I have no real recollection when I first started to cross dress. Or feel the inclination. Probably around nine. I’m eighteen now. The urges – the feelings – are strong and compelling; but the reason ‘why’ remains inexpressible, beyond some vague enthralling sensation that ‘it just feels good!’ An enduring curiosity persists, but not related in any way to sexual stimulation or gender identity. It’s not about being ‘gay’. Or aspiring to be bi-sexual – or trying to double my chances of getting laid. It’s just a need I have to fulfill. A pool of delicious blueness opens at my feet and I dive straight in. There’s no bottom. The tingle that overwhelms me when I put on lipstick. Beyond description.
I used to day-dream when I dressed my in Mum’s clothes. Staring into the mirror I imagined I was pretty, despite my scrawny physique. I was round-shouldered, and my constantly hanging head looked like it may have fallen off at any moment. But I had big, deep piercing brown eyes, a sharp nose, a wide mouth – and long curls, drooping in tight ringlets.
When I tossed my hair it seemed to float in the mirror. My long locks and my penetrating eyes were, undoubtedly, appealing when I wore mum’s best Sunday dress and her blue, wide-rimmed fedora hat. I was certainly vain, especially about my hair. I fancied I was in a photographic studio or on set in a Nigerian soap opera from where flashing paparazzi would persistently pursue me back to my 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.
I would strut and turn, model-like, for the photographers to flash me, impeded by the cramped, cluttered hut that was my home – merely a single living-room of upturned crates, crockery, saucepans, a calor-gas stove and washing bowl. My narrow bed, an old, oily mattress raised up on two planks above the cockroaches and soggy persistence of the mouldy damp. A ragged curtain separated my mother’s ‘bedroom’ where I would ‘dress’ and pose in front of the cracked, ornate oval mirror, propped up on a rickety, wicker dresser, supported by two flaking bricks.
Yes. A one room slum hut. Where I was raised. In Kitanye, Nilemwe, East Africa. I was lucky. I got to live in a hut with a plastic drainpipe – so we could catch the rain. One room, no toilet facilities, no property management. Forty thousand Nilemwe shillings a month; fifteen US dollars. Pay up or be brutally turfed out. I lived there with my mum. We came to Chanzo when my Dad left us and shortly after my two brothers ides of malaria. Kitanye, unstable, dangerous; a no-go area, a refuge for addicts and dealers, pickpockets and prostitutes; criminals and crazy kids carrying something sharp to filch the contents of a passing pocket or easy purse. Kitanye – where I first started Cross-dressing.
I’m Tiko. I’m a cross-dresser. I play international football in East Africa. I was recently booted out of the English Premier League after being caught in a degrading cross dressing pose.
My life story is beautifully depicted in my book RED DRESS REVOLUTION from i-Witness Publications available from Amazon and on Kindle.