Cross Dressing An emerging culture in Nigeria's society

Cross dressers are slowly but colourfully coming out from the dark to challenge societal perceptions and views.

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Cross dressing sensation, Bobrisky. play

Cross dressing sensation, Bobrisky.

(Alabama Uncut )
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It was a Monday morning and I was late for work. I had stayed up the for  most of the night to cover the MTV VMAs (which was rather underwhelming this year) and slept afterwards.

I got to Lekki a few minutes past 11 in the morning and I decided to eat my lunch at The Place since noon was less than an hour away.

Bobrisky play

Bobrisky

(Snapchat)

 

Upon getting to the entrance, a light-skinned man dressed in a white jalabiya stepped out from a Mercedes Benz jeep and walked into the jewellery store that is on the same premises as the restaurant.

As I placed my order and was waiting for the waitress to give me back my ATM card, I heard a lot of whispers around me. I looked back and there he was again- the man who came down from the jeep.

Bobrisky play

Bobrisky

(Snapchat)

 

He cat walked all the way to the front of the queue oblivious of the stares and whispers. A lady who was queuing for food struggled to take his photo without his knowledge. It felt as if a star was in the building.

Truly, a star was in the building. Okuneye Idris might not be a pop star like Wizkid or a Nollywood actor like OC Ukeje but within the world of likes, retweets and snaps, Okuneye Idris is a star. Why? The answer is in his nickname.

Popularly known as Bobrisky, this cross-dressing man has taken Nigerian Internet by storm with his boastful and hilarious SnapChat account where he gushes about how generous his 'bae' is and advices women not to be with deadbeat partners.

Bobrisky barbie play

The cross dresser is also known as the 'Nigerian Male Barbie'.

(Twitter)

 

Nigerian Internet is smitten with him, especially the women. A lot of women stayed up all night to watch his birthday party on his SnapChat.

With almost 40 thousand followers on Instagram too, Bobrisky is the latest star from Nigeria's growing cross dressing community.

 

Cross-dressing in simple terms can be defined as wearing clothes and accessories normally associated with the opposite sex. Cross-dressing has however been linked to homosexuality and transgender identity.

"The fact that I look and act like a girl does not mean I am gay, I am only doing this to survive, because it is the best I can do. I only think of how to get clients to patronize me" said Bobrisky in an interview with Celeb Police in early September.

ALSO READ: 5 times Bobrisky gave us relationship advice

Bobrisky who sells skin-lightening creams might say he is not gay but his boldness to dress like a woman and put on female makeup has inspired another cross dresser.

Cross dresser, Seun The Diva play

Cross dresser, Seun The Diva

(Instagram/diaryofanaijagirl)

 

On September 11, 2016, Seun The Diva stated that Bobrisky's antics online has made him bold enough to come out. "My name is Seun "The Diva". I am a very good hair stylist and I want to own my own salon in future. This is how I have always been. But the truth is Bobrisky has made people like me bolder to be who we are, no shame" he said.

Cross dresser Nigel Sog play

Cross dresser Nigel Sog

(peacebenwilliams)

 

"PEOPLE like me bolder to be who WE ARE" already points out at an underground community. Before Bobrisky came out with aplomb and style there was Gauri Owolabi and Joshua Agai.

Joshua Agai play

Joshua Agai

(ivorymodels)

 

While Bobrisky is the poster boy of crossdressers in Nigeria, media personality Denrele Edun is the golden child. Known for his eccentric and energetic behaviour, former child star Denrele is also notorious for his cross-dressing ways.

In 2015, he made headlines for crowning himself Nigeria's 'Caitlyn Jenner'. Denrele Edun has appeared in several photos dressing in feminine attire. Just like most public dressers Denrele has not come out to say if he is gay. He prefers to call himself a sexual outlaw.

Denrele Edun play

Denrele Edun

(instagram)

 

"If I was trying to be a lady, I am deceiving my conscience, and living a lie. I am just comfortable with the person I am. I am comfortable with my identity I have built over the years. I am comfortable with the brand that is selling my market" he told Encomium Magazine in 2015.

He, however, admitted that “I was a bit confused about my identity while growing up. Every day, people would ask me if I was a girl or a boy."

linda charly boy play linda charly boy

 

Also. let's not forget the granddaddy of crossdressers, Charly Boy. The old-time celebrity has a female alter-ego named Linda. Charly Boy and Denrele did share a kiss once.

In a country that is deeply conservative and has an anti-gay marriage law in place, why are men coming out dressed as women? There isn't any law that prohibits men from dressing as women and these crossdressers haven't come out to say that they are homosexuals.

The album cover of Young Thug's latest album 'Jefferey' play

The album cover of Young Thug's latest album 'Jefferey'

(300)

 

Globally, gender lines are being blurred. Kanye West has rocked a skirt. On the cover of his latest album Young Thug is wearing a skirt, and Kid Cudi once performed in a crop top.

Jaden Smith play

Jaden Smith rocks a skirt and nothing else

(instagram)

 

There is Jaden Smith who is probably the world's biggest androgynous star. The actor (and son of Will Smith) has rocked feminine clothes so much that he was made the face of Louis Vuitton's womens wear in January 2016. The last time I checked all these foreign stars were straight as arrows.

The average Nigerian might bulk at the increasing crossdressers among us but nothing can be done about freedom of expression. Bobrisky and co. are coming out daily with confidence. Their public existence shows that Nigeria is slowly removing its toga of conservatism.

How do you feel about crossdressing in Nigeria?»

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