Friday, 11 September 2015

Interview with Crista Lynn

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Crista Lynn, a video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Crista!
Crista: Hello all!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Crista: Well, I like to think that I’m a pretty normal person, except when I’m going thru one of my crazy spells. When I’m not getting into trouble, I’m usually a quiet, outdoors adventurer, found swimming at the bottom of some waterfall, out in the desert, catching new pet lizards, at home doing some arts and craft project, or sleeping after a hard days work.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Crista: Well, because I was bored, and had just finished writing my memoir “When Fantasies Are Fulfilled”, and was looking for a way to promote my work, which is STILL in the never-ending process of being published. What a nightmare! But, I was just looking for a way to bring my story to life and get it out there ahead of being published on paper, and I guess I was also just looking for attention, as usual.

"I also wanted to share my experience with not just
others in the community, but everyone in general."

Of course, I also wanted to share my experience with not just others in the community, but everyone in general. I wouldn’t say that I’m a proper role model, given what I did with myself once I finished transition, which was then become a porn star; not prior to SRS, but after SRS, once I realized how much better sex was with all the female parts.
I haven’t gotten to that part yet in my YouTube videos, but if and when I do, the true story shall take an entirely different direction than it started out, so I guess I also shared it because I like to shock people for some reason. I think I like to see the reaction on people’s faces…or so I’m told.
Monika: At which stage of the transition are you right now?
Crista: I’m currently, and have been, in the “just living life phase,” for about 11 years now. I had my SRS on December 25th, 2004. It was a 15-hour surgery, in Thailand, and with Dr. Suporn, and I woke up only moments after the tsunami hit if you recall. I opened my eyes and everyone was running around in the hospital like crazy. The day my vagina was made, a tidal flood took out that same section of the country, and I’ve been riding that wave ever since.
Now, these days, I bounce between playing housewife and career woman, still trying to figure it all out, as if that answer hadn’t arrived the moment I finished my physical transition. I don’t think I expected it to; I just didn’t think I’d still be trying to figure myself out, and how to fit into whichever part of society I best fall into. I wouldn’t say that any of that has much to do with my change, not at this point in my life; not anymore. When I’m single, I go out and get laid like everyone else. The only time I even bring it up is when feelings start to develop. But beforehand? Hell no. Not unless asked.

There was a time at the very beginning after SRS when I kept it a secret, and then when I fell in love with a man for the first time, I cried as I told him, and it ended badly. And I believe it went badly because I cried; giving off the impression that I was ashamed. Then after that, I began saying to people, Hi, I’m Crista, and I used to be a guy, just to get it out there and over with.

"When I came out to my then-girlfriend, she proposed
to me and we married 3 months after my coming out."

Now, I’m also past that phase, and at a point that I’ll tell the truth if someone asks me outright, but don’t just throw it out there anymore just to get a rise out of people. I’m sure people still assume or sense it, mainly due to my voice, mainly due to my just being too lazy to work on it and stop smoking, which is why I plan to fly back to Thailand in less than a year to just have that done as well and be done with it. It just gets annoying, more than anything, but it’s the last thing to bother me, having someone ask if I’m trans. Other than that, not much else happens after that last surgery.
Nowadays, I’m just watching my body get older, hairs turn grey from time to time, things hurt when I wake up, that sorta thing. I am thankful that I take hormones because there’ll be no menopause to help age me. That, and all the plastic surgeries; I still get told I look 27, when in fact…yeah.
Monika: At what age did you transition into a woman yourself? Was it a difficult process? Did you have any support from your family or friends?
Crista: I began my change at 22 years old, and finished at 23 years old, from coming out, even to myself, to SRS. It was almost all done in an instant. No, it wasn’t a difficult process; more so on those around me, but once I realized, hey! This is something I can actually do?! I done went and did it. No second thoughts, no looking back.
I had my first cosmetic surgery 3 months after realizing that I was trans, and the rest is history, with every 3 or so months thereafter, getting more surgeries, till SRS. My voice is just going to be the cherry on top of the icing on the cake at this point, and only now because I believe the procedure is now a lot better than it was 10 years ago.
As for support? Well, when I came out to my then-girlfriend, she proposed to me and we married 3 months after my coming out, family said that explains a lot, and every last one of my ‘friends’ abandoned me in one fell swoop. When it was time to tell them, I just showed up in drag at a party they were having (there’s that shock factor again) and they all said ‘I knew it’ and that was pretty much the last time I saw any of them. I guess it must’ve had some sort of long-term effect on me, because I still don’t care much for friends, but that’s another story.

"I was scared shitless that my employer
would fire me."

Monika: At that time of your transition, did you have any transgender role models that you followed?
Crista: Yes. I think we all do, and mine was a woman in the community by the name of Kathrine. I even talked to her on the phone once, which is why when I learn that I’m someone’s role model, I take the time out to talk/txt/email or whatever, so that I can give them whatever peace of mind I have to offer them.
Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Crista: Work. I was scared shitless that my employer would fire me because that’s how I paid for everything. Instead, they promoted me, gave me all the time off I needed, and supported me in every way possible… Until after my SRS, when I began hitting on some of my coworkers, and then, well, that went downhill as well.
Monika: What do you think about the present situation of transgender women in American society?
Crista: I think it’s getting better. Every time I’ve been to jail after my SRS, they accommodate me properly, keep me with the women, and so on. Some of the guards are and always will be backward-ass hillbillies, but that’s where my loving boyfriend comes in. All I do when I’m in jail and that happens, is call him and then he calls the attorney general, the news, and the captain of whichever jail I might be in, and then it all gets solved. Ahem.
Otherwise, I honestly do think it’s getting better, we’re getting more common, transitioning younger and looking better, and now I think we’re everywhere. Same with the entire LGBT community. With all the TV shows and such out there, it’s no longer the mystery it once was, and that is a good thing.
Monika: Could transgenderism be the new frontier for human rights?
Crista: With all the crap out there, it is just a small part of the bigger picture, but our rights as far as I can tell, are out there and being honored. I think there are still a few stated in the USA that need to allow simple changes to your driver's license or birth certificate, but other than that, it’s coming along.

"I honestly do think it’s getting better,
we’re getting more common,
transitioning younger and looking better."

Monika: Some time ago Jared Leto received his Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in "Dallas Buyers Club" as transgender Rayon. What do you think about transgender stories or characters which have been featured in films, newspapers, or books so far? 
Crista: It depends on the show/movie. The ones I’ve seen show the basics, but then again, I don’t watch much TV these days to know all that’s out there. I did see and like the one about the transgender hitwoman though. That was a twist.
Monika: The transgender cause is usually manifested together with the other LGBT communities. Being the last letter in this abbreviation, is the transgender community able to promote its own cause within the LGBT group?
Crista: Yes, of course. I think there’s a group mindset that you’re part of the LGBT, and then whichever one you fall into, gets your personal focus. If you’re at a pride parade, then it’s the whole community. If you are out on the street, then it’s whichever one you are, first, then the community, depending on how much of an activist you are, I guess. I am not, for one, but I’m sure there are those out there, and the more power to them. If not for them, I could’ve been born in medieval times, and then, well, I’d be screwed. I’m glad for technology and the day I decided to make the leap.

Monika: Are you active in politics? Do you participate in any lobbying campaigns? Do you think transgender women can make a difference in politics?
Crista: No, not me personally, and yes, of course, a trans could make a difference, but I think in order to get such a political role, the difference they’ll be making would have to be more than just about trans issues. I don’t think someone would be elected into politics just for being trans, and to fix trans issues. It’s a weird question. I’m really not that political.


All the photos: Courtesy of Crista Lynn.
© 2015 - Monika Kowalska

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