"A woman shall not wear man's clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman's clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God. (NASB)
While some Christians see Deuteronomy 22:5 as a clear reference to the divine condemnation of transsexuality, most commentators suggest that this passage contains minimal relevance to the debate at all, or indeed to twentieth-century society. It is likely that, in keeping with God's covenantal concern to preserve the holiness of Israel, and to avoid anything which threatened Israel's existence and harmony, the cross-dressing prohibition was introduced to prevent involvement on the part of Israelites in contemporary Canaanite religious rituals of the day which involved swapping of sex roles and cross-dressing. Whatever the significance of this particular verse, it is probably doing a disservice to reasonable hermeneutics to apply it directly to transsexuals. (Transsexuality A Report by the Evangelical Alliance Policy Commission)Most pro-trans and pro-binary people will say, "That's Torah, so it doesn't apply to us following the Gospel." While that interpretation is fortunate for trans people, I don't like because it avoids the Spirit of the Torah that Jesus appreciated and is perpetually important. With that in mind, let's discover the spirit of this verse.
True, about the only direct reference you will find on cross-dressing is in Deuteronomy buried in the Judaic code. If we use that verse for a reference we are on shaky ground because most of us do things like eat pork, which is also in there. Besides, the blood of Jesus has set us free from the law to follow a higher law of grace. (Cross-dressing & Christianity by Randall Wayne)
genderqueer people who insist on being exceptions) will be that they do follow this verse even in its literal interpretation. The transman says "I'm not a woman wearing man's clothes, I'm a man wearing man's clothes." So we have to address what "woman" and "man" mean in the language and culture of the Hebrews.
"Female" and "woman" share one word as do "male" and "man." While all cultures have more than two genders, the Hebrews did not vocalize it with separate words for sex and gender. Conservative Christians have inherited this cultural understanding of sex and gender so they actually interpret it correctly to understand "woman" as a woman who is also female and likewise with "man." We could translate it literally thus:
A person who is both a woman and female shall not wear man's clothing, nor shall a person who is both a man and male put on a woman's clothing;
Tranvestiticism, Transgenderism, and Deut 22:5 Good history. Pro-transexual, ambiguous otherwise.
Cross Dressing and Deuteronomy 22:5 A rabbi's analysis. Pro-trans
Deut 22:5 A fundamentalist reading applied to whether women may wear pants. Doesn't mention transgenderism, but certainly anti-trans by extension.