Cross-Dressing: Parents raise concerns on growing trend

“You know Bobrisky has really made a lot of money from this whole cross-dressing thing, that is why others, including James Brown decided to join the train."

Cross-dressing: parents raise concerns on growing trend

By Joshua Olomu

Some parents and guardians in the FCT have decried the growing trend of cross-dressing among youths and called for measures to curb it.

They spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

According to them, the call becomes imperative following the level of popularity and acceptance cross-dressers are gaining from youths, with many following them as fans.

They lamented that asides the  recently convicted Idris Okunneye, popularly  known as Bobrisky, the self-acclaimed ‘Mummy of Lagos’, there were other emerging cross-dressers with  huge followers.

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They said such popular cross-dressers  include  Jay Boogie, who was born Daniel  Nsikan, James Brown, whose baptismal name is James Obialor , ‘Miss Sahhar’ and Noni Salma, among  many others.

According to the parents, the “ Bobrisky menace”   is an epidemic that requires punitive measures to   effectively check  it , in addition to a comprehensive  value-re-orientation among young Nigerians.

Mrs Uche Daniels, a school principal said although Bobrisky was convicted for abuse of the Naira note, his statement of being “a social media influencer with over five million followers,” called for concern.

“Imagine Bobrisky having over five million followers on social media, ofcourse that is a huge number, comprising our children who are gradually being drifted towards accepting and following  a wrong lifestyle.

“He said before the court that he was a social media influencer, but the question should be on the whether the influence is positive or negative on society and our moral orientations.

“Consider how many of the number are children whose sexual orientations have changed as a result of his influence and how many upcoming ‘Bobriskys’ he has raised?

“Our moral fabric is tearing apart and the future has to be rescued, we must cry out urgently,” she said.

Mrs Zainab Ododo, a parent and culture enthusiast said, “I travelled for an event to a part of the country recently and what I saw made me wept.

“You need to see a group of young boys dressed and wore women hair and makeup without any iota of shame, then I wondered if they were Nigerians.

“How did we get here, and this is why I feel the government and the law enforcement agencies should come in against this identity crisis menace.

“Many parents are in pain today as a result of Bobrisky’s and his likes’ activities, and we must save ourselves off this drift from morality and godliness.

Also, a legal practitioner, who decided to be identified as Mr Micheal said: “I have heard arguments that Bobrisky and other cross-dressers have the right to be who they want to be.

“But I have repeatedly asked the advocates of such fundamental human rights if they would allow a cross-dresser to enter the same female toilet with their wives  because he dressed like a woman.

“Of course, the answer has always been an emphatic no, and that is why we must do something now stop every  upcoming ‘Bobrisky’, if not an era of confusion awaits us in the nearest future.”

“As Africans, our sexual orientation is in two folds; a child is either a male or a female; boy or girl and man or woman.

“I strongly believe that our present situation stems from abandoning everything that makes us unique as a people and embracing practices that are alien to our values.”

A cleric, Rev.Sam Davidson said: “The Holy Books (Bible and Quran) recognise  only male and female sexes and  explicitly condemn imitating the appearance of the opposite gender.

“I understand that the Police recently said that there is no provision in the law suggesting that cross-dressing in Nigeria is a crime, but something has to be done to save our children.”

However, some youths who spoke with NAN expressed divergent views and appeared unperturbed about the concerns of the parents and guardians.

Some said cross-dressing among young people was just a means to gain popularity and attract teeming followers on social media for monetary gains, adding that those involved were not transgender.

A skit maker, Sammy Dan, said: “I think those involved are just ‘catching cruise’ and to attract followers on social media to make money, so there is nothing to worry about.

“You know Bobrisky has really made a lot of money from this whole cross-dressing thing, that is why others, including James Brown decided to join the train.

“The country is hard and there is no job for guys, so everyone want to ‘blow’ by any means oh.”

Miss Esther Danladi,a corps member, said : “ My worry  is about  the way  cross-dressing trend is going and very soon, it  may become the norm.

“There are two genders created by God; male and female, and these are identified with how will dress, any alteration is ungodly and is  morally wrong.

“We must do everything possible to stop this bad trend, if not, our collective future will be  in danger.”

NAN recalls that a Bill seeking to prohibit cross-dressing in Nigeria failed to pass second reading at the House of Representatives in December 2022.

The legislation was titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Amend Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, 2013 to Prohibit Cross Dressing; and for Related Matters (HB.1938).

Those who opposed the bill were of the  opinion that a  country like Nigeria with cultural, religious and ideological diversity, should be more tolerant and accommodating of people who choose to express themselves differently.