I’ve known this friend since we were at primary school together and the occassion of his discovering this side of me came some years after we had both finished school.
I remember it as clear as if it happened yesterday. We were on our way to a gig in London (Iron Maiden I believe) and I was driving. He asked if I had any mints, whilst at the same time opening the glove box. I had been to have a makeover a few days before and had some of my photos in there.
Inevitably he found them. There was nothing I could do to stop him, short of crashing the car! So I stayed silent ad he thumbed through them. I guess I look better than I realised because it was only after he’d looked at a few that it dawned on him that the horny woman in the fishnets was his best buddy.
“is this you?” he asked. No point denying it. In fact I was relieved it was out in the open, so I admitted that it was. “You look good” he said after looking at a few more photos. He looked the rest in silence, then the floodgates opened and I spent the next half hour answering a barrage if questions: How long have you been dressing? When did you start? How did you start? Are you gay? Why do you do it? Etc, etc.
I was surprised that there was no anger / disappointment … no negative comments or feelings. Just a genuine curiosity.
Then he said something that’s stuck in my mind ever since: it doesn’t change a thing. So what if you want to dress like this? You’re still the same person.
And, of course, he’s right and I believe that conversation was the turning point for me. It helped a lot in my own acceptance of my dressing to know that there were people out there that got it. People with the common sense to see that it’s not really about the clothes you wear but what kind of person you are underneath.