Frequently Asked Questions

Just Mikki FAQ's, Frequently Asked Questions

I get asked alot of questions by a family, friends and aquintances so I thought i’d put together a Trans Frequently asked Questions (FAQ) which I hope helps others who are seeing to find themselves whatever your going through in your life. Beware some of the questions are quite course and vulgar.

Questions, In order of times asked.

What do I call you?

Mikki or Mickey will do thank you.

Why do it? Why are you doing this?

As I explained on my About Mikki page, crossdressing is something i’ve done throughout my life but its always been surpressed by me. I was always made me feel like this was wrong. Coming out as Mikki has made me realise this is not wrong or seedy as some might think. At pride I had an ephipany moment where I realised I had been pushing something away all my life which was actually me, not part of me. ME!

Do you not feel stupid/awkward?

Why would I?

I’ve thought long and hard, really really hard about this and the answer is always, no? I’ve even had all-night conversations with my best friends about this and the answer is always, no.

Let me clarify a little. You know when you try something for the first time, or you do something which makes your belly flutter. That’s what it feels like every day, every morning (or afternoon 😀 ) I get dressed and even every time I go out, out to work or even out, out.

Why should I feel stupid for wanting to be who I want to be and doing something which ultimately makes me very happy?

I might have made others confused, left them feeling bad, or pushed me away, but ultimately I’ve found happiness I’ve never found anywhere else.

I understand some folk might not “get it” but I’m not doing it for you or them. I am me, I am who I want to be and I dress as I do for me and no one else.

Are you worried it makes others feel awkward?

No, Nope. Not anymore.

I was at first but you know what I am living my life as I want and if you can’t handle that’s your problem. This is who I am.

I didn’t/don’t and never have set out to make others feel uncomfortable. If I did I apologise but I didn’t do it on purpose!

Ultimately, I live my life as I want. Maybe you should as well.

What’s it feel like to have admitted to yourself you’re transgender?

Like a huge weight, I’ve been carrying around since childhood has been lifted off my shoulders. I’ve suppressed this for a very long time but I’ve always loved to dress up and actually admitting this to myself was an epiphany moment.

Since admitting to myself I am massively happier and I really wish I’d had this epiphany moment sooner!

You say, transgender Woman? Why not Woman?

I am not and never will be a genetic woman. I am a transgender person and I am a man who has wanted to be a woman al my life but my genetic makeup will never be female.

Even with medical procedures, I will never be female, just have the outward appearance of being female.

However, I am not a man either.

Does this mean your gay?

Ultimately, my sexuality is none of your business?

Do you suck d**k?

This is always asked with a laugh at the end!
(usually asked by people who think they are funny!)

Look, you’re not funny! Most folk who ask this aren’t funny.

Maybe a chocolate one, or one made of some other food stuff!

See the previous question!

Do you wear women’s clothing/women’s underwear?

Let me quote Eddie Izzard.

“They’re not women’s clothes. They’re my clothes. I bought them.”

Clothing by its very nature is gender specific. Do you class trousers as mens clothes?

How do you wear heels? How do you wear heels for so long?

I don’t know but it’s like I was born to wear them. I’ve worn 3 and 4-inch heels for over 12 hours in the past and even danced in them for hours.

I’ve even walked around Manchester in them for hours then stood in those same heels for hours on the same day/night. If they’re not rubbing my feet I’m quite happy to wear them. I’ve only had one pair hurt my feet and I think that’s because they were new out of the box and despite looking amazing, they were totally inappropriate for where I was.

I did get a lot of comments about these shoes when I was at Pride 2019.

Do you still like/date women?

Yes. I love women.

Do you date men?


What’s it like to wear women’s clothes?

Okay, let me start by saying, I don’t dress up for sexual kicks and they are my clothes!

I do this because it makes me feel good about myself and more importantly, it feels right to me.

It’s hard to explain without writing war and peace but since an early age, I’ve rejected my sexuality and suppressed who I really am. I like to dress as a woman, behave like a woman and be with other women, be they women or men dressed as women. Actually, I could also add, I am a woman living in a man’s body.

Again it’s hard to explain without writing war and peace. I am Transgender.

I do love the theatre, the majesty of getting dressed up, even day to day. The preparation, the makeup, the dressing, and ultimately the view of myself once the transformation is complete.

Ultimately, if you’re really interested then maybe you need to try it for yourself and get dressed up and come out around Manchester with my friends and I.

Do you shave your legs? Do you have to shave your legs?

Yes, but not as much since being on hormones.

I mostly wear skirts and dresses so nice legs maketh the outfit.

I’ve been told by lots of people I have great legs so I like to show them off and yes, they do go all the way up.

I have to admit that the first time I fully shaved my legs it felt really weird especially when I wore jeans the day after. It’s like your leg hair acts as an insulator between your legs and the fabric. The process of shaving is arduous though, especially when you’re as hairy as me. I have them waxed and this does give a much better finish and lasts longer but I found it also made my legs red the day after but after a few times this has got better.

After many times of shaving them, it doesn’t feel strange anymore. I’d say that if I let my hair grow too long it begins to feel weird.

What reaction did you get from your parents when you told them?

This was a difficult one as how do you come “out” to your parents?

I love my parents, my mum more so now my dad has passed away and I told my mum several times, but I think she was like “la la la la, I’m not listening”.

My dad on the other hand was like “Yeah, okay”.

They are quite liberal but also quite conservative. So, after many times of telling my mum and getting nowhere, I got dressed up and I went around to their house fully glammed up. Only then did they both have that lightbulb moment.

I saw my dad first and his reaction was “Wow, wow. You look bloody amazing!” He put his arms around me and hugged me and said “I love you son” then squeezed my bottom. That’s my dad all over. Loved the old bastard and yes he was my best friend!

My mum at first was a bit taken aback and her initial comment was “You look lovely darling but you’re still my son” She took a few hours to come to terms with who was sitting in front of her and she said, “it’s like looking at your sister but you will always be my son”. Bless!

She did cry a little though.

What reaction did you get from your friends when you told them?

@michellevisage, don't call transgender people mentally ill if you believe a man in the clouds loves you unconditionally but under certain conditions.By enlarge my friends have been bloody amazing and most have welcomed Mikki with open arms and coming out has shown me who my true friends really are. I really mean that!

I’ve sat with a large group of friends dressed as Mikki many times now and everyone is cool. Most of my friends are accepting of Mikki and being Mikki has brought me closer to some of my friends than I’ve ever been in our entire lives.

I’ve been friends with some of them for most of my life and all have been accepting of Mikki. Some of the comments are “We wouldn’t care if you wanted to dress as a cream bun. We still love you.”

What has surprised me is my female friends, who’ve been absolutely amazing and we’ve discussed being Mikki, being trans, and how I’ve coped with telling them what I told them, and then they have given me dressing, makeup tips, and even tips I’m not quite ready to use yet!

One of my female friends has even given me a load of her clothes as she’s recently gone from a size 22 to a size 14. So as I come down in size I still have a wardrobe.

I’ve only had one negative reaction and that was from a friend who’s deeply religious. Their reaction was very negative and almost certainly linked to their views on homosexuality.

Despite being friends for over 40 years we aren’t as close as we once were. The reaction was along the lines of “You dress as a woman so you must be gay. Homosexuality is wrong in the eyes of God”.

I didn’t expect this reaction from him, especially after knowing them for so long, but I guess a belief in the Good Lord Almighty and the baby Jebus is greater than a kinship with a close friend.

“thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”,

I am sad but respect their beliefs. I don’t love my friend any less.

Note: Since I wrote this my friend and I have talked at length and things are a bit better as time was needed to digest and understand my situation and we have discussed things a lot. Now I am more full time I’ve house-called several times and we’ve sat and talked lots.

Surely you’re doing this to piss someone off or you’re angry at someone, maybe yourself?

What? Really?

Well, I keep getting asked this so, people must think I’ve got an axe to grind!

But, seriously!

Do you think I would go to all this trouble and expense JUST to piss someone or myself off?

Who is this mythical someone, and why do you think I would want to piss them off in this way?

Do you seriously think I woke up one morning and went “Right! I’m going to piss off XYZ by changing my life so much that it affects every aspect of my life”

If I wanted to piss someone off surely there are easier ways to do it?

Like telling them to “piss off”?

Do you want to be a woman full time?

Yes! I have changed this from undecided.

I have discussed this with my counselor, and she has suggested I would need to live for a period as a woman. There were lifestyle decisions I needed to address but the more time I have spent as Mikki the more I didn’t want to be anyone else, as this is me.

I was hesitant to “go all the way” as lifestyle decisions needed to be made, but I’ve made these recently and there has been nothing detrimental.

I also needed to get it straight in my head that I wanted this more and more because it’s truly who I am and happy to be. I have spent every day since October 2019 being Mikki. The only time I haven’t is when I have either been ill or working where my security clearance demands I am not Mikki. Which as of Jun 2021 is no longer a problem.

Will I go for surgery? At this moment I’m 99% sure I will, I have started down the road with my GP and await an appointment with the gender clinic soon.

Oh! how I laughed when I read the last bit of that sentence back!

Have you changed your name?

Yes, Deed Poll done, driving license changed, bank changed and passport has been sent.

What effect has it had on your relationship?

Oh, not good. For the sake of others, I’ll say no more. I’ve had quite a few relationships as Mikki but at present, I am single by choice. No, let’s correct that, I’m bloody happy to be single and not looking for anyone either.

Where do you buy your clothes?

Online mainly. I know what size I am so, eBay is a good marketplace for me being a size 18/20 16/18.

I also use a few online retailers as their sizes are consistent and I have a specific type of dress I like.

I love 1950’s style and Black Butterfly are really nice clothes, both in quality and style. Their website is: (Opens in new window) and for more modern larger size dresses I use YoursClothing and I could spend a lot of money on their site if I’m not careful (just check the sizes when ordering as I’ve bought size 22 dresses off them which are very big.

If something doesn’t fit I have an amazing friend who can do things with a sewing machine you wouldn’t believe. Like stitching Angel Wings to a Lace dress for an evening out in Liverpool. Now that was a fun night as I was the “Fairy Drag Mother”.

Since I have dropped to 16 stone I can go buy more clothes off the peg than before and Next (they have some great workwear), Roman, Debenhams and John Lewis have some amazing work dresses and skirts.

Recently discovered Collectif and they have some absolutely amazing dresses in lots of sizes, plus they do retro dresses as well. So, Mikki’s shopping heaven.

Where do you buy your shoes?

Fortunately, I have small feet for someone who’s 5’11 and take a size 8/8.5, Euro 42-ish, so this is not a problem to get shoes that fit.

I’ve compiled my own conversion male to female size chart as initially, I found sizes confusing, when I’ve got 5 minutes I’ll put this online.

There are particular brands I can’t buy but love the style of brands such as Ruby Shoo‘s but there are plenty of makers who make similar styles. Ruby Choo’s do some shoes in size 9 as many styles end at a size 8. Hey, Ruby Shoo’s make more size 9’s so, I can wear them.

I buy my everyday heels from Debenhams (see image right) and love these shoes. Stylish, a decent size heel and comfy. I went to Blackpool in November and walked from south pier to north pier, and back, and my feet were fine.

There is as an amazing Cobbler in Congleton, Congleton Shoe Repairs who fixes my shoes on a regular basis.

What kind of reaction do you get when you go out?

Overall the reaction I’ve had has been incredibly positive and on many a night out I am the center of attention or end up in lots of random conversations with lots of lovely people.

I spend a lot of my time in Central Manchester and talk to everyone and on one weekend it took me over an hour and forty minutes to walk from one end of Canal Street to the other, much to the annoyance of my waiting friends.

Most of my time I am gendered as my chosen sex and the longer I am on hormones the less I get misgendered.

I’ve only had one negative reaction and this was when I first started going out and this guy was pissed. He was dismissed instantly which annoyed him even more. I won’t tolerate anyone drunk anymore.

I was with a group of friends that day and they stepped in and as a group, we fired him off. He was being very abusive verbally, mainly because he’d been rebuked and saying things he probably wouldn’t have said had he not been drunk.

I have seen him since as he does come to my local pub occasionally and he has apologised profusely.

No excuse but I really hate drunks these days!

How is this negatively impacting your life?

Because of the events since August 2019, I have seriously rethought my whole life recently.

I have embraced Mikki and been open and honest with myself and others, as to who I actually am and Yes, I did wonder many times “do I put Mikki back in the box then lie to myself for the rest of my life”?

This was a thought that now chills me to the bone!

I chose to embrace Mikki and not lie to myself anymore. Mainly for my own mental health. This has led to the demise of a relationship or two and to a strained relationship with a close long-time friend.

I don’t dwell on negative things anymore. It’s part of the new me and I generally dismiss negative feelings because they negatively affect my mental state. Not good sometimes for those around me but for my own sanity I don’t want to deal with negative shit. I know sometimes I have to but I hate dealing with it. Especially from other people! Because of this I speak my mind a lot more and have a greater tendency to tell people to “Fuck off” than ever before.

I am massively more confident as well and walk tall. I have been told by many people over the past year that I seem to be massively more confident and positive with life.

Some folk though have said, I’ve lied to them! Yes, I might have done in the past, but not anymore. Some of the very same people don’t like me being honest.

You want the truth, you can’t handle the truth!

Positive is my new mantra and negative feelings and thoughts make me think, “Why? What did I do or didn’t do? If it’s something which has been projected on me by someone else, then “fuck off!” I don’t need your negativity!

Surely you lied, to me, and to others to hide this?

Pretty sure I didn’t, and don’t call me Shirley!

I was economical with the truth because I feared the reprocussions of telling you something private. Something which in some cases when I told you it was detremental! Oh, the irony!

I told you and you thought only of yourselves and then chose to push me away.

I can’t deal with this, get out of my life!

Well all those who couldn’t handle it, guess what?

I am sad I’ve lost you in my life but I am much happier for finding me, much happier in myself, and to be frank, I don’t need you in my life.

Before folk start pointing the lie finger perhaps they should ask, “What skeletons do I have in my closet and should I tell folk about them?”

Probably not eh?

How is this positively impacted your life?

It’s definitely made me more open and honest about myself to myself and to others. I am happier as a person which is something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by friends, family, and customers. A long-time customer asked me a few weeks ago, “What’s happened in your life recently as you’re very happy and cheery these days?”

It’s also made me massively more confident in myself which I suppose is also to do with happiness and being happy with who is am. I’ve also lost weight, nearly 4 stone (24kg), since August 2019. Being Mikki means I tend to look after myself much better. I even go out jogging now, well once or twice a month.

I am honestly much, much, happier with my life since coming out as Mikki and I think it has made me a better person.

A long-time friend asked me recently, “Are you on drugs? Have you been on the happy pills?”

Have you had any bad reactions while you’ve been out as Mikki?

I’ve had one woman in Manchester who accosted me as “hey weirdo!”, she got called a “Hag!”. Then on a night out, one drunk male tried being very touchy-feely but ended up looking stupid as his touching ended up with him being ejected from the club.

I also had someone decide it would be a good idea to shout abuse from his car as he sat next to me at traffic lights. Unfortunately for him, I have cameras in my car because of the mileage I do and the files from that day were handed to the Police. I won’t say what was said but they were very, very abusive and I very nearly rammed my car into his because of how angry it made me. The police had words with him about the “incident”

The last issue I had was with a man in Manchester who despite being covered in tattoo’s thought it was a good idea to tell me “You shouldn’t be dressed like that”. Being the diplomatic sort I stood over him and asked him

“What would you say if I told you that tattoos were stupid and you can’t have any?”
Well, I’d tell you to fuck off.
“And why would you do that?”
Well, their part of my identity, who I am.
“Well love, these clothes are part of my identity and who I am. So FUCK OFF”

His mates all laughed at him as I walked off. Tosser!

What kind of reaction do you get from women?

You’d be surprised at how many of the women I’ve met or have known for years have reacted.

I get lots of comments from women when out on the town from

“Love your dress”,
“Wow, where did you get that dress?”,
“Love your hair”,
“Those shoes, Oh! My! God! Can I have your shoes?” (I’ve been asked this quite a lot)
“Who does your makeup?”,
“You look amazing”,
and many more…

I met my first Mikki girlfriend on a night out in Manchester and she approached me and said “Hi, Can I just say, you look absolutely fantastic. Would you think me weird if I asked you for a hug and a dance?” No, dear, I wouldn’t. She then hugged me for what seemed like forever, but I welcomed every millisecond of it. I still get mega hugs from her when I see her even now we’re just friends.

One of my best mates actually said “I look forward to coming around to your house and walking in to find you stood in the kitchen looking fab and cooking tea. I’d quite happily sit and let you serve me food as you look fabulous”

She’s another one who can’t believe how good I look dressed up and on many occasions has sound, “Loving the look”, or “You look fabulous mate”

What kind of reaction do you get from men?

Hmmm. Okay, let’s be open and honest about this.

In my working life, and bear in mind I work in schools, prisons, government buildings, and corporate buildings. In these environments I have zero problems.

Even working on a building site over the past few months has surprised me and the guys I’ve worked with have been great.

On nights out, however…..

Some, sorry MOST straight men I meet on a personal level are arseholes and I wonder why women put up with men at all.

I can also understand why some women push men away at every available opportunity.

The worst experience was in the New Albion in Manchester. When passing a slightly drunk man going into the pub, he goosed me. I ignored it. As we entered the pub, he did it again and it hurt. So, I turned around and pushed him against the wall and shoved my knee into his groin, and said “Do that again, to me or anyone else and I’ll damage you for life. Capiche?” I’m 6 foot 4 in heels and not a small girl, he was about 5’2. He nodded so I let go of him and walked away.

The bouncers approached me a few seconds later and asked me if there was a problem. So, I told them what had happened. The bouncers then ejected the man from the pub.

Generally, though most men keep quiet around me, or because of where I go on nights out they approach me more for a chat than anything else. One of the reasons I like the Village in Manchester.

I do not have any problems with 99% of gay men.

One of my long-time friends is 6 foot 5 and built like a brick shit house and he really struggles to communicate with Mikki as he can’t get his head around it. Last time I saw him however he is starting to come round and open up.

I’ve also met some really nice gay men in the last 6 months. If they’re interested in dressing up, then some say “I wish I had the balls to dress up” or “you look, lovely babes”. If anyone, male or female is nice to me I am nice back.

Isn’t that how life works? Just be nice, everyone.

I recently had a young man in his early 20’s come up to me and ask for a hug because I reminded him of his sadly departed mum. At first, I thought he was having me on but then he got his mobile out and showed me some pictures of him and his mum and I do look like her.

It made me cry inside as I hugged him, and he actually cried a lot as I held him. He thanked me and walked away in haste, as he said he was embarrassed. I did speak to him again later when he bought me a drink but it still makes me well up a little inside when I think of that.

I’ve met him quite a few times since and we’ve chatted a lot over a few drinks, he always gets a hug and a kiss when I see him.

What do you do with your bits when you go out dressed as Mikki?

I tend to choose outfits that hide my bits as best as possible, but it has been known for me to tuck them out of the way. Spherical objects can be pushed up inside and other bits are then squashed down.

Tight underwear helps with this but sometimes it’s very uncomfortable and impractical.

Shall I pray for your soul?


Why does it need praying for?

Why do you think it needs praying for?

My answer to this is “Do what you like love, but praying to your imaginary friend in the clouds won’t change me.”

The issue most religious people have is not my issue and if you feel the need to pray to your God to save my soul then any issue is within your psyche, not mine. I was always taught the bible was about stories of life, loving thy neighbour, and stories like that. So you don’t love thy neighbour if he/she is different to you then?

Oh Yes. That’s right. Love thy neighbour is only relevant if thy neighbour ticks all your little religious boxes.

I’ve learned this living in a religious village over the past 2 years where the “local religious folk” have said some very rude, disturbing and transphobic/homophobic things!

“Because I choose to dress the opposite of the sex I was designated at birth, this doesn’t make me a bad person.
Just like going to church and praying to your God, doesn’t make you a good person”

I’m happy as Mikki, be happy that I’m happy, and not worry about saving someone who doesn’t want or require the need to be saved!

Would you like to get married?

To you? Or in general?

I was married before for nearly 20 years and I did ask another lovely lady to marry me but alas not to be!.

If I met the right person, yes, I would but I’m not in any rush as the right person would have to accept me for what I am, accept me as Mikki, and accept, and be a part of my lifestyle.

If I found someone like this then in time I would ask them to marry me or vice versa.

I’m thinking about doing this what advice can you give me?

I am not a councillor, but I will impart my knowledge if I can.

The most important thing I will say is “be honest with yourself”.

You are the most important person in your life.”

I know some like to think their partners or their kids are, but if you are not happy with yourself then how can you truly be happy being with someone else?

It’s taken me nearly 50 years to work that out for myself!

It’s been a long road for me which started a long time ago but I have always suppressed it, especially to friends and family. If you are a crossdresser or feel you may be trans then first off seek information. As much information as you can get.

If you’re reading this then you’re already doing that then seek out an LGBT councillor and speak to them.

You’ll probably have to pay for this BUT it will be well worth it.

I’ve been doing this and it’s been so well worth the money.

My councillor has gone through what I am going through and her advice is invaluable. She has been through negative and positive aspects of trans life.

I’ve had a hard time over the past 12 months (2019) and have been to three different therapists.

The first took me so far down the road, the second took me a lot further and helped me to make sense of a lot of things that had happened/were happening and helped me find peace with myself. The third helped me to find out what I really am, what I really want to be and to find inner peace with Mikki.

I know it’s massively hard to hide something such as your inner opposite woman or man as they do affect changes in you mentally when you dress up. It’s not just a mental thing, it’s an emotional thing as well. You are emotively seeking out being another version of yourself.

To flip flop between physically different people mentally and emotionally is difficult to process because the two lives you lead do interact with each other, inside you and outside in your life.

Everyone’s journey is different and a trained councillor can help talk you through your journey.

Where do you go out?

Mainly in the Gay Village on Canal Street in Manchester or the village in Leeds on Lower Briggate.

Both are really friendly places to visit and most of the clubs have events on 7 days a week.

My favorite places are New York, New York, Centre Stage, Bar Pop and On Bar in Manchester, and The Viaduct Show bar in Leeds but investigate wisely as some bars in the village aren’t as trans-friendly as others.

I love, On Bar, because the hosts and bar staff are super friendly and I’ve yet to experience any issues here.

Just remember if you are visiting the village lots of the clubs don’t get going until about 2-3 am.

Who does your makeup?

Mainly me but if I have a special night out, I employ a professional makeup artist. Paul Heaton of Born UK.

I’ve known Paul for over 15 years and trust him to implicitly, not just with my makeup. He is an amazing person and a really really good makeup artist, and his prices aren’t bad either. Well, the man has to make a living.

Have a look at his website as it’s also full of makeup tips.

If you’re transitioning or want to know more about makeup, then might I suggest Paul’s makeup lessons. It’s well worth the money and he guides you through products, preparation, application, etc.

It’s a good starting base if you haven’t got a bloody clue as I once did. He also sends you a “user guide” to recap the lesson for you. Which products and techniques he used during the lesson, as a recap. So you don’t have to remember all the stuff he tells you in the lesson.

All I’ll say is every time I’ve had my makeup done by Paul, it’s been like Mikki 2.0 instead of Mikki 1.5 which is how I sometimes think I look when I do my own makeup. I’m getting better and also quicker as it used to take me hours.

Ironically, the picture on the right is after I’d had my makeup done by Vic Marley and I look fantastic.

Now you are embracing your identity and becoming part of our wonderful LGBTQ+ family. What will you bring to the LGBTQ+ people in your local community?

My advice and a friendly face willing to listen and talk.

When I first came out, I really struggled to find my way to where I wanted to be, mainly because I didn’t know where this mystical place “wanted to be” was.

If I’d had had someone to talk to who had the experience of transitioning it would have possibly made things easier. I’d like to make sure others on the same path can talk to me. I might not be able to answer your questions but sometimes a listening ear is enough.

While we’re dealing with Coronavirus I am also trying to be active online and on Facebook groups.

Do you want children?

I used to think, yes. but these days I’m always thinking, “Oh, Hell no!”

I had a dog until July 2022, and that was too much responsibility sometimes plus I’m not a spring chicken anymore.

How do you think being ‘out’ at work has been for you?

It’s been easy for me in one respect, as I’m the boss of my own company.

I am sure much easier than for someone who is gainfully employed, but I know that coming out to nearly 300 customers hasn’t been easy. It’s not been a problem, but the work involved in telling everyone has been hard and time-consuming.

Transitioning is not something you tell people in an email or over the phone as this is very impersonal.

Especially when I consider many of my clients as friends as I’ve known, and trusted for many years.

I’ll say many employers are very trans-friendly and if you are good at your job and your transition doesn’t affect this too much I think employers are very open to this.

On that note, what would you say to an employer about supporting a Trans person at work?

As an employer I’d say to other employers that they need to look past the appearance and sexuality of anyone they employ or are looking to employ.

Employ the best person for the job and don’t compromise because of someone’s sexuality or even how you think your customers might perceive that person. If you already employ someone who’s LGBTQ+ then if they were an asset before then they are more than likely going to be an asset now.

I know trans people who work in all industries, who are major assets to their employers. This might be because of their journey’s they have an altered perspective on life. This might be because they are happier in their lives and jobs or they have a different view on life.

Sadly, I also know many people who live double lives because they fear for their jobs if they come out. I do not think as a society we have total equality or lack of prejudice yet.

Do you have an LGBTQ+ person you follow on social media you would suggest others follow – celebrity/famous or not?

I did go through a period of following a few trans celebrities, but I now follow people who have the same life experiences or help ethos as myself. I have met some amazing people on Instagram and Facebook and seek others if you’d like to follow me @mikkitiamo on Instagram and /mikkitiamo on Facebook.

A few people I would follow in the LGBTQ+ community are @alisonstjohn, @michellevisage, @owenwynevans

What is the biggest misconception when someone meets you?

So, you dress up in women’s clothes? Are you gay? Is it a fetish?

First off let me quote Eddie Izzard. “They’re not “women’s” clothes, they’re my clothes. I’ve bought them”.

I dress in my own clothes and these are what I’ve chosen.

Secondly, if people ask me “am I gay?” because of how I dress then they need to define the context of how they’re using the word, gay! I have been asked this a lot!

“So, you dress up?”

No, I dress as my chosen gender.

“Is it a sexual thing then?”
No, never has been.

“Is this a fetish?”
What? no!

“What do you wear at home?”
My clothes! What do you wear?

Do you think LGBTQ+ equality is in practice currently in Greater Manchester?

Most of what I see is equality in the town center but the further you go from the city center the less inclusive things become.

My biggest fear is using the toilets in some places as I’ve had a few adverse reactions outside the city when using either restroom.

Less so recently with face masks and because I’ve dyed my hair pink.

I work most days in Macclesfield and I have to say the LGBTQ+ community in the town has been ace, I also work some days in Stoke and I have to say, big thumbs down!

How have clothing shops treated you?

Most of the shops I frequent in Manchester and Leeds are very positive and the staff are genuinely happy to help and because of this I find my wardrobe has not only expanded but also has a greater range of styles than before.

I used to buy everything online because I was a size 24 and very few high street shops cater for this size.

Since I came out, I’ve lost over 4 stone and am now a size 16, meaning I can now buy clothes from high street stores.

One of the few positives from lockdown has been wearing a mask. This gives everyone certain anonymity and because of this shop staff have treated me slightly differently and I rarely get misgendered while wearing a mask.

I buy 90% of my clothes from shops such as Next, Debenhams, M&S, and Roman.

Pre-lockdown, a few shops had been a bit awkward, especially when I asked to try items on.

Is there a person – dead or alive – you would like to see you right now as you are today and have a chat with ? **

My dad.

I came out to my parents in September 2019 and my dad just accepted me and he said: “I love you whoever you are or want to be and I’ll support you in whatever direction you take in life”.

Shortly after he was diagnosed with untreatable lung and brain cancer and died in March 2020 after a very short illness.

My dad was a great supporter of me in my life and I’d love just to sit down one last time and tell him how much I love him and how much his influence has helped me in my life.

I really miss him, and I’d love for him to see just what a beautiful butterfly I’ve turned into and how much happier, stronger and more confident I have become as Mikki.

This “epiphany moment” tell me more?

If this reads like utter gibberish then let me know as it’s written straight out.

Before Manchester Pride 2019 I had built myself up to, “I am going to Pride dressed up”.

At pride I was determined to go out for the evening dressed up, I almost didn’t make it but for the person, I was with. And I thank her for that for eternity.

At pride my confidence was massively boosted by going in Revolutions on Portland street and first, no one batted an eyelid when I walked in, believe me when I say this was a huge relief as I was massively nervous. Again, the company I was with helped get me a little drunk so I was more relaxed when we left. The staff were/are great in there as well and have been on subsequent visits.

Perhaps in hindsight, the confidence might have been boosted a bit too much as I walked into the village, like a Diva and blew the DJ outside the New Union pub, a kiss!

A fact that didn’t go unnoticed by the person that I was with and I think this set the tone for the rest of the evening. I don’t know what came over me but I’m not sorry I did it.

As we walked through the village I was stopped on numerous occasions, by men and women alike. These people passed comment on my dress, my hair, and my shoes especially. Again I did feel sorry for the person I was with but at the same time, was assured she was okay.

However, I was too busy having my epiphany moment.

As we walked around the village more and more people wanted to talk to me, I found this fascinating and at one point I was sitting in Sackville Steet Gardens waiting for my partner to go to the toilets, for which there was a huge queue. I was sat there waiting, I had about half a dozen women approach me and comment on my attire.

By this time my confidence was through the roof and I felt like I was floating on air.

All through the evening, even when we were sat down, I had people come up to me and want to talk to me, all night. As an effeminate male, this was like being hit in the face with a big dose of “What the fuck just happened”. I’ve had this on nearly every single night that I’ve been out since. I’m not ugly, I know I have long hair, but never in my life have I had that many people, want to talk to me, ever.

Now, my epiphany moment wasn’t that I was the center of attention. No, my epiphany moment was that this felt so so so very right. Like I’d been avoiding doing this all my life. I cannot tell you the utter joy I felt on that evening because it was overwhelming. I think when we got back to the hotel room I passed out as soon as I lay down on the bed.

Parts of that evening I really regret but the overall joy that I felt that evening make me really sit up and take a look at myself, who I am, and what I really am.

In the following weeks, I went to see a new therapist, yep! I’m a bit mental folks, and he helped me make sense of what was going on in my mind. He didn’t offer any possible scenario or say you are this but we did talk at length about my upbringing, things like dressing up, and what’s happened in my life. We also talked in length about the events of the 24th of August 2019, along with subsequent events with nights out around Manchester, Blackpool, and Liverpool.

The main part of my epiphany moment is that I am now being honest with myself. I cannot suppress this anymore I don’t want to suppress this anymore I feel the happiest I’ve ever been in my life and I enjoy being Mikki and spending time with Mikki. I’ve dealt with this on a real mental level and thought about, studied, and cried about what happened then and what’s happened since but I always look forward to the future now and don’t look to the past as much as I once did. After all, I’m not going that way in my life.

Since the pride weekend I have asked myself lots and lots of times, “Why does this feel so right?” It’s not weird, it’s not sexual, I’m not doing it to score browny points or be more popular. If anything those are probably things you don’t want to be doing. However, it feels right!

Once I’d admitted this was me, this was who I am, I’d finally come out to myself.

I’d say this was like a huge weight had been lifted off me. The initial moment at Pride I can actually pinpoint it as the moment I stepped out of the hotel. That exact moment. The moment my private little secret became very public and a huge wave of relief and also confidence washed over me.

Subsequent moments of coming out have been every time I’ve told friends, family, and clients. It’s like a little bit more doubt is removed from my mind.

I still have the things I am still dealing with but I enjoy being Mikki, lots.

And if being Mikki means that I can never be with anybody else, then I don’t care I would rather be alone and be Mikki than have to lie to myself ever again, suppress myself once more, and be unhappy!

I’ve known you for years and recently you seem so confident and carefree.

Yes, I care more about me and started caring more about myself than anyone else.

In my opinion….

I hate it when people say this to me.

Yes, I am opinionated but I don’t jump up and down shouting mine.

“Opinions are like arseholes. Everyones got one but you shouldn’t go waving it about in public”. Mikki Tiamo

You’re embarrassing me, your family and/or yourself.

How? By living my life as I want? Because how I choose to live my life is different to yours? Because you think someone might point a finger at you because of how I live?

How? Define why? And define why I should give a shit?

I just don’t understand the question here.

Are you saying this because you think I’m embarrassing you?

Yes. Not interested in arguing you over this point.

More to follow my loves and keep asking the questions.