I was recently asked in a comment to explain my reasons why I believe crossdressing is sinful, or why it is harmful. It’s a good question. While my whole website is essentially about this with many articles, it is a bit overwhelming for someone to jump in and try to read all of them. I understand that. So this is a summary of my reasons to answer this question. Before you comment and criticize, please understand I’m not giving a full argument for any of these points here in this specific post. This is just a summary of reasons why I think crossdressing is wrong and harmful, but this is not an evidence, argument, or justification. I’m not going to defend each point here. I’ve argued with nuance and clarity and detail in the rest of the posts, some of them which I’ve linked to below. Comments are welcome. If you are interested more in a certain point, let me know.
1. First, I think that crossdressing actually suppresses our true identity, causing division and confusion through having two personas. Crossdressing creates a divided self. I believe that crossdressing and gender dysphoria are both partly the result of growing up in a culture and environment in which unhelpful gender stereotypes abound. We are stifled in our cultural masculinity, not being able to experience a full range of emotion or behavior. We end up feeling like we are not allowed to be fully human. Crossdressing and transgenderism are both an attempt to rectify that situation, but they are not the healthy response. Transgenderism actually gives in to the false gender stereotypes rather than challenging them. Instead, we must learn to be fully human, as men, not forcing ourselves into the cultural stereotypes for masculinity. We should give up crossdressing and embrace who we really are, with our real personalities and character traits, even if that means we are atypical men. I have written about how to integrate the “masculine” and “feminine” aspects of our personality in this post – Integration and Contentment. See also: Deeper Reasons for crossdressing. And my friend’s post – Why I don’t anymore.
2. I think God condemns crossdressing in the Bible. He clearly does so in Deuteronomy 22:5. However, I also think the whole story and scope of the Bible condemns crossdressing indirectly in other ways. The doctrine of creation is very clear that God made men and women and that he made them different. All throughout the Old Testament and throughout the New Testament, men and women are viewed to be equal in bearing God’s image together, but with some differences. They have different bodies and even have different roles. All throughout the Bible we are told to keep these sex/gender distinctions intact, and not to blur the lines of sex/gender. In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul specifically commands the church to uphold the relative cultural distinctions for differences of dress and clothing between men and women in their particular culture. The passage clearly prohibits crossdressing. See my post – 1 Corinthians 11:2-26 Prohibits Crossdressing. Also see my friend’s post – Ironing it out.
3. Crossdressing is a sexual addiction, a perverse fetish, finding sexual pleasure in oneself or in pieces of clothing, rather than through bonding with a spouse in marriage, another human being, as God intended. It is confused self-pleasuring rather than the giving and receiving of love with another. It is narcissistic, full of vanity, self obsession, and very often involves intense escalating addiction. Often it causes isolation. On top of this it very often leads to other deviant sexual behaviors. See my posts – Crossdressing is like pornography and My addiction to crossdressing fiction.
4. Crossdressing sometimes is an attempt to meet emotional needs beyond sexual pleasure. Those emotional needs could be wanting to feel beautiful, needing to let certain emotions out (see #1), wanting comfort, relieving stress, etc. I believe it is unhealthy to try to meet these needs through pieces of fabric. Crossdressing tries to produce these emotional needs in other ways. But they should be met in healthy ways through other people and through God, not objects of clothing. In the same way we shouldn’t try to meet our emotional needs through golf, xbox games, pornography, or phone sex either. See my post – They are just clothes right?
5. Crossdressing is deceptive. It is self deceptive creating a false reality. It’s a self-delusion. It also seems to breed deception as one has to hide more and more of one’s life, possessions, and how one spends his time. It breeds lies to friends, family, and coworkers. See my posts – Telling the truth and Creating your own false reality and Fool! You will be caught!
6. I would be very disturbed at the thought of my wife crossdressed. See my post – Imagine your wife crossdressed.
7. Crossdressing can easily become idolatry. The behavior itself can become an idol, something that a crossdresser feels he can’t live without, what gives his life meaning and purpose. But it is also essentially about worship of self instead of God. The crossdresser looks to crossdressing to meet his needs rather than God. Further, I compare it to an eating disorder, a self obsession with the body, which becomes idolatry. As an anorexic person obsesses about losing weight to appear beautiful, they are blind to their unhealthiness (which is also not beautiful). I think crossdressing does the same thing. They both become such an idol that other life decisions are made to keep the addiction of the idol going, whether that means loss of job, loss of spouse, or in the case of eating disorders, loss of life. See my posts – Crossdressing can become idolatry and Crossdressing demands sacrifice of self.
8. Crossdressing is an attempt to replace one’s spouse. You want your own femininity instead of your wife’s. You want sexual pleasure with your crossdressed self instead of with your wife. You want time crossdressing instead of time spent with your wife, female companionship with your false female self instead of companionship with your wife, and ultimately in the case of eventually trying to live as a woman, you want to replace your wife and marriage with living as a woman yourself. See this very interesting article – The Transvestic Career Path. And see these posts – Becoming the woman my wife is not and Crossdressing without sexual component.
9. Crossdressing promotes sexist values, and it objectifies women, possibly objectifying them even to a greater degree than pornography does. See point 2 here in my post – Crossdressing is like pornography.
10. Crossdressing has a huge component of envy, which is sin. See my post – Crossdressing is about envy.
11. Our wives did not want to marry women. Crossdressing ruins marriages, and many if not most crossdressing stories end in divorce. And of those marriages that stick it out, in most crossdressing is relegated to the closet, as a painful unhelpful thing the wife never wants to think about because it scares her and hurts her and disgusts her so much. Crossdressing can even make wives jealous. They want to be the woman, not their husband trying to be the woman. They want to be the femininely beautiful one, not their husband. Jealousy is wrong, but wives shouldn’t have to be tempted to feel that way by their own husbands. Further, the more one gives into crossdressing for sexual pleasure, the harder it is to be turned on to one’s wife. Sex becomes nonexistent, or the husband thinks more about the wife’s clothing during sex than about her. See the pain that wives have experienced by reading their posts in the Forum. Also read my posts – Don’t force your wife to act as a lesbian and Choosing crossdressing or sex.
12. Crossdressing, even as a sexual fetish, often leads people down the road to get surgeries to disguise their true sex, which I believe is sinful mutilation of the healthy body that God created. It is one of the common types of eventual transsexuals. Some transgendered people feel the desire for living as the opposite sex from childhood and others, crossdressers, get to that point later, after their created feminine identity has become so infused in their lives. See these two posts – Book Recommendation – The Man who would be Queen and Paper on sex reassignment surgery.
13. It seems universally true that crossdressing makes people feel guilty. I’ve read crossdressing forums that those who have been crossdressing for 20 or 40 years still feel dirty and guilty about it. This is also evidence that it is wrong. I believe the right course of action is not to bury guilt or suppress it, but to listen to it as our conscience, and for Christians as guidance and conviction from the Holy Spirit. I get hundreds of hits on my site a day, and most of them are people who are searching for things like, “I hate that I cannot stop crossdressing” or “help me out of crossdressing addiction!” Clearly people are not feeling good about this addiction. See these posts – How do we know what is true? Is crossdressing sinful? and Guilt is an achievement! and We are not alone and Afterglow of crossdressing versus sex.
14. Maybe most important, the very fact that crossdressers say that they “need” it and can’t healthily “live without it” I think proves that this is not a simple hobby.There are psychological issues involved. Things are wrong and messed up. No one should “need” to pretend to be someone else, or dress up in particular types of clothing in order to not be depressed. There are emotional issues and psychological issues that need to be addressed. Feeling this kind of attachment to clothing is not healthy. What other things in life do people talk about in this way? Marriage? No. Most people realize they could live without marriage even if they would hate to lose their spouse. They could move on and still be happy again. Hobbies? No, I don’t know of anyone who says that they couldn’t live without their hobby. Drugs? Yes, I’ve heard people talk about being addicted to drugs and thinking they couldn’t live without them. Drugs is the closest thing I can think of to the way that crossdressers talk about their addiction. Obviously, the two are not the same. But in both cases, something unhealthy is going on. See my post – They are just clothes right?
15. My life has been amazingly better and happier and freer and healthier without crossdressing. I don’t ever want to go back. This is a subjective reason, but taken with the rest of the above, it’s powerful for me.
If you’d like to get started on reading my other posts, to read my argumentation for these points, here is my complete article list. Read and comment as you like and we can have good discussion – All Blog Posts