I’ve done a lot of reading online about crossdressing, and it is very common for me to come across a quote like, “you can try to give up crossdressing for a while, but it will always come back eventually.” Sometimes this kind of statement is elaborated by saying, “you can give up crossdressing for a while, and the urges might go away for a while, but eventually you will no longer be able to suppress the urges and you will want to crossdress again later in life.” And so then they give this advice: “Stop feeling guilty about it now, embrace it as part of you, and enjoy crossdressing.”
I want to unpack the reasoning here. What are they saying? Is it true? For the most part I actually agree with the quote. I think they are talking about the desire to crossdress. And if that is what they mean, I largely agree. If we give up crossdressing, our desire to crossdress can diminish dramatically, but they will probably never fully go away. For example, right now I have absolutely no desire to crossdress and this is the case 99% of the time. But every once in a while, the desire will take me out of the blue, and I will have to exercise self-control until the urge passes, and then I will go a long time again with absolutely no desire for it. The desire comes and goes. There is a lot we can do to make sure we do not crossdress ever again, a lot we can do to make sure we are not thinking about crossdressing all the time, and a lot we can do to recondition our bodies and minds to desire crossdressing less, but one thing we cannot do is to simply make a choice to never desire crossdressing ever again. We do not have that kind of power.
But we always have a choice about whether to give in to the urges when they come. Therefore, I disagree strongly with the advice to just give in and embrace crossdressing. From a Christian perspective, a biblical perspective, we know that our temptations to sin will not go away fully until Jesus returns to this earth and makes us new. But that does not entail making the logical leap that many crossdressers do. They think that if the urges will never go away, the best thing to do is to just give in to the urges. Can you imagine anyone using this kind of reasoning in other ways? Think about these silly examples, and you’ll see how faulty the reasoning of these crossdressers is:
- A husband rationalizing that the best thing to do is to commit adultery because the feeling of attraction to other women never goes away.
- A young man who is wasting his life away on the computer looking at pornography has tried to quit. But now he thinks the best thing to do is to keep giving in to the addiction, because during the time he had quit, he still desired pornography.
- An alcoholic gives into drinking again even though the addiction had just about destroyed his life. He reasoned that since he still desired to drink alcohol during his times of abstinence, the best thing to do was to give in again.
- A rich man gave a lot of money away to the poor, but he realized he still had regular feelings of wanting to use his money for himself instead. So he decided it’s better to be greedy and stop giving to the poor.
Our healing from crossdressing, our fight again crossdressing, is not about getting rid of the desires, though it is helpful for us to do as much as we can to get rid of the desires. The healing, the fight, is about controlling our desires. That is something we CAN do, and we can do it right now with God’s help. I agree that we shouldn’t suppress the desires; instead we should think about them, sort them out in our minds, and then choose to resist them. But we don’t have to give in to crossdressing in order to avoid the suppression. Let yourself deal with the fact that you have desires you need to resist, deal with the fact that those desires may come and go and may never fully leave you. That is reality. But we always have the freewill to resist those desires. You DO NOT have to let crossdressing control your life or ruin your life. You don’t have to give in to every whim or desire that comes into your mind. We need to learn self-control.