In my teens I regularly used to spend Saturday afternoons in the bathroom – particularly when my Mum was shopping. I must have been in there for an hour or more, with make-up on. I relished the glorious sensation of applying eye-shadow, lipstick and mascara – and maybe blusher as well – I think much of this was borrowed – but I also bought some of it. Generally I did not have the courage to buy it for myself.
I had a Saturday job in a local department store which gave me access to the store rooms. One day I found a bag of make-up testers that were being thrown out – it was like finding Aladdin’s Cave! This couldn’t have been more exciting if it had been a bag of jewels. I took them home and had a wonderful time over the next few years experimenting with all these wonderful colours of lipstick and eyeshadows. My little bag of goodies gave me huge secret pleasure and allowed me to express myself and learn a little of how I could look. As a girl I was seriously starved from this important phase in my development – learning how to be a woman – making myself beautiful. In these short moments that I was allowed I made up for lost time. I was also an avid observer, noting every detail of make-up that the girls wore and also their footwear. I loved the seventies boots – skin tight patent – white or black. Two of the girls at our church vied for top spot in the glamour stakes with their heavy blue eyeshadow and mascara. Whilst I fancied them as M I wanted to be emulate them as Christine.
So this begs the question of my root sexuality. Well, I have always fancied girls, and never boys, so that makes me firmly heterosexual. But in this fancying I also strongly wanted to imitate and to be like them. I wanted to wear those boots and that make-up – it gave me a shiver inside to think of it – and still does now. That makes me a cross-dresser, transvestite, pervert – or whatever you want to call it. As I write now, as Christine, I feel that it was little me wanting to express myself, to grow up like a little girl, to be attractive, to look pretty and sexy. Being repressed over so many years has perhaps distorted me – although I don’t feel bitter. I know that this is the way of the world – but now is my time.