I’m Tiko. I’m a professional international footballer in East Africa. I’m a cross-dresser. My name has been changed to protect my identity and the people I mention in this blog. One day I’ll reveal my identity. And one-day in the not too do distant future I’ll be able to say, yes, I’m Tiko and I’m proud to be a cross-dresser.
So. Why do we cross-dress?
Here’s an extract from RED DRESS REVOLUTION, a novel – a novel about me, Tiko, age 18, a professional footballer unceremoniously thrown out of the English Premier League for being a cross dresser. The extract is an explanation, perhaps, about why I cross-dress.
Tiko is drawn back to the mirror. He performs his red smile while taking off the fedora hat and tossing his hair nonchalantly. “Hi,” he says to the mirror. “My name’s Tiko. How are you?” He has no recollection when he first started to cross dress. Or feel the inclination. Probably around nine. He’s sixteen now, and although the feelings are strong and compelling, the reason ‘why’ remains inexpressible, beyond some vague enthralling feeling that ‘it just feels good.’ An enduring curiosity persists, but not related in any way to sexual stimulation or gender identity. Tiko day-dreams when he dresses in his mum’s clothes. Staring into the mirror he imagines he’s pretty, despite his scrawny physique. He’s round-shouldered, and his constantly hanging head looks like it may fall off any moment. But he has big, deep piercing brown eyes, a sharp nose and a wide mouth and long curls, drooping in tight ringlets. He fancies he’s in a photographic studio or on set in a Nigerian soap opera from where flashing paparazzi persistently pursue him back to his luxury apartment in Lagos – and not to a one-room shanty hut, in the shameful slum of Kitanye, the poorest slum in Nilemwe – possibly the poorest in East Africa. He tosses his beautiful hair. His Watu hair. It seems to float in the mirror Tiko’s long locks and his penetrating eyes are undoubtedly appealing. He’s certainly vain, especially about his hair and he runs his fingers through it before he replaces the hat. His compulsion for cross-dressing doesn’t stem from the basic drives for sexual awareness or gratification. It is just something he can’t explain. It is an itch he cannot scratch. He’s searching for an answer.
I think all cross-dressers are looking for an answer. Because deep down I don’t think any of us can, for certain, provide a suitable answer for why we cross dress. Or even what cross-dressing is. So how can I ever have explained to my team-mates that I’m a cross dresser – and here’s the reason I do it?
Here’s what Eddie Izzard says. He’s a world renowned cross-dresser.
“I don’t know why, it’s just the genetic cards I’ve been given. A lot of people have said very nasty things to me, have fought me in the streets… but fuck them!
“Because this is real, and this has always been here, so let’s get the truth out, rather than running and hiding.”
Except that Eddie Izzard is a comedian. He’s in show business. and that has to be a profession where cross-dressing is more acceptable and more acceptable to the audiences you perform to.
So how do I explain to a bunch of macho, muscular, super male footballers- like the guy above! – and their fans what cross dressing is. How can I make them more aware?
Next time I will try to offer an explanation that my team-mates will understand and accept.
Maybe I should start by explaining what cross-dressing is not.