Self Assessment

Let’s face it. It can be very comfortable in the closet and very painful coming out or even trying to get out.

Here we are surrounding by our fantasies and protected from the sneers and laughter of the outside world by our protective shell of fearful furtiveness. The protective shell is strange. It keeps us firmly in the closet, but it also protects us from our worst nightmares by threatening us with discovery.

There we are in the closet enjoying our secret femininity, but we share our closet with a whole variety of others. All of us comfortably uncomfortable in our pink silk knickered, macho jock strapped or rubber lined worlds and all petrified of being revealed as we see ourselves.


Those of you who have dared to show your true colours to the world will laugh at our fears, hopefully with understanding but perhaps (and this is the crux of our fear) there may be some regretting their boldness.

There may be those who have personal acquaintance with someone who has come out.

Just recently I have become aware of, if not a friend let’s call him a business acquaintance, who has gradually shown his true colours in a very public way. Let’s call him Hector.

I have no way of knowing his objectives nor his feelings, but his fetish for uniforms and just lately frilly underwear have been very publicly displayed.

Hector is the cartoon character used by the Inland revenue to publicise the new taxation system, known as Self Assessment. This is the dramatic change in the relationship taxpayers will have with the tax man and seems to be a tremendous strain on Hector as the great day approaches. Strain has caused so many over the years to let their screts slip. You only have to read the tabloid press nearly any day to see accounts of the fall of the great and noble. But there hasn’t been a mention of Hector’s apparent dash from the closet.


In the leaflets issued by the Inland Revenue, Hector has appeared in a variety of guises. One shows him on a building site, stripped to the waist and wielding a towel but still complete with bowler hat, umbrella and moustache.

In the same leaflet there is a hint of things to come perhaps, with him anxiously peering out of a shop resplendent in apron. It is, as some of you will appreciate, only a short step from apron to frilly pinafore!

I began to wonder when in the General Guide there he was with knots in his umbrella and handkerchief. Not a very convincing indication of bondage, I know but just a few pages further on there he is dangling his keys. Surely it can’t be true?



Further on in the same booklet there was the first indication of stress. First, a picture of him threatening a car driver with his brolly, and on the final page on a desert Island, now sporting sunglasses, obviously desperate to get away from it all.

But the cartoons that really set me wondering were those in which, suddenly and without even a warning, frilly knickers appeared. There he is displaying his underwear, and despite his masculine moustache, bowler and brolly it is exceedingly feminine.

The next one I saw had him really daring in a tutu! This was it, the Inland Revenue were going tranny!

I began to visualise the new feminine Inland Revenue and forlornly hoped we might be allowed tax deductions in the future for our secretly acquired attire. But we all know they want proof for everything.

Would this mean, in the future we might have to strut our femininity at the tax office? Would the forbidding corridors of a tax office ring to the click of heels and the squeals of “girls” as they attended their annual proof of what they had bought?

Pure fantasy, I know, but why has Hector (or is it Hatty, or Hectorina or Hetty?) suddenly come out of the closet?

Has he been assessing his appearance of rolled umbrella, moustache and pin-striped suit and decided he prefers a softer, more feminine image?


Who else will come out? Are we likely to see any politicians, clergy or perhaps footballers come out of the closet? We’ve already seen it in the entainment world with Eddy Izzard et al, and the clergy are unlikely, they dress up all the time, particularly the most senior ones.

A prime minister in drag? Or perhaps a drag day at the House, with the government and opposition competing to wear the most outrageous costumes.

Are we likely to see the first premiership players resplendent in stockings, suspenders and high heels, in the near future? Certainly some players wouldn’t need to change their hairstyles!

What a dream world it would be if everyone followed Hector’s example. We would only be following fashion by obeying our inner instincts. No more problems with wives, fellow workers or the like.

You can imagine nudging a neighbour, can’t you and saying, “Look at that bloke over there. He’s wearing trousers, suit and tie. Is he a pervert or something?”

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