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