Christine D. Beatty: High & Lows

Resentful at the world for being denied my surgery, I threw myself into music and writing. Relearning guitar left-handed was frustrating but I wanted to play and sing in front of people, so I forced myself. When I wasn't working on my memoir or penning articles for local publications, I wrote a small book of short stories and poetry: Misery Loves Company.

In March of 1993 I emceed a fundraiser for C.O.Y.O.T.E. and opened the show playing and singing. Three months later I emceed another benefit, playing and reading from Misery. Soon after this I began collaborating with a truly incredible female guitarist; within months she and I laid the plans for a rock band named after my publishing company—Glamazon.

Rynata and I spent 1994 songwriting, recording a demo, gearing up and auditioning musicians. We debuted with a full band in February of 1995 to a packed house. After many gigs we went into the studio in December to start recording our CD. I hadn't been clean and sober since early 1993, but by this point I was only drinking—albeit quite a bit.

As high as I was from living out my dream of playing and recording in a band, I was entering alcoholism territory. I fueled my studio sessions with vodka. My immune system broke down; technically I had AIDS. A new HIV treatment saved me, but I still couldn't stay sober. I was drunk for the Hooker's Ball and Margo St. James election night party.

From my memoir:
"As 1996 drew to a close, the holidays proved a foul replay of the same drunken spree of the last four Decembers. After a skull-splitting Christmas morning hangover I resolved that I really would turn over a new leaf after New Year’s Eve." I was drunk through February until I took Step 1 at an N.A. meeting on March 1st, 1997. One of my dearest friends, Carmel Sanger, was murdered five days later, but somehow I held onto my sobriety despite this perfect excuse to drink.

By mid-1998 the changing club scene in the Bay Area had us exploring Los Angeles, and in mid-1999 we made plans to move there. I had been steadily promoted in my computer job, and the company agreed to let me work remotely. So in autumn we loaded up a U-Haul with our home and studio and moved south. We debuted as a new LA band in January.

In early 2000 Los Angeles was new to us and we were new to it. The local bands and audiences were impressed, and for a short while we were Flavor of the Week. While it was true the southland had hundreds of more venues to play, but it also had thousands of more bands competing for bookings. In June I was recognized for my transgender activism, but we struggled as a band. We began recording new songs and kept plugging.

By mid-2001 I started losing faith our band would ever truly succeed. At the same time there was a huge reoganization at work, and hundreds were being let go. My job was on the chopping block. Our final hope—a song at #1 in the monthly Farmclub record label competition—was dashed when the record label folded. Six months later Rynata snd I disbanded.