After spending the afternoon on Magnetic Island getting fleeced of $300 and dealing with the police, I was feeling rather dejected; but my hopes were somewhat lifted at the realisation that the cross dressing contest was taking place at my hostel that evening. Determined to win in an attempt to redeem the day (and get the $50 bar tab, plus the glory), I got into man mode: one pair of board shorts, a shirt with a rendering of Heidi Klum naked, and a pair of trainers – all of which were borrowed from various boys staying in the hostel. The ensemble was topped off with my aviators, a backpack, and a pseudo skater cap purchased from the IGA supermarket. My female roommates, excited by my transformation, assisted with the final touches of changing from Lady to Lad by smearing dark eye shadow across my lip, chin, jawline and sideburns (or where they would be). Then I had to adjust my body language: slumped shoulders, chest and butt tucked in, and my backpack slung over one shoulder. So with my newly gained mannish swagger, I exited the room to head towards the bar. Stumbling through the darkness (my sunglasses made walking a challenge), I tried to keep my face stern and jaw locked – fully committing to this alter ego. Weaving through the small swarm of heavily made up and bra-clad boys, I eventually made it up to the bar to collect my free glass of goon juice (faux-wine topped up with a mystery liquid)… mmm, delightful. The next few hours involved confusing a dozen or more people, many of whom did a triple-take upon hearing my effeminate voice. They declared to have genuinely believed me to be a bloke – one even remarking that I closely resembled George Michael. A friend of mine, who made a very convincing woman, was only able to recognise me once I smiled, “Sasha, is that you? I recognised your teeth.” I had lent my most scandalous items of clothing to a friend and was somewhat disheartened by the fact that he looked a good deal better than me in said outfit: denim cut-offs, a revealing one-piece swimsuit, and wedges. The toilet situation was rather tricky as the men’s and women’s labels no longer held any bearing. At one point I was shoving a toilet paper roll down my trousers when a tall “lady” with a wide brim hat calling herself Beyoncé came into the ladies room. Noting her keen eye for style, I asked for advice on what my male pseudonym should be. Unflinching ‘she’ responded, “Tyrone”. Then she turned on her heels and edged into a toilet stall. Hmmm…Tyrone. Tyrone from New York. I was sold. The walk-off commenced shortly thereafter and when Tyrone was called up I hopped onto the table and attempted the best hip-hop swagger I could muster; grabbing my heavily wadded crotch for the ‘ladies’ and tightly clenching my jaw for an aura of mystery. It seemed that the crowd was buying into my performance and Tyrone was crowned the winner of the men’s walk off. After a photo-op, I was free to indulge in my justly won bar tab, but it seemed the bartender did not recognise me without my hat, aviators, and 5’o’clock shadow; as such I had to re-don my accessories to prove that I was indeed Tyrone. Taken aback that I was so convincing as a female, he let me know that I was the most believable winner of the cross-dressing competition he had ever seen. Not sure if this is really a badge of honour, but I graciously thanked him nevertheless and enjoyed my hard-earned beverages.