I’ve been reminded recently that crossdressing, especially crossdressing for sexual pleasure, is one of the hardest things for other people to understand. And that makes us feel oh so alone. Even if we don’t crossdress anymore, we still experience some of the thoughts and temptations from time to time. Every time we do, we are reminded of how different and strange we are. We’ve told our wives, but they can’t fully understand. We’ve told our accountability partners, but they can’t fully understand. They logically understand the statements we make. But they just can’t place themselves in our shoes. It doesn’t make sense to them.
Think about it. People understand fornication, they understand adultery, and they understand pornography. Those all makes sense, even if we think they are terrible and would never do them ourselves (or think that we wouldn’t). But people understand them and can relate to those who have fallen in those sins or are struggling them. They can understand why those actions would be desirable and pleasurable.
Taking it further, those of us who experience only opposite-sex attraction still can understand at least slightly people who experience same-sex attraction, and vice versa, because at least in both cases there are people involved. Most people understand what it is like to be attracted to another person, to be drawn to them, to want to talk to them, to want to be touched by them. But how can they understand what it is like to feel a desperate need to pick up high heels and put them on? How can they understand the experience of putting on a simple dress and finding it sexually gratifying? How can they understand the intense desire to put on nail polish, to have such a thought cloud your mind all day drowning out all else?
Why does this matter? With understanding often there is also compassion. Without understanding, there is often not compassion and only harsh judgment. On the flip-side, without understanding crossdressing, people may have more tolerance that they should, since they don’t realize what a harmful addiction crossdressing can become. With understanding, other people can help us to limit temptation. Without understanding, people can accidentally create temptation for us. Even though crossdressing is out of my life, this lack of understanding of other people still hits home to me sometimes. Even the people who know all about my past still fail to consider and understand so much about me.
Think about your own life:
– Why doesn’t your friend realize how uncomfortable it makes you when you see his young son wearing his mother’s shoes for fun?
– Why doesn’t your wife understand the thoughts that will plague you all day when you see her clothes lying out?
– Why doesn’t your family realize that watching a movie with a five second crossdressing scene messes with your head and causes you temptation?
– Why doesn’t anyone understand that wearing an apron is a stumbling block for you?
– Why doesn’t anyone understand that gender morphing photo apps are not funny to you and are not good for you?
– Why doesn’t your wife understand and act on your strong need to be affirmed as a man, to be affirmed in your masculinity?
– Why doesn’t your accountability partner understand that you can’t remove yourself from temptation? Even seeing an unattractive woman in a skirt can drive you crazy. Seeing a billboard for makeup could set your mind running all day. Even seeing your young daughter looking pretty in a dress, can make you envious, thinking back to wanting to have felt like that as a child and tempt you to escape into crossdressing fiction. Just walking into a mall or department store is like walking into a harem or strip club.
It can be painful and lonely to not be fully known or understood. It’s part of the burden or cross we have to bear in this life. There is not much we can do about it. Even the people who know about our issue won’t ever fully understand. We have to learn to be content with that. These people can’t fully enter our experience and step into our shoes no matter how many hours of discussion we have with them.
But there is good news. That is that other people who have given up crossdressing can understand you! This is an amazing gift that I have been able to experience through this website. Having friends or accountability partners through our online prayer group is an amazing gift. There is something that bonds you in a deeper way than almost any other kind of friendship on earth. The most shameful painful strange thing about yourself that no one else can ever understand, these other people can actually understand you and relate to you. And they can respond to you without judgment, and with immense compassion and empathy.
If you want to be known and understood, and still loved and accepted, I highly encourage you to join our prayer group. There you will find people who know exactly what you are going through. There you can find an accountability partner who knows the ins and outs of what makes you tempted. An accountability partner who will really know how to help you and guide you. An accountability partner who can speak truth into your life.
But the even better news is that there is someone more important who understands you, far better than your accountability partner understands you. That is our Lord Jesus Christ.
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens,a Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
When you feel alone, remember that Jesus is with you, and he knows exactly what you are going through. Jesus is both God and man. When he became a man, he went through all the same kinds of temptations that we do, so he understands what you are going through. As God, he knows every thought in your mind and heart, and knows you better than you know yourself. He knows everything about you and understands what makes you tick. Be comforted that God is in control. He loves you and accepts you in Christ. He is with you. And he will empower you to give you a way out of every temptation.