TransEthics: When did you come out as transgender?
Christy Pierson: Initially in 1999 when I was living in North Idaho, but there was not enough support there to transition. There had been a trans woman on a local Police Dept who had lost her job because of being trans right around that time too. She later was awarded back pay and her job back. I decided that the time was not correct and headed back into being all the man I could be.
Ten years later in 2009 is when I could no longer keep the door on it’s hinges or patch it up enough and I admited to being Christy. It really was a life or death time… I was drinking myself to death.
TE: There’s a lot of stories in the media regarding trans children. When you hear such stories, are you envious at all?
CP: Yes and No. Yes, because there are things which would not have developed and I now need to correct. Such as trachea, facial hair and voice among other things.
No, because in my case I am in a much better place then I would have been had I started young. Financially I kind of doubt I would be where I am now, in a place where I can afford to transition with out assistance from elsewhere. My job is not ideal, because of all the racists and bigots there, but I am very lucky to have it in the first place and even more so since I came out they have not tried to fire me [for being trans]. I am 95% happy starting when I did.
TE: What is it that you do for a living?
CP: I work for the best and biggest railroad in North America, Union Pacific. I operate trains all over California, delivering your goods to the warehouse or trucking facility so it can then be delivered to your door step. Pretty much everything in your house was hauled by a train some where in it’s journey.
TE: Was operating trains what you thought you’d be doing when you were growing up?
CP: I am doing my dream job from when I was a child. I always wanted to work for the railroad and be the engineer where I can wave at everyone who wants to wave… and toot the whistle for the hot chicks and guys now too. Always wanted to be Casey Jones… just now I am “Casey Janes” (or something like that).
TE: (laughs) How did your fascination with trains begin?
CP: It has been with me for as long as I can recall, but probably from my father since he took my brother and I to McDonalds and then park next to the train yard eating and watching the trains go by. Then my step-dad worked for Southern Pacific Railroad when I was growing up, doing the same thing I do now. In fact I some of my co-workers used to be his.
In my younger years I had toy trains which progressed with my age to model trains and a HO scale model train layout. Additionally I have collected a vast library of First Edition books, railway china, sterling silver, and railroad cookbooks.
TE: Was your family supportive of your transition?
CP: My family… well my immediate family, Mom, Dad and brother (my father died 20 years ago this year and this month) has been mixed. My mom and dad said “Well, at least you are not gay”. That is because they are Southern Baptists and if I was gay, I’d be disowned. This past Christmas was the first time since 2009 that I have celebrated Christmas with them.
My brother… well his wife keeps him on a short leash and has told him he is not to interact with me, except for certain occasions. I have seen him like 7 or 8 times in the last six years. My aunts, uncles, and cousins all knew before my parents did. They are 100% supportive, it’s pretty awesome.
TE: What would you say to religious parents who disown their children for being trans?
CP: I would tell them that they need to step back and take a deep breath before making such a drastic decision. Think of all the joy they have brought to your life; do you want that to forever end? Many religious writings have dual meanings, it is not always black and white… cut and dry. Love your children.
TE: How do you respond to the people who use the “protect our children” argument to push legislation that would prevent trans people from using the restrooms that correspond to their gender?
CP: This is such a hard argument to fight for me because everyone needs a restroom to use and this discussion usually turns to the once a month [cross-dressers] who demand the rights of those of us who live it daily while keeping their male privilege. I do believe that the “once or twice a month girls” can and should use the restroom of their birth gender. No having their cake and eating it too. If they want the same rights every day trans [women] have, then they need to be living for them. On that end… I support the parents’ arguments.
BUT… the rest of the argument I will use everything at my disposal to win. Passing laws “for the children” [is] never a good way to do legislation. Transgender people deserve to use the restroom just like every one else. If need be, let’s make all restrooms unisex.
TE: Doesn’t that position –making all restrooms unisex– open up the possibility for trans women to be physically assaulted by men while using the restroom?
CP: Probably just as much as it would open up the possibility for all women to be assaulted by men, [but] I do not really think so. It has been my experience that most men –if they are alone or with a single friend– won’t do much. If they are in a group of guys, that is where things get dicey. Being a trans woman is just like being born female, you pay attention where you go and don’t go to places which may have issues. Unless you have company. I used to go to several different stores on my way to work depending upon the time of day. I don’t go to either one anymore unless I have company. It’s just not wise.
TE: Have you been a victim of male violence since coming out?
CP: Not like some girls. I’ve had death threats from co-workers. I’ve had threats of violence from co-workers and ex-friends if I [were to behave] a certain way around them. I have been talked down to many times… been told I am a slut or a whore (there is a time and place for those words though, and can be such a turn on [for me] when used properly), being called “tripod”, “the 3 legged chick”, and the list goes on. But I have not been physically assaulted.
TE: Considering what you just said, how would you respond to people who would tell you to just choose not to be trans?
CP: I ask those people how do I choose? There is no choice in the matter. There is the choice of living or dying. I decided I needed to start living.
TE: You were drinking heavily to deal with gender dysphoria. Would you say that transitioning saved your life?
CP: YES!!! No doubt about that. Within a week or two, my drinking eased. Within six months. I wasn’t getting fucked up as much. And several days after I started HRT, my tastes changed from beer, whiskey, and vodka to vodka and wine. Now days I have a drink like once a week, every so often twice a week. Rarely do I go to the clubs anymore binge-drinking. Drinking is not really fun these days, I am so much more happy that I do not need to lose myself for the night.
TE: You mentioned that being called a “slut” or “whore” is a turn-on for you given the right circumstances, and that your parents would have disowned you for religious reasons if they thought you were gay. How would you define your sexual orientation?
CP: I have no sexual orientation. I prefer to date tgirls because there is no need to explain everything everyday. I will date some men, Black men get preference, and finally I will date women as long as they do not insist I am the alpha of the relationship.
Additionally I am into the BDSM lifestyle. The extent varies between relationships. I used to try to put myself into the Mistress or slave… Domme or sub boxes, but each relationship brings out a different side to me. I will sub to the right person, but I am not a sub by nature.
TE: There are a lot of trans women in sex work. Having religious parents, how do you respond to those who would say sex work is unethical?
CP: Everyone has to suck cock to make it in this world. Sometimes it is a real one and sometimes it’s the fake one you suck at work.
There is nothing wrong with sex work. It is a tool to get you outta the gutter where society has thrown you. It is a tool to maintain a lifestyle that you want to live, surgeries you need to live and to put food on your table until you can find something else.
I never rule out the possibility that I will do a scene or a clip. I think it could be exciting.
TE: Just one last question: What advice would you give to someone who is questioning their assigned birth gender?
CP: Stop questioning and start experimenting… you will find who you are. It may not happen overnight or within the year, but you will know. Seek out a shrink, talk to the local gender clinic, seek out and find local people who have transitioned, talk to them and take notes. In the end you will be glad you did. Look for signs of the real you.
TE: That’s wise advice. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us today Christy.
CP: Thank you for asking me to chat with you! It was a pleasure.