Much as I love Morocco, it is one of the worst countries for hassle of foreign women, especially blonde ones, and I did have to disentangle myself from one over-enthusiastic male during my time wandering around the medina in Fes. So when an Italian man (albeit with a Moroccan father), who told me from the start that he was gay, was keen to have someone to talk to, I was happy to oblige.
He asked me if I was happy talking to him, if I liked gay men, and I responded with a laugh, that "of course I like gay men - all women do - we feel safe with you as we know there is no hidden agenda". It was an interesting conversation as he went on to explain that he was actually a transvestite (or an 'androgynous man' as he called it, but we established that this is 'more or less' another term for transvestite), and was only dressed in male clothing out of respect for the Moroccan culture and to avoid trouble - at home in Milan he would be wearing heels, a dress, make-up, and his feminine hair style would not be hidden under a baseball cap.
We talked for quite a while, and finally he suggested we go to his nearby family holiday apartment for a beer. Once there he was, as I'd anticipated, keen to change into his more usual clothes, to which I said I had no problem. To be honest I was being a bit voyeuristic - was curious to see he become she ...
The red lipstick, the earrings and the floppy hair actually looked rather good, but I was disappointed by the satin mini slip dress, with the red bra peeking through, and the long scarf round the neck twirled coquettishly. No woman I have ever met would dress like that - this was not a woman but rather a caricature of a woman. Still, he (now she) was happy and so I expressed my appreciation.
We talked for a while and shared a bit of food, but then she wanted to dance - to express herself and her happiness - and put on some schmaltzy music. She asked me to dance too, so rather reluctantly I did. But then was surprised to feel her hands not just around my back but trying to make their way up inside my Tshirt! I put a stop to this very quickly, and we talked some more. I asked why on earth a gay man would want to put their hands up a woman's Tshirt, and (s)he explained that she was a lesbian...
I made my way back to my hostel to mull this over, but more than a week later I am still trying to get my head around the concept of a male transvestite lesbian. However, I met someone a couple of days later who deals with a lot of people from the LGBTIQ community in her work, and I asked her opinion about this. She told me that (male) transvestite lesbians are not uncommon, and that those falling into the trans categories are often quite confused about their sexual orientation.
Confused (and confusing) or not, I must say that my encounter in Morocco was a fascinating one. I always enjoy getting a window into other cultures and other ways of life, and whilst not what I had anticipatedf rom a three day trip to Morocco, this was no different!