When the designer Yves Saint Laurent first encouraged me to wear trousers more than 30 years ago, his reasons were not simply because pants are practical or comfortable. He knew that the sight of me draped in the accouterments of a man is sexually provocative. I was embracing something forbidden.
Militias of strong, trained, thugs grabbed me, tore my clothes off and beat me, groping me at the same time. The idea was to insinuate that when I took part in street protests, I wanted to be groped. I developed deterrent techniques: layers of light clothing, no buttons, drawstring pants double-knotted – and carried right on protesting. I just wanted to turn it over on its head and make people go, Me and my body are beautiful. He is always gonna want to follow me around.