Source: Catherine L. Anderson
A Christian and Catholic Perspective on Crossdressing
One time at Confession I asked a priest if masturbation is a sin. He replied,
“The problem with masturbation is this: Where’s the Charity?”
Those few words said much. He was not harsh or critical. His point was merely that masturbation ‘benefits’ oneself only – it is not so much that it is a sin, as that it is far from being a virtue.
Ten years older now, I understand even better the point. The world has so much potential, yet so much badness. There is more human suffering and tragedy that we even let ourself see. There is so much to be done. The harvest is indeed rich, and the workers few! And here we are, worrying about dresses and high heels!
The priest’s words remind that each is called to service. It is the natural order of things for us to be charitably engaged. It is our true essence. If we are distracted from this work we are not ourselves, and happiness is impossible.
“All things work to good for those who love God.”
This is a fallen world. Maybe our crossdressing is a symptom of that. But that’s not the story’s end. My understanding of God’s plan for the world, and our roles as Christians in it, is as follows. Each Christian contributes to the ongoing redemption of the world. In part, we accomplish this by coming into the world and experiencing the same problems as other people. But, as Christians, we are endowed with special abilities – such as a certain higher awareness. We are the “light of the world” and “the salt of the earth.”
By being in the world but not of it, we set an example for how to deal with life’s problems. In dealing with a problem, we bring our Christian consciousness to the experience. This lets us find new ways of dealing with the problem. Our successes become not only a success for ourself, but for others. In solving the problem for ourself, we make it possible for others to do likewise.
I don’t fully understand the last part – how our doing something makes it easier for others to do it. At the least, we teach by example. But I suspect there is some metaphysical principle going on as well.
What then is a “victory” with respect to crossdressing? I cannot say for sure. Perhaps it means totally transcending the interest to crossdress. Maybe it means finding a way to integrate it positively into ones life. Or maybe it even means discovering that crossdressing originates in some really positive aspects of our nature, and learning to actualize those aspects. At the least, I think it means keeping crossdressing in perspective – letting it be something you control, rather than something that controls you, and by recognizing and avoiding various excesses.
One does well not to forget about the devil. We are taught that there is a devil who is an actual being, one intent on seeing us fail. I think that the devil doesn’t necessarily cause our crossdressing; but the devil definitely wishes to exploit it against us. That can be done by enticing us into excess. But I think a worse, very effective strategy is to undo us by preying on our feelings or guilt, or driving us into a life of secrecy and isolation.
When I began to crossdress, I did so in mindless response to my impulses. Now I consider other things. I am not sure, but perhaps crossdressing helps me work out emotional issues, or maybe it helps me get in touch with my feminine nature. But in any case, I recognize a danger in overdoing it. There is a fine line between relaxing diversion or “play therapy” and counterproductive escapism.
It does seem like crossdressing in controlled amounts works better than trying to merely suppress the urge. But the main thing is that I try to maintain an awareness that Charity has to be related somehow.
On my Web site you can see pictures of me dressed up, going out to nightclubs, and apparently having a great time. Well, that’s not the whole story. Often I have to force myself to dress and go out. I have to say, “this is your weekly medicine; go out and be around people – it’s for your own good.” Have fun; be ‘absorbed;’ play. But don’t lose sight that a part of you might like to be free of the crossdressing, and has higher goals.
Sometimes you can do the exact same thing in two entirely different frames of mind, and the results will be completely different. That’s what I’m saying here. You can crossdress and do so indulgently, or you can crossdress and do so sensibly, and with a mind towards your higher purpose and development – obviously, do the latter.
The ultimate test – the question to ask again and again – is “Is my crossdressing benefiting, or is it hindering my service to others?”