The Suppression of Crossdressing Guilt

I periodically peruse the forums at Crossdressers.com and a number of other sites, as well as reading crossdressing blogs and the discussions/comments on interesting posts.

One thing that has impressed me is that the guilt and shame do not go away.  Men feel guilty about their crossdressing and it is a constant battle to suppress that guilt.  Sometimes the guilt explodes in a purge of the female clothing.  Sometimes the guilt causes the crossdresser to post a new forum comment or a new blog post in which he talks about his guilt and how he feels like quitting.  (From my amateur and perhaps faulty observations, it seems there are a few people doing this in an average week on Crossdressers.com as well as other places).

The answers given by crossdressers are always the same – “You shouldn’t feel guilt and you shouldn’t feel shame.”  “You just feel that way because of how people in society look down on us and don’t understand us.”  Basically the advice given is that the urge will never go away, and so the best thing to do is to plow through the feelings of guilt and shame, accept who you are as a crossdresser, and continue crossdressing.

Shouldn’t these repeated posts tell us something?  Can you really suppress all this guilt and shame?  If you are doing something that continues to cause you such pain, anguish, guilt, and shame in your heart, might the better solution be to work hard at no longer doing this activity, to heal from the guilt and shame so that you no longer have to feel it?

I used to feel guilty about something that I shouldn’t have felt guilty about.  Growing up I thought it was sinful to drink alcohol and that it always leads to drunkenness.  But someone corrected my view of Scripture on this issue, gave me a brief education out alcohol, and then I tried drinking.  And I felt fine about it right away.  The guilt has never come back even though I drink.  So my conclusion is that since Scripture and my conscience both do not give me guilt about this issue, it is not morally wrong and I should continue to drink.

But crossdressing is not like this, not for me, and clearly not for most crossdressers out there.  They keep trying to persevere in crossdressing through the guilt and shame, but no matter how much they try to suppress the guilt and shame, it just keeps coming back.  If the crossdressers were right that crossdressing should not produce guilt and shame, then why do the people keep coming back even 40 years into crossdressing, still feeling the same feelings of guilt and shame?!

I say in love to the crossdressing community, please stop trying to suppress the guilt, but rather deal with it in a healthy way.   Maybe your guilt is telling you that you are doing something that is wrong and not good for you, even if it feels good in the moment.  Once I gave up crossdressing, the guilt and shame in my life over that issue disappeared and I’ve been living in peace and happiness ever since, never once regretting the decision I made.

Please also read this other post I wrote about guilt which gives several other related ideas – Guilt is an Achievement!

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8 comments on “The Suppression of Crossdressing Guilt

  1. K says:

    We’ll, Thorin, I haven’t really felt guilt, except about spending money (not a great deal overall, but some months quite a bit for a hobby). But I have felt shame, because of what people think of CDers, so that kept me from ever publicly acknowledging my CDing. I am now rapidly approaching a full year without CDing, but I still feel no guilt. But then it was never for me had a goal of sexual arousal/release, if it had I can certainly see how guilt would be a part of that scenario.

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  2. Geranimo says:

    To come to the defense of my cross dressing (I’m in my 20s) I don’t feel shame or guilt about when I cross dress. I felt both those when I tried my sisters’ clothes on because they are not mine but since I have bought my own that has gone away. I will only feel these feeling once or twice more when I tell my siblings whose clothes I tried on that I cross dress. I am coming out of the closet so that I can live my lifestyle without the feeling that I have to hide it. Now, I just like regular clothing and don’t do lacy lingerie to get off, but checking myself out in the mirror and dirty thoughts can give me an erection. If I play dress up long enough my bone goes away because all I am really doing is trying on outfits. Throughout the ages what the sexes have worn have been different and the same. I never see Joseph in a pair of pants on the story of Jesus birth every year. They are both in long robes. The idea that clothes make us masculine or feminine is true in society because former generations made it so. From the early 1900s to today that gap has closed for women but there are big divides for men. The most common is pants. You think back to 1940-1970s and women were kept mainly in dresses and skirts but they got into pants and nowadays they have female versions for anything male. Cross dressing for me is a sexual imprint on life since I grew up with my family role models being a mom and sisters. My dad was a jerk and brothers younger than me or absent. If they are all wearing panties why can’t I. You could say it started out as an addiction because I’m doing it in private and the sense I was taking their things and wearing them without consent which was wrong, shame/guilt. But once I got my own stuff and broke privately through that glass ceiling privately to wearing panties 94% of the time there is the sense of regular life. Once I come out to my family and neighbors and Facebook friends/acquaintances I will be free to wear what I want, say what I am buying is for me, come home not hiding the stuff I bought, go to the gym in what I want, be free. Sexually immoral is a point of view I grew up with on cross dressing but once I tried on my first pair and wore them for a while I learned my truth, and that until I was independent or near the point I could not claim a part of my true self until later. …. Luckily my family knows partly of it or that it was a phase in my life so far as they know cause they caught me in panties once or twice while helping me during a seizure. Long story short, guilt and shame only came from society’s expectations and me trying to reject part of my self. Look up sexual imprinting.

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  3. thorin25 says:

    Geranimo, thank you for your comment, and disagreeing with me in a very civil and gentle way. I appreciate that.

    I actually don’t think that guilt and shame over this activity are such a bad thing. Because I think the behavior is a bad thing that doesn’t help our lives. But even if you do not have guilt or shame, it doesn’t mean that crossdressing is a good thing in your life.

    If I’m honest, you seem to be a bit all over the place in your comment. On the one hand, you say the they are just clothes, they are not truly masculine or feminine, and yet there are certain clothes that turn you on sexually and not others. So clearly there is a difference in the clothing even from your perspective.

    Also cultural codes of dress change over time. Men wore long clothing in biblical times, but there were clear distinctions even then between clothing for men and clothing for women. Our bodies are not the same. Yes, in some cultures men wear skirts.

    You at one point seem to be saying the clothing is part of your identity, and you are going to wear these clothes for women publicly, yet at the same time they turn you on sexually. Isn’t this like having sex in public or masturbating in public? Are you a woman? Or are you a man who is turned on sexually by wearing women’s clothing? Women do not have penises, nor are they sexually turned on when wearing their own clothing.

    If your crossdressing is a result of sexual imprinting, then why claim it as a part of yourself? If it the result of sexual imprinting because of broken relationships with men in your family, then that means it is a broken part of yourself, not a part of yourself to be embraced. It is a part of yourself that needs transformation and healing, which is what me and the community of men here are working on, working on being the men God created us to be, working on having healthy sexual relationships, working against sexual addiction, working on forgiving the men or women in our lives who hurt us, working on accepting our male bodies as part of who we are, etc.

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  4. Lisa says:

    Geranimo, you are embracing crossdressing, an addictive perversion, for sexual gratification. Which is wrong and sinful. Do you have a girlfriend? If so how does she feel about your CD. Were your sister’s happy when they found out you were wearing their clothes? CD is very hurtful to women. One day you may want a wife and family, how do you think they will feel about your CD? I pray you will fight to beat your addition not embrace it.

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  5. K says:

    Geronimo, I do believe you can be healed of the sexual imprinting, but I also think you should check your motivations and see if you are using that as an excuse for doing something you otherwise feel is shameful. I don’t think whether or not you feel guilt is an issue, it’s more how would you feel if Jesus came and stood before you when you were CDing, would you be explaining why you’re doing it to Him, or would it seem like something you wish you weren’t doing?

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  6. Alec Richards says:

    in Church sermon this past Sunday our preacher talked about polygamy. he said that there is nothing in the Bible that says polygamy is a sin. however the ramification of having more than one wife in the household can lead to all kinds of Unholy Behavior. so it is a case of it is better to leave it out. I think in the case of cross-dressing and Deuteronomy 22: 5 it is probably best to leave it out because of doubt if you are following Christian principles.now in that verse it is totally clear what it states.however we can turn it into doubt if we elaborate on that verse and say as I’ve heard some affirming preachers say
    that that is only one sentence in a larger chapter of meaning which talks about war and the do and don’ts of avoiding going to war. kind of like saying this is an unethical practice for the sake of getting out of fighting duty. Remember Jamie Farr’s character on MASH, trying to get himself committed so he can get out of the Korean War by cross-dressing. It is almost like the writers of that TV show took that character role directly out of Deuteronomy 22:5. Yes that would be a sin if you go by the verse only but only slap on the wrist detention if going by the story of avoidance behavior during war time?
    I don’t know. But crossdressers are trapped in this more so than anyone in the transgender spectrum and there are only two ways out; fundamental Christianity or beginning transgender transition (once that is validated by a mental health official and meets a spouse’s approval that person this person is going to be better emotionally as transgender).
    Now as I have said before, cross dressing can easily develop into sinful activity, sexual immorality such as sex addiction and selfishness. Groups such as Sexaholics Anonymous – Christian based are very helpful BTW.
    Going through SA awhile I found in my case I was in repression from being stuck in the closet, which is what would cause me to act out. I would act out in order to control my desire to get out of the closet because I knew that if I acted out completely I would relieve the fear, anxiety and urge to get out of the closet because I knew it would produce guilt and shame. I learned another way to deal with the masturbation was to get out of the closet and live it, that way fulfill the fantasy, satisfied that I did the best I could to make myself happy. So I just completed doing that for three weeks and that did work, except then it created new feelings of shame and guilt. Guilt of being selfish along with lack of sleep, nonstop anxiety, constantly stopping to evaluate Deuteronomy 22:5.
    One thing I found out though is God always win. I can not avoid him, get him out of my life even if I want to. Fortunate ly I was first introduced to the fear of God at an early age. I don’t always feel like I love God because I can’t do the Earthly things I would like to do, or can’t have any kind of fun in my life. But am extremely respectful and generally obedient and a little paranoid, which helps. Now if it was totally proven in scripture that it was a good idea to transition and was not married, would I transition? Heck yes! But that is not in God’s word as the word says to deny oneself and take up the cross.
    My dad died just four days ago and he had atheistic tendencies and did most things in life he wanted. I have an opportunity to be somewhere else from where he might be right now and don’t want to blow it.

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  7. thorin25 says:

    We may not get to do all of the “fun” things in this life right now, but we will have eternal joy far surpassing those things. Also if you spend any time listening to the testimonies of non-Christians who have become Christians you realize that those “fun” things are not really that great. People who do whatever they want are not necessarily living happy lives. Drugs, drunkenness, sexual immorality are all dead ends that may offer fleeting moments of pleasure but ultimately utterly wreck your life. I don’t feel like the Christian life is squashing my fun or happiness, far from it. It is the non-Christians who are missing out on real life

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  8. JohnJones says:

    Alec. I found your comments helpful. I read something by Richard Rohr, the Franscisan priest, the other day, along the lines that sin is effectively living life according the learned childhood coping mechanisms that now no longer work for us (it was a bit more complicated than that, bit I think that’s the gist of it). Thus wearing different clothes might seem no big deal, but it just isn’t appropriate for us as it ties us in with inappropriate, ineffective way of dealing with our fears, needs, etc, and stops us turning the Christ. So, whilst on one level, it’s just a weird habit that even we don’t really understand, on another level it’s trying to meet our needs apart from Christ and so is best avoided. Thankfully though, God is a lot bigger than my messed up psyche.

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