Interview with Christine Beatty - Part 2

Monika: At the same time sometimes we get horrible news about transgender women being killed or beaten just as in the infamous case of Chrissy Polis that was beaten by two teenagers in MacDonald’s because she used the ladies’ toilet. How can we prevent it?
Christine: Increased social and political gains. We can take a lesson from the gay rights movement and Harvey Milk’s philosophy: it’s harder to hate people you personally know.
Monika: Do you think that in our lifetime we could live to the day when a transgender lady could become the President of the USA?
Christine: Definitely not. Perhaps some other country but not the USA. The religious right has our nation in a near-stranglehold and *way* too much political influence.
Monika: Do you date men or women? Did the transition change anything in this respect? 
Christine: I am far more attracted to women and essentially identify as a lesbian, though ultimately I want to fall in love with a person instead of sex or certain genitalia.
Monika: In 2000 you were distinguished as Transwoman of the Year by the Los Angeles Transgender Task Force. Did you feel proud about it?
Christine: Of course. There are far more trans women playing in rock bands now, but back then it was a very lonely club.
Monika: You established your own publishing company for the TS/TG community called “Glamazon Press”. What publications did it issue so far?
Christine: "Alice in Genderland" plus my own two books. A lot of people are choosing to self-publish so there haven’t been many promising manuscripts coming our way.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colors, or trends?
Christine: I’m a hippie girl at heart so I’m not very concerned with fashion, though I do enjoy the Heavy Metal and fetish looks when I want to make a statement.

Chicago Be-All Convention 2011.

Monika: Are you involved in the life of your local LGBT community?
Christine: I’m too busy with writing, music and now learning film-making. I did over a decade of LGBT activism and it was time to focus on creating and leave the activism to the newer people. I’ve no desire or real aptitude to be a leader.
Monika: In 2004, together with Lynn Conway, Andrea James, Calpernia Addams, and other distinguished transgender ladies, you participated in the project called "The Vagina Monologues". On the basis of this project, 2 years later Josh Aronson produced and directed a documentary titled "Beautiful Daughters". Could you tell me more about this project, your role, and how it felt to be an actress?
Christine: It was Calpernia’s and Andrea’s vision from the beginning; they’d be the ones to ask about that. I didn’t come on board until they were casting, for which I thankfully had a small role reading a short monologue.
Unless one counts prostitution I’ve never been an actress, and since I was just reading my monologue in front of a microphone I wouldn’t call myself one. I think many of the other cast members far more deserve the title of an actress than I.
Monika: You wrote a book titled "Not Your Average American Girl: A Memoir". What made you write the book?
Christine: Originally I wrote it as a tool to recover from addiction and hopefully to help me be “cured” of my gender issue. Eventually, I realized that writing wouldn’t help me understand why I was a transwoman, much less “cure” me, so I began to think it might help others at least know what some of us go through.
Monika: Your most recent project is the documentary movie “Radio Wars”. What is it about?
Christine: It’s the story of some of the major conflicts that the radio produced: the proper credit for its true inventor, how the print media tried to squash it, how FM radio was invented and then stolen from the genius who did so, and finally all of the drama and conspiracy behind satellite radio.
Monika: Are you working on any new projects?
Christine: I’m finishing a novel titled "Homegirl" and starting a new semester of film school.
Monika: Christine, it was lovely to chat with you. Thanks a lot!

All the photos: courtesy of Christine Beatty.
Christine's webpage.

© 2013 - Monika Kowalska

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