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Perpetual Change — Christine Beatty

| Oct 25, 2010
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Christine Beatty is a familiar name to TGForum readers. Before she started writing her TransActive column, she was featured in this column as part of the rock duo Glamazon back in September, 2001.
Along with her musical endeavors, she is also an author and poet. She has published one book of poetry entitled Misery Loves Company, and has had articles appear in such publications as Chrysalis Quarterly, Transgender Tapestry, Spectator, and TransSisters. Christine recently stopped doing her column here, and she has this to say, “I’m working on a novel, Home Girl, about a transsexual streetwalker’s redemption through a romance with a high class call girl.”

So, with all the proverbial irons in the fire that she has, we’re pleased that Ms. Beatty was able to take the time for this interview when we first approached her several month’s back. Because of length, it will be presented in two installments.

TGForum: You had the band Glamazon for 7 years, correct?

Christine Beatty: Yes, we began planning the band in late 1993, began songwriting in early Spring of 1994, played our first gig in February of 1995 and went our separate ways in 2002.


Glamazon

TGF: In going back and reading the 2001 interview with you, it kind of brought up several questions. Glamazon was originally a full band, but eventually was just the duo of you and Rynata. First off, why did the band break up? What is Rynata doing now?

CB: After several years of unreliable backline musicians we began playing live with a prerecorded rhythm section like the Eurhythmics did for several tours. After seven years of trying and with my 44th birthday and my SRS approaching, I finally gave up Glamazon. The band was like a second full time job and it left no time to write. Rynata is living in Hollywood and has her own solo recording career going plus a thriving practice as a guitar teacher. As one of the greatest female guitarists on the planet, her instruction is highly sought out. We are the best of friends and usually talk every day.


Christine in 1993

TGF: Since Glamazon was just the two of you, how did the use of the pre-recorded backing actually work out? You mentioned in the last interview that at the time you thought “cyberrock” might be a trend that would catch on. Yet, full-on bands seem to be crawling out of the woodwork. Any thoughts on this?

CB: I had hoped CyberRock would catch on, but it’s a lot of work for the musicians to put out the same energy as a full line up of musicians. People in general like to see other people, and unless the band has a star status (like the Euryhthmics back in the day), the novelty wears off.

TGF: What are you doing musically now? Also, what do you personally listen to…any new artists who grab your attention?

CB: At the moment, I’m concentrating more on my writing. Personally, I listen to the guitar gods like Marino, Vai, Satriani, Malmsteen, Holdsworth, Beck, etc., and to classical, especially the Russians. The “newest” artists to grab my attention came to my attention from Matrix movie soundtracks, bands like Rage Against the Machine, and P.O.D., but for the most part I don’t listen much to the radio or Internet broadcasts. I”m much more of a “classics” kind of girl. As a music afficionado, I think the end of the ’70s and definitely the end of the ’80s was the end of creativity in the music business, especially the ’70s. It became about airplay and formulaic songwriting. The creativity and artistic spirit of the 70s were killed by the corporate music business.

TGF: You did one album entitled Glamazon 1, correct? Is it still available?

CB: Rynata probably still has some copies available. You can contact her through her website to find out. To be very blunt, I’m not impressed with my own singing on that CD-just entitled Glamazon. The rest of the band is great and Rynata is freakin’ brilliant. I was hitting my alcoholic bottom by that year (1996), and drank vodka and tequila right out of the bottle in the studio to help me deal with our midnight to 8 a.m. recording schedule. I smoked like a fiend too. I’m not horrible, but I wish I could have do-overs on some of those tracks.

TGF: I guess right now that the main question musically would be: do you plan to perform again? Would you put Glamazon back together, perhaps with a different line-up? And, any musical plans now?

CB: I still love playing and singing, and I miss being on stage and recording, but I have no idea how that would come about at the moment. I’m concentrating on my literary writing for the moment, but once I’m established in that I do plan to go back to songwriting as well. One thing I know for certain is that I will never again get involved in any kind of musical project without serious professional management. It’s just too much work!

TGF: Okay, shifting to the non-musical questions, I have to say that you’ve had an extraordinary life. Air Force, marriage, musician, soft-ware designer, writer/author. This brings up some personal questions, if you don’t mind. How long were you in the Air Force and what years? Also, how long were you married and what years?

CB: I was in the Air Force from February of 1977 until February 1981. It was in the Air Force when I first began crossdressing as a fetish, which was kind of tricky to arrange since I lived in the barracks. I met my wife to be about two years after I separated from the military and in January of 1984 we married. The marriage only lasted fifteen months.


Christine and Tempest

TGF: You list ’85-’86 as your first period of transition. Was this one of the reasons your marriage ended?

CB: Yes, it was the primary reason. My crossdressing kept evolving and I began to see it was an underlying symptom of my gender identity issue. When it became clear I had to be a woman, my wife and I decided it best to divorce.

TGF: You also say you were a soft ware designer for 20 years. Do you still work in that capacity? Basically, what do you do for a living?

CB: Yes, I’ve been in the IT business as a programmer for over twenty years. I “love” my work and would only consider leaving it when it becomes clear my writing career can at least sustain my current standard of living. But I’m a hopeless geek; I’ll probably program for fun on the side.

TGF: You’re also not shy when it comes to talking about such problems as drug addiction and having to do sex work to survive. Do you share this as a personal honesty/personal cleansing thing, or more to help heighten awareness that many transwomen deal with these issues, as a problem in our community?

CB: Well, in the context of my life story, hanging on by my fingernails in a world of prostitution and drugs is as important to my growth as was getting sober and going full time as Christine. All of these things taught me lessons, strengthened me and gave me valuable experience. While some of it was very painful to go through, I cannot say I wish I’d never gone through it. Those experiences are also common to many transwomen,and I think it’s important to discuss it. People need to be aware of some of the things we go through, hopefully develop some compassion for us. And those of us who are stuck in those places need to know it’s possible to transcend your circumstances.

For more information on Christine Beatty, please check out her website, her MySpace page and YouTube.

ALSO THIS MONTH

Roger Anthony Yolanda Mapes sent this message:

“Thanks so very much for your support. As of this writing, my song I Wanna Know is #1 on the singles charts at OutVoice.net.  This is my first time at the top of any chart…so I’m thrilled and YOU made it possible by voting.”

Miss Coco Peru, usually part of our companion Tranvocalizers column, has some up-coming gigs that need to be mentioned NOW:

October 27-Coco will be appearing at Project Inform, Evening of Hope in San Francisco. For more information, www.projectinform.org.

And she will be back at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in New York City on November 5,6,7,12,13,14. For tickets and information visit the Beechman Theatre site.

And lastly, I’d like to mention Sara Bareilles new album, Kaleidoscope Heart, with the single and video for King Of Anything getting good airplay. Okay, so this has absolutely no real transgender connection — except for the fact that on the CD covers she’s dressed in male attire. In the video, she’s a very pretty young lady — but crossdresses for her album cover. Go figure. Nonetheless — trans connection or not — she’s delivered an excellent album.


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Category: Music

Pam Degroff

About the Author ()

Pamela DeGroff been writing for TGForum since the start of 1999. Her humor column, The Pamela Principle, ran until 2005. She started the Perpetual Change music column in May of 1999, and in 2008, Angela Gardner came up with the idea for the Transvocalizers column and put Pam to work on that. Pamela was a regular contributor to Transgender Community News until that magazine's demise. While part of a support group in Nashville called The Tennessee Vals she began writing for their newsletter, and also wrote for several local GLBT alternative newspapers in Tennessee. Pamela is currently a staff reporter for a small town daily paper in Indiana, and is also a working musician.

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