Summary of why crossdressing is sinful/harmful

I was just asked in a comment to explain my reasons for why I believe crossdressing is sinful, or why it is harmful.  It’s a good question.  While my whole blog is essentially about this with hundreds of posts, 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 jump all over me, please understand I’m not arguing for any of these points here in this specific post.  This is just a summary of why I think crossdressing is wrong and harmful, 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 of my blog.  So it would make this a book long post instead of a summary if I tried to do that here.  Make sense?  Also, there are counterarguments crossdressers make to argue why they think it must be okay and good to crossdress, and I’ve addressed those arguments on my blog, but won’t mention them here.  Okay here is my attempt at a short summary.  When I remembered clearly where I’ve talked in detail about a certain point below, I’ve made a link to other posts.  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.  Instead, 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 – An Alternative Method: Integration and Contentment.


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, bearing God’s image together, but different.  They have different bodies and even have different roles.  All throughout the whole Bible we are told to keep these sex/gender distinctions intact, and not 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.  1 Corinthians 11:2-26 Prohibits Crossdressing.   Also see –


3. I believe that crossdressing and transgenderism both are 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 not being allowed to be fully human.  Crossdressing or transgenderism are both an attempt to rectify that situation, but they are not the healthy response.  Instead, we must learn to be fully human, as men, not forcing ourselves into the cultural stereotypes for masculinity.  (For example men can be nurturing, men can cry, men can love beauty).  Crossdressing breeds a divided identity, rather than a unified healthy human being who is content with him or herself.  Transgenderism leads to bodily mutilation and gives in to the false gender steroetypes, rather than challenging them.  A person thinks they must not be truly male because they act a certain way, and so they try to become a female, even though they were a true male all along who should have challenged the cultural stereotypes.  Crossdressing and transgenderism keep unhelpful gender stereotypes going in a culture, rather than helping everyone to be content with who and how they are as the sex God created them to be.


4.  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 about 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.


5.  Crossdressing 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 #2), 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.


6.  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.


7.  I would be sickened at the thought of my wife crossdressed.


8.  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 they are blind to their ugliness and unhealthiness.  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.


9.  Crossdressing is an attempt to replace one’s spouse.  Your own femininity instead of your wife’s, sexual pleasure with your crossdressed self instead of with your wife, time crossdressing instead of time spent with wife, female companionship with your false female self instead of companionship with wife, and ultimately in the case of eventually living part time as a woman – replacing wife and marriage with living alone half time as man and half time as woman.
The Transvestic Career Path


10.  It prolongs sexist values, and it objectifies women, possibly objectifying them even to a greater degree than pornography does.  See point 2 here –


11.  Crossdressing is fundamentally about envy, which is sin.


12. 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.


13.  It’s been proven that crossdressing, even as a sexual fetish, often leads people to get sex changes down the road, which I believe is sinful mutilation of the 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 feminine identity has become so infused in their lives.



14.  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 also get about 100 hits on my site a day, and most of them are people who are searching for things like, “Lord Jesus save me from my crossdressing.”  Clearly people are not feeling good about this addiction.


15.  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.


16.  My life has been amazingly better and happier and freer and healthier without crossdressing.  This is a subjective reason, but taken with the rest of the above, it’s powerful for me.
This is old now but –



If you’d like to get started on reading my other posts, to read my argumentation for these points, here is my complete post list.  Read and comment as you like and we can have good discussion –


14 comments on “Summary of why crossdressing is sinful/harmful

  1. mariposa1967 says:

    Concise and in so many ways: yes!


  2. Roger says:

    I think you make some good points. But if we say that crossdressing is a way of coping (as you referenced in your latest post) then how can we say it’s “sinful”?

    If crossdressing is a way for the mind and body to deal with traumatic experiences, then can we really say it’s that bad?

    i know about the Deuteronomy verse, but I was always told that many verses are often taken out of context and aren’t mean to be interpreted literally. Can we not consider that a possibility here?

    Certainly, crossdressing can become extreme. But so can drinking alcohol, and most people don’t become alcoholics. Most people generally don’t go to the extremes. And those that do have way bigger problems than crossdressing.

    I feel that when crossdressers say they need it, it’s because they need a way to cope. And that’s what they use. So I think that is why some of them say they can’t live without it. It’s because they don’t know any other way to deal with the emotional trauma they carry around.

    A reasonable approach might be to use crossdressing as a temporary way of coping, while in the meantime searching for ways to heal. When we find healing, perhaps the need to crossdress will subside.

    Just like some people may use smoking as a way to make themselves feel better, we may use crossdressing in a similar way.

    None of us woke up one morning and decided to crossdress. It happened rather innocently for most of us. We had no intention of doing harm to ourselves or anyone else when we started.

    Is crossdressing to blame for divorce? Or can we say that the way the man responds to his crossdressing is to blame? In other words, if he deals with his crossdressing in a relatively healthy and reasonable manner, then I believe that most wives will remain supportive. I think most wives are bothered most when crossdressing gets out of control and the man does nothing about it.

    It’s like saying that alcoholism causes divorces. Is it the alcohol or the man? “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. Does the wife divorce crossdressing, or her husband?

    Must we also not hold wives at least somewhat accountable as well? For better, for worse, right? Wives aren’t perfect either, and some of them can respond better to the troubles of their crossdressing husbands.

    I empathize with transsexuals. What they go through has to be traumatizing in itself. I’m not sure what gets them to that point, but I wish them all the best. We just need to be thankful that we didn’t have to go through that.

    Life is all about growing and learning lessons. If crossdressing teaches us what we need to learn and makes us better people, then I believe that it can be a positive experience.

    I can say that I’m a better person for it, and I believe that you can say the same. So I don’t view crossdressing necessarily as sinful, but more as an experience that can make us better. To help us grow mentally and spiritually.

    In life, we all make mistakes. The key is not trying to prevent mistakes, but to learn from them. If we learn what we need to learn, then the mistake serves its purpose. It’s when we don’t learn and we keep making the same mistakes over and over does it become counterproductive.

    And if a crossdresser never learns what they need to learn from their ways, then they may encounter a lot of problems because of it. But crossdressing in my opinion isn’t the problem: it’s the person.

    “It seems universally that crossdressing makes people feel guilty.”

    We make ourselves feel guilty by thinking that crossdressing is bad or sinful. A person who views their crossdressing as a positive will not feel guilt.

    Besides, guilt is something that we can heal and move on from very easily. It’s simply a matter of loving and forgiving oneself. So I do believe that one can crossdress and not feel guilty. It’s a matter of how one perceives crossdressing to begin with.

    “There are emotional issues and psychological issues that need to be addressed.”

    Yes! But most people don’t know any better. Even if they know they need to address these issues, how are they supposed to go about it?

    There are a lot of self-healing methods out there like EFT, but unfortunately most people don’t know about them. That is part of the problem.

    The problem that traditional therapy usually has is that it doesn’t get to the root problem. Which is why many therapists aren’t helpful for crossdressers.

    The title of your site I believe is very appropriate. Healing is what we need to find.


  3. thorin25 says:

    Hello there, thanks for the comment with many good questions and interesting points.

    Firstly, about the trauma. I don’t know if that is the cause of crossdressing or not. I think it sounds like a plausible theory, but if would only be a partial cause as I think there would be many other factors at play as well. Hence, why not all people develop crossdressing. But when my crossdressing started to manifest in middle and high school, why did I keep it a secret? Why did I not trust others enough to ask about it, and get help, and sort through it together? Why did I keep doing it even though I felt guilty and thought it was wrong? There is certainly culpability here.

    Besides, something can be both an emotional disorder and a sinful action at the same time. An alcoholic needs medical help, alcoholism is like a disease, but they are still responsible ultimately for their actions, and for becoming an alcoholic, and for making the choice to get help. A person who gets an eating disorder needs drastic forceful help so that they don’t end up killing themselves. It’s a deep psychological problem. It resulted from low self esteem and view of body. But at the same time, it was idolatry and obsessiveness with their body. I don’t see any reason not to see crossdressing as some kind of mental problem but something we are still responsible for before God. You may be interested in reading this post about why we can still be responsible for having desires that we didn’t choose to have – It’s not exactly the same as thinking about crossdressing developing from trauma, but it relates.

    I don’t believe the Deut. verse is taken out of context.

    You described the situation very well – “I feel that when crossdressers say they need it, it’s because they need a way to cope. And that’s what they use. So I think that is why some of them say they can’t live without it. It’s because they don’t know any other way to deal with the emotional trauma they carry around. ”
    In a nutshell, this is how I define idolatry. It’s looking to other things rather than God for our hope, our life, our comfort, our ‘coping.’

    On the other hand, your advice isn’t too bad in my opinion – “A reasonable approach might be to use crossdressing as a temporary way of coping, while in the meantime searching for ways to heal. When we find healing, perhaps the need to crossdress will subside. ”
    I don’t agree, as you know from this post you commented on. But I think your approach is far better than the approach of the crossdressers who just keep crossdressing without dealing with their underlying issues that are causing them to crossdress. Far better than doing nothing is to keep crossdressing while healing and learning other ways to deal with life’s struggles, and then eventually stopping.

    I totally agree that we have to hold wives accountable. Even for non-Christians, people should realize that every spouse has flaws and the wife is not perfect, just as the husband is not. But ESPECIALLY for Christian couples, marriage is about covenant, about loving each other unconditionally. Christian couples should know that all of us are broken and sinful, and all of us are broken and sinful sexually. The wife’s sexual brokenness may be very different or less perverse than the husband’s crossdressing sexual brokeness, but she is broken to. We all need healing in Christ. We all need forgiveness. We all need to forgive as we have been forgiven. I would not advocate a wife to divorce her husband over crossdressing, except in extreme cases or cases where the man is living as a woman.

    Guilt is an interesting thing. We can indeed feel guilt over things we shouldn’t feel guilty about. But most of the time, our guilt is proper guilt, feeling bad about something we should feel bad about in our lives. When our kids feel guilty for breaking a rule, we should praise them for feeling guilty and learning from it to not do it again. I find it strange that crossdressers think we should suppress our guilt about crossdressing. It’s not just little bit, it’s overwhelming guilt, and that should tell us something. We can learn to not feel guilty at things we SHOULD feel guilty about, and that is a scary thing.


  4. Roger says:

    Thanks for the response. I read your other posts and I can understand your view points. Your beliefs are quite steadfast! But I respect the fact that you are willing to listen to others and be open to what they have to say. We need more of that in this world:)

    I never looked at crossdressing as idolatry, but I do understand how it could interpreted that way in extreme cases where a person values crossdressing more than almost anything else.

    I think guilt can certainly be a healthy response in many cases because it can guide us to proper actions. It’s when we hold on to that guilt and refuse to forgive ourselves that it becomes counterproductive.

    I’ve read that some actually eroticize doing something that they feel is “naughty” or “wrong”. This is exemplified by the sexual fantasy some men have of their wife/girlfriend being a school teacher and “disciplining” them, or the wife being a “naughty” school girl.

    So it’s possible that crossdressing can feel even more erotic if one doesn’t let go of their guilt.

    It wasn’t until I loved and accepted myself no matter what did I really start the healing process and notice results. I wouldn’t say that I am 100% free of crossdressing, but the hold is FAR less than it used to be. And I understand that this is a process that takes time.

    Just saying the phrase “even though I crossdress, I still completely love and accept myself” helps take all self-judgement and negative feelings out of the equation, which can help one deal with the habit more successfully.

    Self love and acceptance have healing effects on the body, and I think this is so important for crossdressers to understand who want to overcome the habit.


  5. thorin25 says:

    Thank you, I appreciate your ability to discuss reasonably and carefully and listen well, as well 🙂 Sometimes it’s really hard to discuss these things online, and a lot of commenters seem to don’t actually read my responses to them, and they just their own assumptions that they want to see, rather than what I am actually saying. So I appreciate you alot.

    I would not be at all surprised if crossdressing for me partially came about by eroticizing something that was naughty. I was basically a perfect child as far as obedience goes. Crossdressing was my one big secret. Interesting theory to ponder.

    I too believe we have to accept ourselves, and begin that healing process. But I would phrase it like this. “I accept myself, even though myself is a sinful person, but I am loved by God, created by him, and valued so much by him that he died for me. Now I’m going to ask God to help me be who he created to me, my truest self, and to stop doing things that tear me away from that true identity.” (and I would include crossdressing as something that does that.). I agree that self love and acceptance is important. But it is so vital to define what that means. I heartily disagree if it means accepting all my faults and not trying to work on them. If it means being honest about who I really am, both the good (made in the image of God), and the bad (pride, lust, greed, selfishness, crossdressing, etc.), then I’m all about that kind of self acceptance. For me, it’s about accepting that I am loved and forgiven by God. And that acceptance of God’s love, and God’s value of me, that is what transforms my life. His grace brings me healing and freedom. His grace causes me to respond in gratitude and thanksgiving, which makes me want to naturally give up sin in my life.


  6. Roger says:

    I would define it as loving and accepting ourselves exactly as we presently are, faults and all…having an honest, healthy outlook of who we are right now and going from there. We can’t improve unless we are honest about ourselves.

    Yes, understanding that God loves us unconditionally and always forgives is something I remind myself of a lot as well.


  7. Clarissa says:

    Can you help me . I can relate to what you said about cross dressing being so hurtful to marriage. That is how it is for me. I want to be the only woman in my marriage. I don’t want to share that spot with anyone and not AT ALL WITH THE MAN THAT I WANT TO BE THE WOMAN FOR. I want to be and feel famine and beautiful to me and to him. I feel he had taken it he has no need for me. I feel lik he has stolen my place and pushed me aside. I feel lost in my own marriage. I am so sad.


  8. Snip says:


    I can pray for you. While you cannot compete in his mind with his fantasy, the truth is that you are real and that fantasy is not. his fantasy only gives a very narrow or shallow fulfillment of his “needs”. You are real and are much deeper than that. If it’s just sexual pleasure, then in reality (outside of the pink fog), you are so much better.

    One thing that isn’t talked about much is the obsessive thinking. Just imagine you have a strong craving for something, let’s say chocolate. A healthy craving will be fleeting. An unhealthy craving will stick around. Every time you have a free thought, it’s about chocolate. How enjoyable it would be to eat chocolate. How good it will make you feel. No matter what you try, it keeps coming back. At least that’s how it was for me. And when I struggle for a few days, it’s like that.

    I’m not trying to say you shouldn’t feel betrayed, hurt, upset, disgusted, ashamed, sick, unappreciated, inadequate, etc… I’m just trying to help you see how bad it is for him, without giving him excuses as I don’t see them that way.

    There is hope. Has he read any of this blog? Have you had open conversations with him? Knowing more about his addiction will be helpful for both of you. I imagine being loving will be hard, but he won’t feel like he can open up if he isn’t feeling loved (more than likely). You are strong, and you can get through this with Jesus.

    Have you read some of the older comments from the wives chat? I think you’ll find it very helpful.

    You aren’t alone.

    I know my thoughts are disjointed, but I hope they help.


  9. thorin25 says:

    Snip, thank you for your good and caring words for Clarissa. Clarissa, I also am praying for you and your husband. Please direct him here so he can get help and change!


  10. Eugene says:

    Agree with some not others
    What if your wife likes it?
    What if i like my toes polished a color
    Is that crossdressing
    Who wore polish first? Or earings ?
    Not as clear as you make it
    Idolatry can be
    Fetish can be
    Detracts from relationships can be


  11. thorin25 says:

    As Christians, we know that both men and women are sinful, both husbands and wives. If a wife likes it, or if I like polishing my toenails, it doesn’t make it good nor okay.


  12. CD wife says:

    Thorin you are 100% correct.


  13. Chris says:

    Hi Thorin, thanks for your blog with some very thought provoking comments..i appreciate the time and effort you have put in to be a help and support for others who are struggling. As someone also involved in ministry with many people looking at me i wondered if this added an extra pressure and reason for you not to CD. How are things for you now how is your journey going?

    Thanks again for your time


  14. thorin25 says:

    Chris, thank you so much for the encouraging comment. Are you someone who ministers to those with crossdressing or gender dysphoria? Have you struggled with either yourself?

    My journey is going well. I would love not to think about this issue at all, but the ministry is too important to pass up. And I think much of the time working on this blog is positive also as you said, giving me extra reason not to give in, and reminding me of why I don’t want to. Hearing every day the heartbreak of those struggling in the addiction keeps me in reality about this sin.

    If you are in a ministry that I should link to in this blog, let me know


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