(excerpts from the interview) - 'Alan, the cross dresser' 

 

How do they kidnap you? 

 

Off the street.

 

How old were you?

 

Eight. I was a baby, a child. They tied me to a bed at night. Many men raped me, hundreds, hundreds, hundreds.

 

Hundreds?

 

Yeah!  Because they had me for long time. More than two years.

 

Why do you think we find difficult to express ourselves without masks?

 

Some people may feel that they have to put on a mask, to be themselves.  I was talking with a guy in the club I go to, I could see that he was a little reticent, finding it hard to be himself. I just sat next to him and we had a beautiful conversation and I said ‘Listen, you have got to be yourself’. 

 

He said ‘I find hard to be myself’. I said ‘Well you’ve got to start looking at yourself, and find out who you are. Until you can find out who you are, you’re not going to be able to be yourself. Because you don’t know how to be, or who to be. I found myself, I know who to be.'

 

How would you imagine a perfect Society?

 

A perfect society- no bigots, not judging, people accepting people for who they are.

As I was saying before, a lot of women try to change a man, I am talking about my personal experience of course. I live in an area which is predominantly Muslim. I am an Englishman, and I’m a proud Englishman. When England was in the World Cup, I had the English flag draped over my balcony. I’m proud to be an English man, and they are proud to be who they are. I accept them for who they are.

 

I live in a multicultural city, and if we have to get on we have got to accept each other. They come from a different culture. We can misunderstand each other.

 

They are entitled to live the way they are. This is a free country, just the same as I am entitled to be the way I am. And how do we get on? I talk to people across the street, and they talk to me.  I pass people in the street and say good morning.

 

 

Are you Christian?

 

I am Christian, I read my Bible, I pray. If other people say, because of that verse I read you before in Deuteronomy, you are wrong.  Well, if I feel so good being wrong, that’s between me and God. It’s not for them to tell me, because I am happy within myself. Not only I am happy, I am also comfortable, I am not hiding anything from anyone.

I am leading my life, I am not saying to my neighbor next door ‘Hey Mick, come in and try a dress on’, I don’t say that. I accept him for who he is, for what he is. He is not always a very nice person, but hey you know?

 

 

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Loredana Denicola Social Documentary Photographer | Fine Art Artist | London & Italy

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