Ashley Maxwell-Lam, a project manager for a large bank in Sydney, Australia, has been wearing a pair of 12-heeled shoes for about a year and claims that they have made him feel stronger. The unusual fact is that Ashley is a man.

Ashley, 30, has always loved women with high heels and “the power they emanate”, so he decided to try wearing the same shoes to see the effect that they would do. The thing seems to have worked, and now he wears one of his nine pairs of stiletto heels to work at the Sydney CBD several times a week, especially when he meets new clients. Apparently, the combination of an elegant suit, tie and high-heeled shoes is a great way to break the ice.

The idea of ​​wearing high-heeled women’s shoes at work was born last year, just after Ashley moved from Queensland to Sydney. One day, he saw on TV a video of Yanis Marshall, Arnaud and Mehdi, a French trio of high-heeled dancers, and it made him think. In addition to this there was a female manager at the bank who “seemed to invade” every room she entered, and who claimed it was all because of her shoes.

“I asked her how an object could make you feel strong. And she said, ‘try them and see'”, the man said. The manageress perhaps wanted to tease him, but

Ashley really tried. “I really did it and what she said was true. I have never felt more confident in myself than I did when wearing a pair of shoes with tact and walking through a marble corridor”.

So Ashley, who is openly gay, started wearing stiletto heels to go to work. Even if he does not wear them day after day, because he admits that after a while they can be uncomfortable, he always wears them when he meets new clients. His manager did not really know what to say when the thirty-year-old told her he was going to wear high heels at work, but he let her know that he was very serious about it.

fashion-footwear-heels-stilleto“When I decided to wear them at work, I told my (manager) and she said, ‘Let me just check that it’s okay,'” Ashley recalled. “She wanted to make sure I would not get in trouble, but I said, ‘I’m not asking, I’m telling you I’ll wear heels.'”

Ashley says he loves the attention he gets when he trots around in his masculine suit and high-heeled shoes, but that’s not why he does it. Rather, he adores the contrast between masculinity and femininity and the way people find themselves having to question things.

Although the reactions to his footwear seem to be generally positive, Ashley Maxwell-Lam admits that occasionally receives “looks of disgust”, and apparently above all from some members of the gay community, who do not like (or rather fear) the attention that Ashley attracts. “The only time I had bad situations was actually in my community,” he said. “Some gays told me: ‘Why are you wearing heels, it’s disgusting, you’re a man! You are too flashy, no wonder that gays are hit … ‘I answer, […] Our emblem is a rainbow, yet they condemn others because they do not align with their way of thinking.”