Rafael, 34 years old, has been a crossdresser for over 28 years, even when he still didn’t know the reason for his desire to dress up as a girl: “I started to dress up at the age of seven. The word came only later,” he says. He has impersonated Camila Briz for more than 17 years. The beginning was at home, picking up shoes from the sisters or trying on a pair of tights. Suddenly, the game turned into a passion.
During his adolescence, Rafael still didn’t know what he would like, as he identified with the masculine gender, but he was fascinated by dressing as a girl. Internet searches on the terms drag queen or transvestite didn’t fit what Rafael wanted to live. “When I discovered the word crossdressing, I identified with it,” he recalls.
At the age of 16, Rafael started creating characters, and Camila was soon born : “Briz is a surname I invented. The name Camila made me feel like a powerful woman,” he says.
The lifestyle behind the crossdressing
Rafael says that, on a daily basis, he uses neutral colors. In general, he is more discreet. Married and with children, he does not hide Camila’s existence from his wife, but she chose not to experience this experience with her partner. “On my A side, I identify as straight, but when I’m Camila, I’m bisexual, and that’s when I want to be with a man and a woman,” he reveals.
Some challenges are part of the routine. The main one, he recalls, was having the courage to walk into a women’s clothing store, like Rafael, and try something on. “In the beginning it was challenging, but today I go in, try on and say that the clothes and shoes are for me”, he shares.
Also, having a dividing line between side “A” and side “B” can cause some confusion. “Before, it was more separate. He put on the wig and it was Camila. But these days, I’ve been wearing Camila’s clothes a lot more. I believe today is more fluid,” he reveals.
Finally, for people who want to try crossdressing, Rafael believes that this is the best time, as society is more receptive. “In that body, you can do anything. Everyone should try it, it’s the most amazing thing there is,” he concludes.