Artful Crossdress?🎭

Hey everyone! I have a quick question:

I’m a professional actor, and I’m considering doing a one-man show in which I’ll be portraying multiple, real-life characters of varying ages, ethnicities, races, religious backgrounds and potentially, different genders. Well, the likelihood is that I’d only be portraying one woman. The piece is a historical piece – not a comedy – and it’s based on a historical event that happened in the United States back in the 90’s. Again, the people that I’d be POTENTIALLY portraying would be real people – all of whom are still alive. So, these would not be caricatures or campy satire. On the contrary, they would be portrayed in “truth” - complete with accents, prosthetics and clothing. So in lieu of Deuteronomy 22:5, would I be in violation to wear the woman’s actual clothing - complete with wig, makeup, etc - in accurate portrayal of this person within a play? Why or why not?

Thanks, in advance!

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Warner,

That sounds so interesting! I’d love to see your show! As to your question, I believe in the light of Christ’s teaching we are too look to a higher plane of the law and that is the spirit. God does not want men or women to basically be cross-dressers who desire to live out the role of a different gender. The abomination is wanting to be something God did not intend you to be.

When Jesus says: “"You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew‬ ‭5:27-28), He is explaining that our very intentions are what condemn us. Now in this scripture the act as well as the thought
are sinful, but I believe that there are times when to better understand what a command means we need to understand the intent of it. It would be my opinion that to dress up as the opposite gender to act out a part as you plan to do would not be in violation of God’s law at all. Everyone would understand your intention and that you are not trying to live as a woman. What is your gut feeling on this?

I hope this helps and God bless you in your career! May you in turn bless others as you seek to honor God in you work! :blush:

Carrie

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Hi @WarnerMiller! That’s such a great question. It sounds fascinating what you’re thinking of doing! As I was just thinking about it, I felt that your heart behind it and therefore, your motive, is the key issue.

My question back to you would be who are the other characters you’d play, and what sort of lifestyles would you be representing in the men? I imagine there might be a range of characters, beliefs, choices and actions that you’d be representing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you would identify with them all, would it? So in approaching the female character, would you be identifying with her lifestyle and gender, or are you merely representing her to communicate a message?

In thinking about that Deuteronomy passage, I understand it to apply as a lifestyle choice. When it was written, it was because the nearby cultures who cross dressed as part of their pagan practices: https://biblehub.com/commentaries/cambridge/deuteronomy/22.htm

Against Wearing the Clothes, etc., of the Other Sex. Peculiar to D. As what is forbidden is styled an abomination to Jehovah, the law probably refers to heathen rites, for the practice of which, including the interchange by the sexes of their clothes, weapons, etc., leading to gross impurities, there is much evidence in records of the Syrian and other ancient religions. Calvin quotes Juvenal Sat., vi. 252.

However, others may have a strong argument as to why it might actually apply in ALL circumstances, which would be worth listening to as well.

Do you have a particular feeling either way regarding it?

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@WarnerMiller Hi!

Well, not to put too sharp of a point on this, but I think you would be in violation of Deuteronomy 22:5. The reason is because in addition to the law, plainly stated, I think it does seem that Jesus institutes a sticter and deeper adherence to the law. I think an example of this is in Matthew 5:27-28:

Matthew 5:27-28 King James Version (KJV)

27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

I think He is saying, mere adherence to this law isn’t enough, you have to go even deeper to the source of adultery, which is lust in your heart. So, He established the law, and then made it stricter. So, if we take a look at the passage you mentioned in Deuteronomy 22:5, in addition to the law, as established, and as a minimum requirement, in what way do you think that law would need to be adhered to additionally, on a higher or stricter way?

As a pastor I do not think that God will have a problem. As stated above, your concern to not violate the scripture is key. Whenever we have a question about a grey area (not specifically spelled out) in scripture then this verse is a solid one to fall back on Romans 14:23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. In short since there is no specific admonition against playing a part in a play,
I would say you are free to do it as long as you’re conscience is clear. If there is any doubt at all then you must not do it.

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