Cross dressing, simply put, is dressing in ways that the opposite sex of a particular society is expected to. Cross dressers are people who mostly want to be the opposite sex but due to several reasons, cannot be. So they dress like that sex in order to go through their experiences.
“If I could, I’d be a woman,” a male Nigerian crossdresser says.
Societal views of cross dressing
Different societies have a laid-down principle on how their citizens should dress, live and behave. Take an instance; the issue of religion is taken seriously and fanatically in Africa. So much so, that it controls lifestyles of the people, culture and even political laws. Practices like abortion and homosexuality are considered illegal.
In west and mid wales, cross dressing started as a way to protest unfair taxation. Men dressed the way women were expected to dress in their society and marched down the streets. In Afghanistan, the Talibans ban women from walking freely in the streets so they (the women) disguise as men in order to move.
In Nigeria today, cross dressing is majorly done for entertainment purposes. On social media, skit makers have adopted it as a humor mechanism.
However, cross dressing in Nigeria is also to a considerable extent, biased. Female cross dressers are allowed to blend in the society as normal and ‘trendy’, their male counterparts face a lot of backlash.
Cross dressing in “his” experience
“Whenever I cross-dress, I tend to attract homophobic taunts. In fact, even when I dress normally. This is because I look feminine naturally,” the male Nigerian crossdresser says.
He adds, “it’d be a lie if I said I don’t care about the insults. It has had me depressed for days.”
Although the backlash keeps increasing, male crossdressers keep surfacing on the internet. The likes of James Brown, Bobrisky, Jay Boogie, Bryan Nwakoro and more. Most of them have become internet influencers and defiant against societal rules and principles.
In the next few years, this may be a reality; female clothes made specially for men such that it looks weird on women when they wear them. For now however, the male Nigerian crossdresser says if he could change something about it, he’d stop the excessive labeling.
About the writer
Oluwanisola Eludoyin is a content writer and a storyteller. When she’s not writing, she’s either reading or watching a movie. See some of her other write ups here.
Disclaimer: This article is purely an opinion piece and does not in anyway, potray the views of Glazia on the subject. Also, the images contained therein are solely for aesthetical purposes, and not a character attack on any individual.