I’m on a plane. BA First Class flight to London Gatwick. Courtesy of Al my new agent. It’s very luxurious. And all very strange. And exciting. And frightening. Al is drinking brandy because he’s absolutely petrified of flying even though he flies, on average, three times a month. I am drinking champagne and watching a movie but to be frank I’m not enjoying either. My mind is full of scorpions as they say in Nilemwe. I’m thinking too many things at once and I’m a little terrified.
How my life has changed. Last year I was just an everyday slum dog from Kitanye in Chanzo Citing Nilemwe, East Africa. Now it’s likely that I shall I sign a three-year contract with an English Premier League side. It’s barely tw months since I was playing in Gabon where I scored a goal that made the football world stand up and take notice. But it seems like five years. My name is Tiko and I’m a professional footballer. It’s a fictitious name, of course, because although I’m a real person I’m not ready to come out. As a cross dresser. I want to. I want to scream and shout and put a sign around my neck that says my name is Tiko Namutebi and I am an international footballer and I am a cross dresser. Not only do I get a kick out of dressing up but actually it’s a major part of me. It’s what I live for. It’s more important than football. To me at any rate. But I’m petrified that if my secret leaks out I won’t be allowed into England yet alone play in their Premier League. No big salary or luxury penthouse where I can dress to my heart’s content; no money for my mother’s medical care, no chic clothes or expensive fashion accessories. Back to living in Chanzo City where bigotry against freaks, who cross-dress, is manifest.
Al says I must agree to a three-month trial period to see how I adjust to the weather and the environment and the speed of the Premier League. I’ll get a huge signing on fee just for flying out and putting my name on a dotted line. More money than I ever dreamt it would be possible to earn. Al is looking after my finances. He says I should concentrate on my football. He’ll take care of the rest. I don’t want to name the team – in the hope that I can make it difficult for people to put two and two together. So I’ll call the club Melchester City which is based in the North of England. I know lots of clever football fans will spot immediately where Melchester is – but I want to avoid this blog being defamatory.
Oscar, my cross-dressing friend is mortified I’m flying off to what he sees as a new life. Somehow he thinks I’m deserting him and all my new friends at the Zebra Club and the political party where we both worked. We had an argument big time and it’s preying on my mind a lot. Lots of things are preying on my mind. I wanted to talk to Al about dressing up. The remnants of varnish on his toe nails seemed too big a clue. But how do you begin?
“I noticed you had red varnish on your toe nails Al, when we first met. Do you want to comment on that at all?”
The Cabin Attendant smiling and fussing as she passes.
“Her eye makeup is beautiful” I whisper. “It must have taken her two hours”
But Al avoided the invitation. “Another brandy when you’re ready, sweetheart.”
And somehow that makes me even more suspicious.
“Why should you be surprised?” Oscar said when I mentioned Al’s nail varnish. “There’s a lot of it about!”
Indeed there is. An estimated one in every eight males – if I’m to believe all the stuff I’ve been reading. I looked around the first class cabin and counted sixteen males. One in eight. I suppose that includes me and Al. So the surveys are looking accurate. But I forgot to count the four male cabin crew lurking behind the curtain. All looking decidedly feminine despite their military style uniforms.
I’m resisting the urge to shout “Hands up all those who cross dress!”
Just wonder how different it will all be in England.
Soon find out.