About Me – Barnabas

I am a Christian man, and a follower of Jesus Christ. The goal of my life is to glorify God and to enjoy him. The Bible is my rule of life and it guides everything I do and believe. To read more about my faith and beliefs, read this short page – “My Christian Perspective.” I am married to a wonderful wife. I am a pastor and enjoy my day to day ministry very much. I also feel a strong calling and passion for this online ministry.

I used to struggle with strong desires to crossdress, along with some accompanying gender dysphoria. I started this website in 2011 in order to help (and be helped by) other Christian men who experience the desire to crossdress. I struggled with this issue for most of my life until God gave me great victory over it. Although I still feel the temptations from time to time and admittedly I have had a few failures, overall I have experienced great freedom from crossdressing. I am enjoying my life in the absence of crossdressing, and I feel full contentment as a man. This victory did not happen overnight and it took a great deal of work. Even so, I give God all the credit for this, because all of my successes are the result of God working through me.

On this website I have shared very personal details about my life, so for now I have chosen to remain anonymous. I decided to go by the name Barnabas, a name which means “son of encouragement” (Acts 4:36). I feel called by God to encourage and comfort other men who are struggling with crossdressing or gender dysphoria. Through my testimony and writings, I want to provide men like me the help they need in order to quit the addiction and find freedom. I want to help men with this struggle to find contentment with their bodies as well as their self-identification as men. My two secondary goals are to encourage the worldwide Church to respond with truth, love, and compassion to crossdressers and to everyone else in the LGBT community, and also to encourage and support wives of cross-dressing men who come to this website looking for support.

If you would like to contact me directly please fill out the form below, and I will email you back.

 

My Testimony:

Let me share with you the brief outline of my testimony concerning crossdressing. I grew up loving the Lord in a strong Christian family. As a kid I did plenty of traditionally masculine activities such as playing sports and playing with toy guns. I had friends who were boys and friends who were girls. My childhood was very good and I had healthy relationships with everyone in my family. I dressed up as (or was dressed up as) a girl at least several times during normal childhood playtime and games. One of these episodes is a very clear and pivotal childhood memory, either because it was enjoyable, or perhaps because I felt ashamed.

I remember having dreams of people dressing me up as a girl as early as 1st grade. For example, one common dream consisted of girls in my class dressing me up as a girl and putting lipstick on me. Often this was done against my will. Subconsciously did I want to be a girl? I do not know, but I did feel a lot of pressure at school being a boy, because I was so quiet and gentle compared to the other boys, and I envied the girls, more of whom shared my temperament.

I played with Barbies a lot early on and enjoyed it immensely. Once I realized that most boys did not do that, I was ashamed and I hid the fact that I had used to play with them. By elementary school, all of my friends were boys. By the end of elementary school, I still did not realize that I was different from any other kids, and it did not occur to me to question why these thoughts and daydreams about crossdressing occupied my mind.

As is true for many kids, middle school was a rough experience for me, and it did not help that I was very shy. By the end of middle school I was strongly attracted to girls, but I also found myself overly interested in the clothes they wore along with their makeup and fingernail polish. However, I did not think about intentionally crossdressing until one day in the 8th grade when I was home alone and I decided to put on a dress from the “dress-up” clothes. It was suddenly exciting, yet even then I remember feeling that what I was doing was stupid or abnormal, and I did not want anyone to see me. I must have taken that dress on and off again five times. This event proved to be formative and I think it was the event that began to fuse the sexual bond in my mind between my body and crossdressing.

And so perhaps unsurprisingly (given the onset of puberty), the biggest period of crossdressing in my life was from the 8th to 9th grade. I would look for opportunities to crossdress as often as I could, and it completely overwhelmed my thoughts. I lived in fear and excitement at the same time. I loved staring at myself in the mirror for as long as possible. Soon after this I also discovered that I could use the internet to feed my addiction. I wanted to look up a website for girls about fashion and clothing, and by accident I ended up at pornographic sites – but I remember not being interested in that.

My crossdressing continued in secret and was reinforced through my online activity until I had a spiritual awakening of sorts where I rededicated my life to Christ in the early years of high school. I began to read the Bible regularly, and I became more involved with Christian friends. I discovered tremendous meaning and purpose in life. I had joy in serving God. I also became suddenly convicted about the sinful nature of crossdressing, along with all the deception and sneaking around that had accompanied it. Looking back, I know this was the Holy Spirit working in me. During this time I discovered Deuteronomy 22:5, but with or without that passage, I knew without a doubt that my crossdressing was not only displeasing to God but was also a harmful addiction. I repented to God and stopped the activity altogether for two-three years. It was out of my mind, just something odd from my past.

Those years were some of the best of my life. I felt so free. I grew immensely in my relationship with God, and God used me in the lives of other people. However, at one point crossdressing came back into the picture. When it did, it was not so all-consuming, but it did become a regular struggle. My normal pattern with crossdressing looked like this: I would fail, but then I would immediately feel guilty and so I would confess and repent. I would hate what I had done, and so I would make a new commitment never to give in again.

Although failures were only once or twice a month, the addiction to crossdressing escalated more and more, with each occurrence of the sin taking longer lengths of time and involving more risks. My internet addiction also escalated and I remember incidents where I would spend upwards of six hours online looking at websites about crossdressing or reading crossdressing fiction. Such activities would always be accompanied by masturbation. There were times I exhausted my body and went without food or drink because I was so obsessed. To read more about my addiction to fiction, read this post – My Addiction to Crossdressing Fiction. I knew the addiction was starting to become more serious when I made excuses to friends in order to have more time alone for my addiction.

Things changed drastically in late high school when I and two of my best Christian friends all told each other our deepest secrets and the sins we struggled with. At first, it was terrifying to tell them, but they were amazing listeners and responded with tremendous compassion. They did not make me feel any shame, and showed me great respect. We became accountability partners and that brought a lot of new healing and support. Just bringing my sins out into the open gave me more power over them.

For the next few years and into college, I continued to experience temptation. I had times of failure and times of victory. I regularly got help from accountability partners and confessed any time I failed. For a while I received help from a committed accountability and prayer group of Christian guys. We even did times of serious fasting from food in order to focus on overcoming our sexual sins. I had some significant periods of victory over my addiction during those years. During this time I began researching what experts had to say about the topic of crossdressing. The more I learned, the better I began to understand myself. It was also during this time that I felt God calling me into ministry as a pastor.

Throughout the years I have battled with this sin, I have told about ten people about my struggle, and I am grateful that these difficult conversations always had good results. One of the people I told was a personal counselor who was a very compassionate man and a good listener. At the same time, he did not know much about crossdressing addictions, and so he helped me with general techniques to work on how to overcome addiction. It was moderately helpful. I appreciated that he was a Christian who did not take the perspective that crossdressing was part of who I am and something that I should embrace.

Getting married helped me in my struggle, but I soon realized that I would have to continue to live with temptations related to crossdressing. I told my wife about my crossdressing history during our first year of marriage and she responded very well. However, now that I have spent years counseling others, I now believe it is wrong to refrain from sharing about such a huge addiction and identity issue with the woman you plan on asking to marry you. Similarly, it would be strange and wrong to hide an alcohol addiction from your fiancée until after you were already married. The conversation with my wife was difficult but full of love and grace. We already had a marriage built on Christ and full of trust. That was the beginning of many conversations we had with one another so that she might understand me better. From the first, I told her to never let me crossdress, ever, period. I warned her ahead of time that I might have moments of weakness. Over the years I continued to have seasons of victory but also periodic failures.

The pivotal moment in my freedom from crossdressing came in 2011. While researching about crossdressing online one day I came across some blogs that changed my life. They were written by Christian men like me who also struggled with crossdressing. I was challenged when I read that they were able to quit crossdressing completely, and here I was, a pastor, still struggling sometimes, especially with reading fiction online. I came to a new belief that I could really completely quit crossdressing and reading crossdressing fiction for good. And that belief made all the difference. I realized I had freewill, self-control, and the help of the Holy Spirit, and like these other men, I did not have to give in if I did not want to.

I started blogging immediately about my own struggle with crossdressing and received a great amount of support and encouragement from these other bloggers. I found it very helpful to explore and analyze my crossdressing through writing and through reading what others had written. Understanding my desires, why they might be there, and how to deal with them was another critical component in my healing from the addiction.

God used all of that together to break the back of the crossdressing addiction. I clearly see God’s hand in using those other bloggers and using my own writings to bring me to freedom from that sin. Praise the Lord Jesus for this deliverance! While admittedly, there have been a few failures since that time, I feel totally free from that addiction. I have full contentment now as a man and no longer wrestle with envy of women. Without crossdressing, life has only gotten better and more enjoyable every year up to the present time. Sometimes months will go by without even a single desire for crossdressing coming into my mind.

My wife knows about this website, she is supportive of this ministry, and she prays for and encourages me regularly. My wife and I continue to have a very strong marriage today. She is grateful that I have worked through this issue in detail with accountability partners and that I get regular help from them.

Today, I enjoy both my regular work as a pastor as well as this online ministry. As I minister to others, I have found that my history of addiction and my experience of God’s grace help me to have mercy and compassion for other people who struggle with addiction, especially those who are burdened with same-sex attraction or pornography addiction, or other unwanted sexual desires.

If you want to contact me privately about anything, fill out this contact form below. If you are interested in writing about your own experiences or in sharing your testimony, fill out the contact form, and I can share your story in the form of a guest post. See this page – Guest Posts.

If you want to comment or discuss about my story, or share about yourself publicly, you can also just make a public comment below. Thank you for visiting this website and for listening to my story. I praise the Lord Jesus for what he has done in my life. I hope that you also can experience growth, freedom, and healing in your own story. Join this community and our discussions by commenting below to share about yourself.

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Hi I am stopping crossdressing and have not done it in about a month. Does god forgive me?

    Reply
  2. Barnabas

    Jake thank you for the comment and thank you for your courage to give up crossdressing. It is important to be forgiven for crossdressing and your other sins. But your desire to be forgiven is not achieved by giving up crossdressing. And you need to be forgiven for far more than simply crossdressing. We all do. We all have not loved God and others like we should, and we need forgiveness for all of it. The only way to be forgiven by God is by trusting in Jesus as our mediator, the one who took the punishment for our sins, and who gives us his perfect righteousness.

    For more on that, please read this and we can continue to talk from there – http://www.healingfromcrossdressing.org/my-christian-perspective/

    You need to begin a relationship with Jesus if you don’t know him already. I would love to talk to you more Jesus, the Savior who I love. I will pray for you right now

    Reply
  3. Avatar

    Hi/

    I shared a request for help a short while ago, but missed the checking the box requesting to be notified by email should you post. Thanks for hearing my heavy heart, and I look forward to any insight you can offer.

    NHA

    Reply
  4. Barnabas

    NHA, I’m replying to you here because in your long private message you said your email is expiring. I read your whole note and am sorry for what you are going through. I will pray for you right now.

    This site is here for people like you. You are in the right place. Your story is one I’ve experienced and heard hundreds of times. There is hope! There can be change and growth and healing! You can experience freedom from the envy and sexual addiction!

    It’s not a quick process. There’s so much I could say right now, but I’ve already written in other places what I would write to you right now. Please start by reading this post, and then keep reading and talking. If you want to quit crossdressing, we are here for you and will walk with you on this journey to freedom.

    http://www.healingfromcrossdressing.org/12-steps-to-stop-crossdressing/

    If you can make a real commitment to stop crossdressing and get help, then I also invite you to join our group – http://www.healingfromcrossdressing.org/prayer-group/

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Thanks for the encouragement, Barnabas. It’s good to know there is help from people who can empathize and relate. I wish there wasn’t such a hierarchy of sins in the church. You are still accepted if you admit to and seek help re poor stewardship, or addictions to food, smoking, drugs, alcohol… but you are quickly given the look of a pervert or weak man of you admitted what is addressed on this site. I believe the healing process- and more importantly- the freedom from satan’s power- would be much more like the promise God offers if those who claim to follow Christ were aware of the depravity that assails all of us. It’s this need for secrecy that makes this behavior and addiction so difficult to bear. We are living dual lives, and that is so not what Christ meant when he said we “shall be free indeed” when we follow him.

      Thanks.
      NHA

      Reply

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