Years ago, I attended several Help Me, Accept Me meetings at the Dallas, Texas Gay and Lesbian Center. I would arrive partially dressed and scurry into the restroom to apply the finishing touches. There was always a long line of T-girls at the women's restroom, so I would duck into the men's room and be finished before everyone else. Looking back, the scene was a bit comical. I remember another T-girl seemed to disapprove of my actions and questioned me about my choice. I replied, "Are you kidding?! We're all TGs here!" My practical outlook on things seemed to negate the need for restrooms designated for two specific genders when everyone in attendance was pretty much the same. Some may not agree with me on that point, but I still try to be practical in all things.
It was when I first began coming to terms with my transgenderism that I came across Deuteronomy 22:5 -- The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God. That seemed to seal my fate. I was definitely some sort of pervert in the eyes of the Lord. This was going to be a demerit on my record for the rest of my life, end of conversation, subject closed.
Then I learned about context. Everything in the Bible is spoken in the context of the day, and in the context with the rest of the Bible. Have you ever seen pictures of how good Israelites dressed back then? There was not a lot of difference as they pretty much wore robes. This piqued my curiosity. Then I looked at this verse within the context of the surrounding verses and found no context -- this verse of instruction stands by itself with no explanation.
I turned to some well-established theologians and commentators who felt this verse was a warning to the Israelites about some of the pagan practices of their neighbors. These pagans would cross dress to serve false gods and idols. This led me to believe that the intention of this verse was less about what a person wore than what he or she did. This makes practical sense to me. It makes sense that God would be angry at one of His children for turning their back on Him and going after an idol. Does God care if I wear guy's or gal's jeans? Does God care if a woman wears pants or skirts? Does God care if I wear heels or flats? These matters seem trivial and of no importance in light of the historical context. The focus is not on how I look but on how I'm serving.
Matthew 23:25-26 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. (26) Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. When Christ came to this earth, He fulfilled both the Law and the Prophets. One of His revolutionary teachings was on the correct motivations of the heart. Our reasons for action and intentions are as important if not more important than our physical actions. In the quote above, Christ was confronting a bunch of religious leaders who were so wrapped up in legalism and ritualism, and the power and prestige of their office, that they forgot the most basic aspect of God -- love. The scribes and Pharisees loved the applause and praise of the people for being "holier than thou", but gave little thought about how God viewed their actions and intent.
And don't forget, the New Teatment looks back and fulfills the context of the Old Testament, while the Old looks forward to the New for completion.
I'm probably not doing a very good job of conveying my thoughts, but here is an extreme example: It's okay to cross dress. It's not okay to cross dress and rob a bank. Why? Because it's not okay to rob a bank period! Hitting a little bit closer to home, it's also not okay to cross dress with the malicious intent to mislead someone.
Now why did I and many other people have to work so hard to come to the conclusion that cross dressing in and of itself is okay? Well, it wasn't God's fault, I can assure you. Fact is, we live in an imperfect world where there is sin, and the old devil himself is a master of lies, deceit, and misdirection. The devil can use his tricks on believers just as he can unbelievers. It's up to those who know The Truth to encourage others in The Truth and lead still others to The Truth.
Maybe I'll come back to this topic again. In the meantime, I'll try to prepare myself so I can better address it. My poor writing on religious matters has helped me have empathy with Moses when at the burning bush he said "I am slow of tongue".