Believe it or not, I’m a Baptist. When I get into a chat and reveal that I’m a crossdressing Baptist, four questions inevitably come up:
- How do you reconcile that with your beliefs?
The one reference to the subject is the infamous Deuteronomy 22:5. “A man should not wear that which pertains to a woman.” OK, but that’s in the middle of a bunch of stuff about helping your neighbor’s donkey out of a ditch and what you can and can’t keep if you find a bird’s nest fallen to the ground… not to mention mixing different types of cloth together. Taken as a whole, Deuteronomy is not a checklist of what it takes to make God happy; Christ made that clear when He simplified the whole of the law into love the Lord your God and love your neighbor. I try with all my heart to do both of those, so I’m not going to beat myself up over it when I fail to avoid blending two different types of thread in my garments. In addition, I did not choose this driving force that compels me to wear dresses; it chose me. If I am to accept that God made me the way I am and God does not make mistakes, then I am indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made”, and I am thankful for that. If God chooses to remove this compulsion from me, I will abandon it gratefully. Meanwhile I will concentrate on loving God and loving my neighbor, and not letting the way I dress interfere with either of those. Which brings me to the next frequently asked question…
- Do the others in your church know?
No. I know that being a crossdresser doesn’t make me gay, or make me a child molester, or make me want to be a woman. But try to convince 99% of the rest of humanity of that, and you have an impossible chore ahead of you. In some ways, crossdressers have more of a “pervert” stigma than homosexuals do.
- If so, how do they treat you?
N/A (see above)
- If not, how do you justify not telling them? Isn’t that like lying?
I could explain all of the above to my friends at church. Over time, I might convince two or three of them that God doesn’t hate me for being this way and I’m not going to endanger the children… but it would take years, and it wouldn’t convince the vast majority of the people at church, particularly the older ones. Paul tells us that even though we are free to do things that were once forbidden, we should not let our freedom be a stumbling block to the faith of others. And that’s exactly what this would be. My very presence would rip the church community to shreds, dividing people in pointless arguments about whether what I do is a sin or a perversion. I don’t want to be the source of dissent; I want to be free to serve as God directs me.