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

through gratification.

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

of "fixes."


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

fundraising event.

% 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:


G.P.O. Box 1115


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.)


Database Listing - Ministry To Homosexuals.
Christian Resources on Homosexuality on the web

These documents are free from
the complete christian resource site with more than 5000 webpages.