UNDERSTANDING THE TRANSVESTITE
What is transvestism?
It is the act of dressing in the clothes of the opposite sex to achieve
sexual arousal and climax. Like any deviation, transvestism is a surface
symptom or manifestation of a deeper emotional and spiritual condition.
What Are The Characteristics Of A Transvestite?
Typically, the transvestite is male, exclusively heterosexual and has an
aversion to homosexuality. Most transvestites are married and have
children. Transvestites have no desire for a sex change, and value their
male organs. Most transvestites cross dress in secret, only a small
percentage of transvestites go out or continuously live 'cross-dressed.'
(Note: The transvestite is not to be confused with the 'drag queen'
homosexual who cross-dresses in parody of the opposite sex; nor is the
transvestite to be confused with transsexuals, those who wish to change
their original gender into that of the opposite sex through surgery.)
The transvestite regards himself as an inferior male, and in compensation,
is often a perfectionist where skilled. Because of inferiority and fear of
rejection, the transvestite is usually a loner, rarely developing
meaningful relationships beyond marriage.
As mentioned, the transvestite episode is secretive, and is primarily an
act of masturbation, with cross-dressing as the key ingredient for arousal
and climax. Fantasy life of the transvestite is very active, and there may
be involvement with pornography and in some cases S and M
(Bondage/Dominance), another evidence of gross inferiority.
Following an episode, many transvestites loath themselves, vowing to never
again act out their urges, and will often throw out pornography, clothing,
wigs, makeup, etc. However, it's only a matter of time before the
transvestite cycle repeats itself. Stresses accumulate, triggering the
transvestite response rooted in unhealed wounds and unmet emotional needs.
Like an addict, the transvestite inevitably retreates for his "fix" in the
private, inner sanctuary of fantasy and cross dressing to find solace
What Are The Origins Of Transvestism?
As with any deviation, the transvestite condition can be traced to
childhood, where proper nurturing to form a healthy identity did not occur.
In family patterns of the transvestite, the father is either physically
absent or emotionally remote from his young son. The proper role modeling
and necessary affirmation of masculinity is therefore missing.
Mothers of transvestites often have problems of their own: Generally, they
have been found to be masculine, dominant, hostile -- or completely
disinterested in their son. They are hostile toward men and masculinity in
general, and their son's masculinity in particular. Their encouragement of
cross-dressing can be attributed to an undercurrent desire to emasculate
men. Such mothers will offer positive reinforcement when their son is
cross-dressed. As a result, the child longs for a close, loving
relationship with mother, and finds comfort in handling her clothes, and
the soft fabrics become a mother replacement. WIth the onset of puberty,
such attachment becomes "sexualized." Sisters of the transvestite were
generally more valued, by the parents compounding the sense of rejection
and worthlessness linked to maleness in the child. Many transvestite's
report that the home environment was cold, tense, and very inhibited,
fostering insecurity and a retreat into fantasy.
What Needs Are Being Fulfilled Through Cross-dressing?
First, the creation of a second personality brings the transvestite the
closeness that he has been denied by his family. This other "person" also
accomplishes that which he never could: that is, "she" measures up to the
standards of a woman, where he perceives himself as a failure as a man.
Because of the emotional lack in childhood, the transvestite has an
exaggerate self love -- Narcissism, and the second personality gives him a
love object outside of himself. Transvestites prove this love by spending
much time, money, and energy on the second personality, which serves as an
escape from the guilt of being so self-centred. Additionally, the
transvestite often has a low sex drive and needs the additional stimulation
and excitement his fetish of women's clothing provide.
Basically, the transvestite is looking to meet those needs we all have for
love, affection, and affirmation -- only he is meeting those needs in a
wrong way, a way which cannot provide lasting satisfaction -- only a series
Can The Transvestite Be Helped?
Yes! Nothing is impossible for God! The following are some specific
pointers to help.
% Transvestism Is A Life-dominating Sin Problem.
Transvestism will remain intact and in control as long as SELF RULES! The
transvestite has lived by his feelings since early childhood. He has
learned how to meet his own needs. The scenario that is acted out is a
coping mechanism that is intended to boost his self-worth and provide
escape from overwhelming pressures. Although he may be a Christian, he has
no need of God. He firmly controls his life and resents any inroads into
his private world by God or man.
No help or change can take place until he honestly acknowledges his need
for God. He must admit his powerlessness to change his life and also to
acknowledge that his cross-dressing is sin (Deuteronomy 22:5). In fact,
his cross-dressing and love of the second personality is a form of idolatry
which must be surrendered. Surrender can be a major obstacle for the
transvestite, as they find trusting God to be very difficult due to past
% The Need For Social Skills.
The transvestic person is usually lacking in social skills. Because needs
have long been met by self alone, others have been looked upon as
unnecessary or troublesome. Four solid Christian men should be selected
from the Body of Christ as close personal friends. There should be
interaction with them and their families through such activities as:
attending church functions; dinners at home or out together; engaging in
some sport such as tennis, swimming, etc., planning with them for some
special church event such as a singing group performance, a short skit, a
% The Need To Cling To Christ.
It is only the power of Christ that can change a life. Therefore, we must
stay close to the Source of that power. Christ has said, "if you love me,
keep my commandments." There are about 144 commandments given by Christ in
the New Testament. It is a good idea to read the words of Christ
thoroughly and to list these commandments and begin acting upon them. In
your personal life, it is essential to have a time set aside daily for
prayer, praise, and worship. THe fantasy life of sin must also be put to
death by renewing the mind through God's Word.
% The Need To Forgive.
Transvestism is brought about by trauma in early life. It comes about as a
result of trying to meet unfulfilled needs. The transvestic person is
usually harbouring many resentments, hatreds, and hostile feelings. These
must be brought before the Lord and confessed as sin. He must evaluate
every relationship, especially family relationships, and determine that
hostile attitudes and thoughts be brought into the obedience of Christ.
% The Need To View Himself As God Sees Him.
It is important that we accept God's viewpoint of ourselves. God loves us
equally. We are no better and no worse than those around us. Accept God's
love! Discover in God's Word what God has to say about you. He has some
wonderful truths that can set you free. Ultimately, the healing of your
transvestite condition will be a result of your growing relationship with
God through Christ. Seek Him!
Information in this article compiled and edited by Sy Rogers from Frank
Worthen's teaching on Transvestism for LOVE IN ACTION / EXODUS VI
For further information about homosexuality or about other areas of sexual
brokenness, please contact:
LOVE IN ACTION
G.P.O. Box 1115
ADELAIDE SA 5001
Phone (08) 371-0446
This article is reprinted by permission from:
Eleutheros, 1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite D, Winter Park, Florida,
For Additional Reading:
CRISIS IN MASCULINITY by Leanne Payne (Crossway Books) FACTORS IN
FREEDOM by Ed Hurst
THE SEXUAL ADDICT By Patrick Carnes (Multnomah Pub.) (available through
THE KINGDOM OF SELF by Earl Jabay (Logos) 1821 University Ave. S., Suite
296 St Paul, Minnesota, 55104, U.S.A.)
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