his enemy, Red Head. Once they're married, White Hawk kills Red Head. Sound like Thor and Thrym or what?

The Wolf from "Little Red Riding Hood"

This guy probably gets the award for most unlikely cross dresser of all. You remember this story, right? Little Red Riding Hood shows up at her grandmother's house to find the little old lady looking suspiciously like a big-eyed, big-eared, big-mouthed wolf despite the grandmotherly clothes.

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