Soli Deo Gloria
An explanation as to how and why my transgendered living (with emphasis on cross-dressing) is for the glory of God
"Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31). I knew the life-changing power of this verse from a very early age. Raised as a preacherís kid, early in life I came to know Jesus as my Savior and, as I grew in Him, living for the glory of God became a natural way of life. As a teenager, I led one of the largest Youth for Christ clubs in the Midwest. In spite of saying that the last thing I would ever be is a minister, I followed Godís leading and ministered faithfully in pastoral leadership for nearly 20 years (including significant roles in denominational leadership). When I made a career change to Christian higher education, I knew I was doing it because it was where God wanted me and I desired to live my life for His glory.
During my 53rd year Ė during some time alone Ė I faced some feelings and thoughts that had been with me all my life. These thoughts and feelings were well-suppressed during most of my life. At times though, they were very near the surface and even occasionally translated into well-hidden actions. But now these thoughts and feelings were so overwhelming that I could do nothing else but face them. I had always delighted in things feminine, especially dressing up as a girl or woman but it was always something that remained hidden and secretive. I didnít want others to know. Now, for reasons I cannot explain (but I believe are from God), I was face-to-face with how important this aspect of my personhood was to my own emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. I shared this with my wife and we began a hard, joyous, love-building journey toward where I am today. It was hard because it took her completely by surprise (although she could see some things in retrospect that now made more sense) and involved dealing with confusion, anger, frustration, and serious research (often all at once!). It was joyous because of her support, counsel, and participation even in the midst of the struggle. It was (and is) love-building because it has brought us closer then we have ever been before. She moved more quickly to acceptance and support than many wives do because of both her love for me and her walk with God. I could not have made the trip without her and thank God for her every day.
The journey has brought me to a life that gives more frequent and open expression of who I am. It occurs in many ways, but is most visible (and in some ways most fulfilling) in my cross-dressing. [Cross dressing for me includes wearing feminine undergarments all of the time, dressing up with some outer feminine garments 3-5 times a week, and going full en femme (make-up, wig, etc.) 1-2 times a week.] The first few months were a time of genuine soul-searching. Didnít I still desire to live my life for the glory of God? Yes, I did! Could that possibly include cross-dressing? We searched the Scriptures, talked, and prayed. Where we ended up is with a life that includes cross-dressing for the glory of God. The issue is not so much cross-dressing as it is the fuller, more authentic expression of who I am. Cross-dressing is simply part of that expression of the "me" inside. What follows is not a defense of cross-dressing in general or even my cross-dressing in particular, but an explanation of how and why I am peacefully confident Ė at the very core of my being Ė that my cross-dressing (as part of an open and honest expression of the transgendered person I am) is for the glory of God.
Living transgendered prompts me to more and more spontaneous praise.
Cross-dressing, as part of living transgendered, has helped filled my life with praise for things that used to be ignored or suppressed. Colors, fabrics, smells, sights that once would have had little impact are now praise moments. I celebrate with joy the soft and beautiful that might have been tolerated (at best) before. These things were there all along, but with Julie now an open part of my expression of who I am, they have taken on new meaning and significance. My praise for all things, but especially where God has led me in discovering and celebrating who I am, is not only more frequent, it is deeper, more heartfelt and more genuine. My worship is filled with gratitude and thanksgiving Ė along with unbounded praise! Ė for the ways God has opened my life up to celebrating so much more of His world and His grace to me. I praise him not only for what I see and experience, but also Ė with tears of heartfelt joy Ė for His enabling grace and a loving spouse that have made it possible for me to do so.
Living transgendered makes me a better helpmate.
At one level, expressing the feminine me has caused delight in doing more "feminine" chores around the house (especially en femme!). I genuinely enjoy doing cooking, laundry, cleaning, and shopping as expressions of my femininity (as well as an expression of love for my wife). Julie has been a big help around the house! My helpmate growth can also be seen in other ways. Conversations with my wife are more heartfelt, close, and engaging (even when they sometimes may be painful). My wife says that in some ways she now has the person back that she dated some thirty plus years ago. The pressures of career, raising a family, and suppressing the feminine me had built up a wall that had now come down. I am able to feel and give genuine expression to emotions that I never consciously knew before (which is also sometimes painful). I am able to experientially share in some of her joys and pleasures in meaningful and exciting ways. I have also grown in my appreciation of her body and all that is involved in "looking pretty." For the glory of God, these things have all helped me be a better helpmate and helped strengthen the marriage He has given us.
Living Transgendered has deepened my understanding of and intimacy with God.
Actively expressing the feminine "me" has helped me grow closer to God. While not conscious of it until recently, my suppression of so much of who I am had also made it difficult to draw close to God; I was trying to keep part of me from Him. My worship and conversations in prayer now involve the heart as much as (if not more than) the mind. I now experience many Bible passages with a new feeling and understanding. For example, I celebrate with new delight the reminder that God made "man" both male and female in His image (Genesis 1:27); male/female is in the image of God! I also often now echo the psalmistís praise for how wonderfully complex God has made me (Psalm 139:14). God made me this delightful way! I am overwhelmed anew with the goodness of Godís grace in bringing me to this point in my life and celebrate the love that loves me as I am; created, redeemed, and loved. My cross-dressing helps enable and enhance all of this.
In the movie Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell was asked by his sister to stop training for the Olympics and return to the mission field. He told her he couldnít because "When I run, I feel His pleasure." When I am living a life that gives full expression to the "me" He has made, I feel His pleasure and it prompts me to praise.
Living Transgendered has heightened my appreciation of creation.
In many ways, a whole new world has been opened up before my eyes. Itís like being there when God created the heavens and the earth. Iím seeing things for the first time with softer, more sensitive, more appreciative eyes. Feminine curves and fashions, flowers, rainbows, and colors appear with joy, excitement, and God-honoring appreciation as if I had never seen them before. Some use the phrase "gender euphoria" to describe the child-like excitement and energy that is often present (and sometimes unbounded) in those that have recently come out. There certainly is an element of that, but there is also the unmistakable sense of God euphoria in celebrating again the gentleness, freshness, and beauty of His creation.
Living Transgendered enables me to experience and express the fruits of the Spirit with richer fullness.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control have all taken on God-given dimensions that I never knew. The more integrated "me" experiences these fruits of the Spirit with a fascinatingly new perspective and seeks to give them expression with an openness and fervor that I never knew before. Godís love overwhelms me and prompts me to give expression of that love to others with a new depth and gentleness. Joy fills me to overflowing when I am able to experience and give expression to the woman within. There is a deep and abiding peace that truly "passes all understanding" (Philippians 4:7).
Living Transgendered brings my world to life.
Life has an energy, joy, celebration, and satisfaction that I cannot begin to explain or even understand. With the more complete me finding fuller expression; every day has a Divine power and presence to it that is comforting and stimulating all at once. God is near. The Michael W. Smith Christmas song, "All is Well" took on new meaning this year. The opening words are
"All is well, all is well; angels and men rejoice
For tonight darkness fell into the dawn of loveís light.
Sing Alleluia. All is well"
The song was used in our church to accompany a ballet performance of three adolescent girls. I was in tears of joyful worship as Godís comforting and fulfilling love overwhelmed me. All of my senses are often now stimulated in God-glorifying new, exciting, and satisfying ways. It is as if a burden was lifted and a treasure was found all at once.
Living Transgendered enables and encourages praise for the "me" resting in Godís arms.
The collective impact of all the above is that I feel and know a peace and praise that goes beyond anything I have known in 47 years as a believer. I feel the comfort of resting in Him and the joy of delighting in His love for me. There is a calm confidence in my life that comes from knowing that I am walking with Him in expressions of me that were always there but never before given opportunity; but now are freed for praise by His grace.
In summary, cross-dressing is part of my transgendered living that enables and helps me express grace, love, and peace in ways that can only be Divine and can only redound to the praise of His glory.