Hidden in the closet

Hidden in the closet

He is a heterosexual male, married with two teenage children and works as a computer engineer in a big firm in the City. What distinguishes him from his colleagues is the fact that he is a secret cross-dresser. This basically means that he (also goes by the name ‘Radhika’ when he is dressed like a woman) is overcome with ‘a feeling of peace, security and exaltation, happiness and well-being, when dressed in the clothing of the opposite sex’.

 “My workmates are not aware of my proclivity for women's clothes. In the office I dress like any other male employee but when I come home I slip into a saree to relax. It makes me feel good about myself. I also like skirts and dresses but dislike salwar kameez,” he explains.

Radhika participated in the Indian Super Queen contest which was held in Bangalore recently. Wearing a georgette saree with intricate embroidery teamed up with a sleeveless choli, a long flowing wig and artfully applied make-up, he strutted his stuff on the ramp just like any other wannabe beauty queen.

His buddy ‘Pinky’ wearing a black and white ensemble and a shoulder length wig did the same. Both Radhika and Pinky are essentially heterosexual males with wives and children holding jobs in well-known companies where they work and dress like men.
“My wife and two teenage children are aware of my penchant for women's clothes and they are tolerant about it. In fact, my daughter requests me to change into a saree when I teach her maths because I am more mellow and peaceful  when I wear one,” avers Radhika.

‘Zara’ in a black lycra miniskirt and top, prances and twirls with all the panache of a professional model. “My siblings know I am a cross-dresser but my parents do not. I am in a committed relationship with a woman who understands me completely and is very supportive. I know I look really good in dresses and love wearing them. We cross-dressers have often been misunderstood and maligned, especially in societies with strict gender roles. That is why we are forced to live our real lives behind closed doors,” says Zara who is also a well educated, well travelled professional who lives and breathes two distinct personas — one as a male and another as a female.
‘Pinky’ has a wife and three-year-old son who know about his crossdressing. However, his colleagues in office aren’t aware of his other side. “I am banking on the fact that I am quite unrecognisable in women's clothes and make-up. If they do guess my identity I will just have to deal with it when the time comes,” he says with a fatalistic shrug. His son likes him to dress up in mommy’s clothes, bindis and jewellery.
“It’s all about enjoying the freedom to express yourself and be who you are, as long as you are not hurting anyone,” he adds.

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