Reverent Responses

You Make Me Want to Puke!:
Angela Rose Responds

[Posted on October 16, 2000]

To our dear Christian friend:

Hi! Glad you dropped by this ministry!

I have a brother, whom I love dearly, who is a cross dresser.

And that is a good thing, the fact that you love your brother.

I am a Holy Spirit filled christian and reading this just makes me want to puke. Satan knows the word of God inside out and he has you blind as a bat. I cannot stand here and swallow all this junk that you have said. It makes me sick. I am trying to understand my brothers problem/choice he has made in life.

I am glad you want to try to understand what your brother is going through. I can scarcely think of something more emotionally difficult than dealing with being a transgender, and I appreciate your willingness to try to gain some knowledge on the subject.

All fetuses start off from a female "template." Mildred Brown, in her book "True Selves," states that, "It is an established medical fact that it is not until the twelfth week in the prenatal cycle that the genitalia of the human embryo differentiate as either male or female. However, it is not until approximately the sixteenth week that the gender identity portion of the brain differentiates in the unborn child. Some researchers believe, therefore, that if certain hormones are not present or if there is a hormonal imbalance during this critical four-week period, gender identity may not develop or differentiate along the same lines as the genitalia" (Brown p. 22-23). The most drastic form of transgenderism is transsexuality. A transsexual is someone so distraught over their body and life role (as their mental image of their own body says it should be female) that a male-to-female transsexual will undergo hundreds of hours of painful electrolysis, a lifetime of hormone replacement therapy to correct the body's chemistry, and eventual surgeries. For a female-to-male transsexual, there is either binding or bilateral mastectomy, hormone replacement therapy, and possibly other surgeries. For others, simply being able to crossdress to allow that feminine side of his persona to be expressed upon occasion is sufficient. And there is plenty of middle ground as well. There are people who live as the gender opposite their birth sex without surgery. I don't think any of us would show off our genitalia to the general public, which means that one doesn't have to have a particular set of external genitalia to be a man or a woman to society's eyes. Such transgenderists are content in life with that extent of change to their lives and bodies. I don't know your brother, but from what you share he is a crossdresser, not interested in making physical changes to his body. So hopefully this gives you a little better idea of who he may be and who he may not.

Part of what makes being a transgender so painful is having to hide. If your brother has confided his crossdressing in you (which I hope he has, rather than this being some rumour floating around your family or friends), it takes incredible courage to do so. Many have lost family, friends, home, job, social status, and even their lives, for such disclosure. Most crossdressers can and do simply choose to live hidden, not telling anyone of their feminine side, but I admire your brother's honesty and willingness to tell you of something so difficult and scary to share. I am also glad to see the trust he has placed in you, that he feels open enough with you to be able to share this with you. It tells me a lot about what high regard he has for you.

It has made me sick to see that you compare yourself to eunichs, when eunichs were men that their testacles were not formed correctly, or they were castrated or they just choose not to get married to have normal sexual relations with women. It clearly doesn't say that they wore womens clothing!!!

No crossdresser would want to be castrated. They enjoy the fact that they are men, but they also understand that they have a feminine side of themselves that is expressed through their dressing. I seriously don't see anything sinful in what style of fabric one adorns one's body with.

For a transsexual, castration and other related surgeries are corrective surgeries which cannot be undergone without extensive psychiatric evaluation, previous hormone replacement therapy, and a minimum of a year living full-time in the new gender role, showing ability to function in society in this new role. It's not something one does on a lark. As going through the whole process of gender transition is simply the correcting of a medical condition, I see nothing sinful in it.

And also, if you really are a christian and have received Jesus and your Lord and Saviour how come you are not following His commands not to dress as women DEUT 22:5 WHEREE IT CLEARLY STATES A WOMEN SHOULD NOT WEAR ANYTHING THAT PERTAINS TO A MAN, NOR A MAN SHALL PUT ON A WOMENS GARMENT; FOR WHOEVER DOES THISE THINGS IS AN ABOMINATION TO THE LORD YOU GOD????

And, oh yes, if one were a female and a crossdresser that would be no big deal in our society. Natal women can wear ANYthing male in full view of the public and no-one would "puke" over that. Men's sweats, sweaters, shirts, hats, you name it. There is nothing "sinful" in that, and I would suspect that most of your female friends (if not you yourself even) have worn something that is men's wear at some time in your life. Unless we would prefer to uphold a double standard and ignore the fact that the Deuteronomy verse says neither sex may crossdress, we must admonish the women who crossdress as severely as the men who do so. But I don't believe it is necessary to admonish either sex for crossdressing.

Here is the whole of Deuteronomy 22: 5-12 (NIV), just to make sure that we don't simply pull verse 5 out of context:

(5) A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this.

(6) If you come across a bird's nest beside the road, either in a tree or on the ground, and the mother is sitting on the young or on the eggs, do not take the mother with the young.

(7) You may take the young, but be sure to let the mother go, so that all may go well with you and you may have a long life.

(8) When you build a new house, make a parapet around your roof so that you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from the roof.

(9) Do not plant two kinds of seed in your vineyard; if you do, not only the crops you plant but also the fruit of the vineyard will be defiled.

(10) Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.

(11) Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together.

(12) Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear.

So by these Old Testament laws, I would be leery of going to the store to buy both chicken and eggs. I have to build a fence along the edge of my roof. Any gardening I do, I can't plant corn and squash in the same plot. I can't wear any blended fabrics, and whatever outerwear I have, I need to sew tassels on it. And you must follow all these rules as well, and so must every other person who professes belief in Jesus the Christ.

Of course not! And same holds for each article of the Old Testament that shows itself not to be relevant to our life, time, and society. I find it very sad and disturbing that there are those, however, who would simply dismiss all the laws they choose to dismiss and enforce the ones they feel must be enforced ... "Let's see - fence around roof - don't need that ... different crops, same field - not relevant ... brother wears dress - God hates him, Satan has my brother deceived and blinded and he and everyone else like him will be going straight to Hell unless they repent of their sin ... I'm wearing my husband's cotton/polyester sweatshirt - that's comfy and warm and God doesn't mind ... "

It's very easy for all of us to say a particular verse is not applicable because we want to do the opposite. For example, I like to eat lobster, but according to Leviticus 11:10-12: "but all the creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales - whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water - you are to detest. And since you are to detest them, you must not eat their meat and you must detest their carcasses. Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is detestable to you." So, the scripture forbids me to eat lobster, but I have anyway. Am I in sin? Can I condemn others who eat lobster because of this verse? It is also very easy for us to forbid someone else to do something because we don't like it or it makes us feel uncomfortable, and then search for one obscure verse to tell someone else they can't do something. Because you are uncomfortable with your brother's crossdressing, and you can dig up an ancient verse on it (one which, by the way, was originally intended to warn against pagan temple rituals that included crossdressing in assorted sex acts and temple prostitution), do you have the right to condemn your brother, or by extension, all crossdressers? Or by further extension, all transgender individuals or the wife that wears her husband's sweatshirt?

I would bet neither of us has the entire Bible memorized. I'm certain you had to dig through your concordance to find the Deuteronomy 22:5 verse just as I had to dig through mine to find Leviticus 11:12. For me to forbid others to eat lobster, or you to forbid your brother to crossdress, or any other case where someone casts judgment because the Bible says in one obscure verse that we wouldn't have found except for that we were looking to justify our own feelings, is unconscionable.

You clearly do not understand the Word of God when you say that it contradicts itself -- ON THE CONTRARY!!!! GOD'S WORD IS CLEAR AND TRUE HE WROTE IT AND IT WILL LAST FOREVER. IT JUST MAKES ME SICK HOW YOU ARE PERVERTING GOD'S WORD!!!!! MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOUR SOUL!!!!

I don't think anyone has said the Bible contradicts itself on this issue. I do very firmly believe that every one of us emphasizes the verses we choose to emphasize, and ignores the verses we choose to ignore. If "He wrote It and It will last forever," then we'd better start burying our noses in Leviticus and Deuteronomy and Numbers (for starters) and make sure we are toeing the line on every last letter of the law, for it must be that by works and deeds and actions that we are saved, and not by grace. Oh wait, Ephesians 2:8-9 suggests otherwise. Maybe we are all better off to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength ... [and to] `Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:29-31, NIV). The everlasting words of James 4:11-12 are impressive as well: "Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you - who are you to judge your neighbour?"

I earnestly pray that God will show you how to love your brother even when he seems unlovable to you. I pray, too, for your brother that he is able to patiently and lovingly explain his crossdressing to you. Remember God loves you both.

Angela Rose