‘My true self has finally been released’

Guardian.co.uk – The Guardian

I was born Maurice David Pepper on 16 January 1944 and grew up in London’s West End. My parents were what you might call ordinary working class; my father was an alterations tailor and we lived in a flat off Tottenham Court Road. I was an only child, but it was a happy childhood. Every Sunday we’d go to the cinema and because we didn’t have a garden my mother would take me to the swings in Regent’s Park.

Then, when I was five, I found one of my mother’s bras. I couldn’t get over the way it felt; the texture of it. I knew it was something I wanted to wear. From that point on I became obsessed with women’s clothes. When I was 12, my mother caught me in one of her dresses. She was surprised and told me to take it off. We never discussed it again; it was just one of those embarrassing moments.