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 fulfil. A pool of delicious blueness opens at my feet and I dive straight in. There’s no bottom.
On my way home, I sometimes stopped to play football. Not an organised game. Just something ad hoc and scarcely spherical, kicked by a local gang openly smoking drugs or ingesting, and sometimes injecting. God knows what. I did not know their names or where they lived. Some of the boys offered their flesh in the nearby red-light district and spent their salary on cocktails of ganja and heroin at a dollar a toot. During the day the girls hid, else they would be harassed or openly sexually abused. They remained invisible until dark, when they could charge a fee for such indignity. I did not judge. Is one coin more tainted than another?
I remember the day the police came. That was the day my mum caught me dressing up in her Sunday best. There was a fire. There was always a fire. Usually accommodated in a makeshift brazier, fed by the various combustible garbage available at street level. A body lay to the side of the small fire. The body had been as sitting only moments earlier, before it toppled over. Nobody looked. Nobody cared. There was always a body. The police were attracted by the fire because it meant there would be a small mob of people they could beat or arrest. Out of the Land Rover jumped half a dozen navy-blue uniforms to dispatch their truncheons, on the slower, stoned boys. Sometimes they would arrest the victims and haul them down to the Police Station – to sell them for sexual abuse, or, more leniently, make the boys clean the cells and the living quarters.
I’m Tiko and I’m a cross dresser and somehow I have to resolve that. Do something positive about it. I’m not sure how yet but I think keeping it a secret makes it difficult. It’s like that dream where my lips keep moving but no sound comes out.
So that’s me. Tiko. That’s my history. So far. I know I have a magnificent scorn for detail but I’ve told it because it might help explain who I am and my need to be ‘free’. Liberated. Released.
My name is Tiko. I’m a cross-dresser and I’m about to come out.