MEET Rupert Laylor, he’s a 6 ft 1 in, 16-stone security guard.
Except on certain evenings – when this burly Sheffield bloke transforms himself into the vivacious Vixen Mynx, a 6 ft 5 in (in heels) glamour girl who will next month launch Sheffield city centre’s first regular cross-dressers night.
“It’s for transvestites, transgenders, cross-dressers, the open-minded and anyone who’s up for a laugh,” says the one-time strippergram and married father-of-two, of Payler Close, Manor.
“There’s no nights like this in the centre which is pretty poor compared with Leeds and Manchester, so I’m certain it will be popular. We’ve got cross-dressers coming from across the north for the launch and we reckon there’ll be about 100 of us there. If nothing else it will be some sight as we all arrive.”
It’s the first such club night the 34-year-old has organised but it’s been 13 years in the making.
See, Rupert’s love of cross-dressing was first sparked while reading - of all things - the Exchange and Mart when he was 21.
“I saw an advert for some size 12 high heels,” he says. “Something in me clicked and I thought ‘I want those shoes’. You see girls in guys clothes all the time so why not?”
Why not indeed?
He bought them for £30, paired them with a pair of leather trousers and one evening went out.
“I got as far as the end of the street then went home,” he says. “That’s all I dared do and then I did what’s called purging. I felt ashamed and I threw the shoes away.”
Yet every so often he’d buy another pair. Or perhaps a skirt - size 16. Or a nice top.
“It’s quite common to do that I’ve learned now,” he says.
He threw himself into a number of jobs including one as a part time strippergram.
“I’m a heterosexual male - I just love women’s clothing - and being a strippergram was a dream job as a young man,” he says. “I loved the girls’ attention. I enjoyed the performing and the money.
“You’re nervous the first time you get your kit off but after that it’s just like being a footballer – it becomes a job and you want to do it well.”
But the cross-dressing never entirely left him - and Vixen Mynx was born, bizarrely while talking to wife Karen, 33.
“I saw an advert for a transvestite to perform in Turkey for £500 a week,” he says. “And I said to her I could do that. We talked about it and we decided I should do something in this country so I created Vixen.
“Karen’s open-minded about it, although obviously I don’t go home and wear this stuff every night.”
Vixen’s first night takes place at Dempseys bar in Hereford Street on May 24.
It will then be held weekly from June. Free entry.