Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Christianity and cross dressing

I have commented a couple of times that I am a Church member and a practising Christian, I have also been challenged as to how I can be both a cross dresser and a Christian, on the face of it the two may appear to be mutually exclusive.   However I think we have to be careful to separate what is genuine Christian teaching, what is Church Tradition and what is just the prejudices of what is still a basically pretty  conservative society.   Apart from my wife only one other member of our Church knows anything about Paula, and then only that I occasionally like to cross dress.   He is cool about it, but like me finds himself very much on the liberal wing of our Charismatic Evangelical Church.

I have struggled a lot with reconciling my Christianity and my cross dressing, however I wanted the blog to be fairly light hearted so have not written about this there, but am putting this up as a separate page for those who are concerned.   I am writing this very much from my own point of view, drawing on my own experiences.   I think this will be more useful to the reader and the writer alike, in exploring how I have managed to find some level of peace as both a cross dresser and a Christian.
Like most of us I have had periods of intense dressing followed by a time of total rejection, these periods of rejection often included purging everything and anything to do with my dressing.   Experience and contact with others through support groups and the Internet tell me that this is nothing unusual.   As a younger man I used to find that the compulsion to cross dress was always strongest at times of stress, and sexual frustration – the two often coinciding in my experience.   Therefore the two times I have been in a stable loving relationship I found that cross dressing was not on the agenda, I thought that it was something in my past that could happily be ignored.   Of course this was not the case, and as my marriage became more mature, and less intense, the compulsion to dress came back.   By this time however I had become a Christian, and managed to convince myself that cross dressing was a sin, and that I should fight it.

The basis of any condemnation of Cross Dressing in the bible is limited to just the one specific mention in Deuteronomy 22:5 “A woman must not wear men's clothing nor a man wear women's clothing for the Lord God detests anyone who does that."    My first reaction on reading this was to resist the urge using self-control, well that was destined for failure, my second ploy was the more obvious one of prayer.   Now my experience is that God answers prayers, I have personally been healed of arthritis following a serious neck injury, I have been provided for, I have seen the same effects in other people.   Yet God has not "healed" me of cross dressing.   Could God do this if He choose to, yes of course, so that means that just like Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” for one reason or another God does not choose to rid me of this compulsion.
I will admit that in the past I have prayed to be free of this, and indeed for periods thought than maybe I was.   Now I find myself thinking that "God does not make mistakes I am meant to be like this" - and "if this so wrong how can it feel so right", so now I just accept this as part of me and in order to avoid depression and other problems I allow myself to express it.

Going back to Deut 22;5 at face value that is pretty damning, but first I look at where this verse is placed, in between a verse on coming across a birds nest at the side of the road and helping out your brother's donkey!.   In the NIV the section heading is Various Laws not the same as chapter 18 Detestable Practises.   Most of the these rules appear to me to be about either being part of society, or for the Jews being a separate society apart from the tribes surrounding them.
Paul of course talks about it being OK to break The Law as long as you are not bringing others into temptation.   Paul also tells us to avoid any form of sexual depravity, now I do not think that my cross dressing is about sex, I would certainly not count it as a form of sexual depravity.   For the Christian this does require a degree of self assessment and honesty, is this a purely sexual thing? Is sex a part of it? If so how much? Or is any sexual gratification a reflection of the personal comfort from expressing this part of your nature?   Like I said a high degree of self analysis and complete honesty s required.   For those of us who are married it is also paramount that we keep our marriage vows.

I have often heard it said that the laws that we should keep are in both the old and new testaments, and there is nothing in the New Testament about cross dressing, however this is often used as an argument against accepting homosexuality so, I reckon keep to the big 10, and love your neighbour as yourself pretty much covers it.   (of course this does mean you have to love yourself).  
When talking about sin Jesus raised the bar to an unobtainable level, yes we should not murder, but it's still a sin to lose your cool.   Do not commit adultery, but don't even look at that woman and think Phaw (This is my ow translation) on this basis we are all sinners, we all sin, and in God's eye there is only sin - not little sins and big sins - just sin.   We are therefore all dependent on grace, that is God's gift, through the sacrifice of Jesus, not only of forgiveness, but also of eternal life as His adopted children. We are all in the same boat and are all totally reliant on Jesus for our salvation, we cannot achieve holiness through our own actions, only through the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
How am I so sure, well I mentioned earlier about being a peace as a Christian cross dresser, well peace comes from the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit does not deny me this gift of peace, a peace that is unobtainable any other way.   Again this is nothing that we can achieve it is a gift freely given and available to all believers.
So is cross dressing a sin - maybe, I don't know but I do know that God loves me and does not withdraw from me.   We are all sinners and that is why Jesus became man 2,000 odd years ago, and died on the cross and rose again, so that we can be in communion with Him, not separated by sin.
I have been involved with an on-line forum www.crossdressers-forum.com some these can be read by non members, but unfortunately the forum is currently closed to new members due to attack by spammers.   There we have had a lot of conversations about faith and being trans.   There is also some very good writing available on this subject at http://www.lightinthecloset.org/