What is your name and what is your background?
My name is Erika Ridley and i come from
a stable family background.
Is your name an alter ego? femme
name, why did you choose that name?
Well i wanted a name that was different from the rest so i chose Erika
based upon the fact that (when i fancied real girls) i worked with this
girl i really liked. Ridley came from the fact that i had a crush on
Andrew Ridgley except that i removed the g; and no my male name isn't
How old are you and how young
were you when you first thought about or actually cross-dressed?
I'm 43 but starting dressing up (well messing about really) at home
when i was about 14. I loved and still love Ballet and always had this
fantasy of being a ballerina. I came out (pre internet days) at 24.
Girls are so lucky these days to have the support we never had.
Where do you buy your clothes?
Here, there & everywhere. In fact if
i see a nice outfit i'll just go & buy it. The joys of being single
means that if i can afford it then i'll probably buy it. I don't really
have a favorite shop but i do like quality as opposed to quantity. Like
most girls i hate being at a party wearing the same outfit as the next
What leads you to choose the
styles you wear?
Many girls like to dress in order to stand out. My motto is to blend
in and therefore i dress to do just that.
Do you have one look, or many images?
My own hair is fairly long and quite
thick and as i really hate full wigs i use a 3/4 wig in a straight style
to compliment my own look. If i have another image then it is because
of my make up or the clothes i wear.
Is make-up and hair important
to you and if so how do you achieve your look?
Hair, well we've been there but i am growing it long again so i don't
have to wear even a 3/4 wig. Make-up is very important, particularly
foundation and i can recommend Estee Lauder Maximum cover. The key is
not to put too much on but to prepare yourself for the night ahead.
A very very close shave. If you can get away with it then keep your
eyebrows plucked & shaped. Don't forget the nasel hair as there's nothing
worse than seeing a girl with strands of hair hanging from her nasal
cavities. For the rest i use MAC. Rimmel for lipstick & nail varnish.
To what degree do you practice
hair removal, and other body feminisation?
Fortunately i am blessed with very little body hair. For what is there
i wax myself every 6 weeks or so. I've thought about laser treatment
on my face. No, that's a lie as i'm still considering it. As for the
rest of me well i like the illusion of what you can do with what you
Who knows you dress?
I told my Mum 10 years ago. I think
that the rest of my family know too but it's one of those things that's
never discussed as i think they're quite ashamed of the fact that i
am single and no Girlfriend therefore i must be Gay. All off my close
friends know as do some people who i'd care not to .
How often do you dress and if you go out where to?
I dress every day as i feel more comfortable
this way. I now live in Amsterdam but am not on the Tranny scene. There
is one albeit very dull & really not my scene anymore. The Gay scene
is very much gay ie MEN only. I tend to hang out with my friends and
frequent a very nice late night bar called the Korsakoff. From time
to time i can be seen at a Queer Disco. But more often than not i'll
be at a Goth Party of which there is quite a big scene here; Amora,
Epicentre, Gothoord, Bal du Masque and one or two other occasional parties.
So what is a man and what is a woman?
Can't answer this one except to say that i am
Whats your definition of feminine?
Being the me i like to be as opposed to the one i am.
Where do you feel you fit on the transgender spectrum CD TV TS?
Somewhere between TV & TS. I would guess
that i'd class myself as a Non-op TS.
Are you happy to be called a Tranny?
A label is a label often used to classify
someone into a catagory that best fits the the time & place.
To what degree do you feel gender
I wash the dishes after every meal. Seriously though a part of me feels
i should be a girl whilst the other part says be happy with what you've
To what degree would you consider
permanent hair removal, hormones, and surgery?
I'm investigating Laser hair removal on my face, as if successful will
give me a lot more options for going out.
What individual has inspired
you most in relation to your TG inclinations?
To be honest, no one apart from my desire to be happy. Let's face it
we should all be happy with what we choose to do in this life. Naturally
there are boundaries as to what we can do in order to balance work with
our other life.
Do you feel that you have any choice in your TG thoughts and actions?
Most definitely yes. What we choose
to do is upto us & we should not let our peers dictate to us as to how
we should lead our lives. For a long time i let my parents dictate my
life to me as to what i should & shouldn't do with regards to my appearance
& in particularly my hair length.
Have you ever suffered harassment or abuse?
Once in a straight club in Nottingham
i had this guy taunt me with some nasty comments but he got thrown out
by the bouncers.
Have you tried to stop?
Haven't we all. Yes i tried once and
i regret trying as i really couldn't imagine what life would be without
how i am.
Are your sexual preferences
changed by your TG experiences (even temporarily)?
I've had relationships with women, men & TG's. All the the women i've
dated have tried to change me as they couldn't accept me.
Have you suffered illness, depression,
relationship break ups because of being TG?
Illness, yes when i was outed at work. But i don't want to talk about
that. It's too depressing. Depression, my god yes!!! I get so depressed
if i cannot dress for longer than a week. In fact a family visit can
be quite depressing if i have to be away without my alter ego. Before
i realised that i was more attracted to men & TG's i had 3 serious relationships
with women and all of them bar one collapsed because of how i am. The
first girlfriend sort of encouraged it but well drifted apart for other
reasons more related to my chosen profession than anything else..
If you could relive your life
without the TG experience would you?
Now that could be interesting. Maybe i'd be like my brother, married
to a job, massive mortgage, a nagging wife & 2 demanding children. Happy
parents knowing that the family line could continue without interuption;
erm no thanks. I would rather be who i am but if i could have it all
again i wouldn't have tried to be a man. Nor would i have started shaving
until i really had to. In fact had laser been around in the dark ages
i'd have done it by now. I think that, had i known a lot more about
myself at 16 i would have chosen a more creative career as well.
Do you feel that releasing your
gender gift Has released creativity, that may otherwise have remained
I'm naturally creative but i doubt that as a man i would think of making
a bustle for a fetish party or think of making latex outfits.
Have you ever performed and
if so how did you get into performing and what have you done? What outstanding
TG experiences stand out in your mind?
The world is a stage so i guess that
i'm performing right now. Seriously though, i have done catwalk modelling,
worked behind a bar, been the TG representative of HGM (Healthy Gay
Manchester) when it was around, also been a door whore at gay & fetish
parties as well as been on various floats at Manchester's Mardi Gras,
What outstanding TG experiences stand out in your mind?
There are just too many fantastic experiences
from being asked (one time) by a real girl if i was a girl or a boy.
One time on a coach trip (organised by Healthy Gay Manchester) there
was this Dyke (a woman in flat shoes) who apparently (according to another
such girl) took a shine to me then i opened my gob as i brushed my way
past her & she realised i wasn't a girl. Then there have been numerous
parties, trips & holidays to places such as clubbing it in Ibiza, The
Pink Picnic in Manchester, Gay Pride in London and on various floats
for Manchester's Mardi Gras. But i suppose the number one memory has
to be the most recent being dressed 4 days & nights out of 6 in Leipzig
in Germany 1-6 June for the WGT. The Gothic Wave Treffen a really cool
series of concerts, parties, shopping & culture. I'm still wearing the
wrist band & plan on replacing it next year with the new one.
What one piece of advice would
you give to someone that has just found they are not the only tranny
in the world?
Accept the magnificent gift you have been given and enjoy yourself.
You can live 2 lives. I should know, i do.
Photograph Credits: Torben Raun
for some of the Rubber Camp pics and http://www.image-machine.com for
The Last Supper Photo shoot. All of which (plus many more photographers)
are on my homepage.
Contact details :
Website - http://www.Ladyanamorphic.com
Email - email@example.com