Transition takes many forms. Everyone is on their own personal journey with none being the same and yet all of these journeys share some commonalities.
Please enjoy the following article about Christie Rust and her journey.
Written by Kelley Atherton,
The Triplicate, December 23, 2009 08:23 am
The dam had sprung a leak.
Christie Lynn Rust had built what she likens to a dam to hold back feelings of femininity inside a masculine body.
“For my whole life, I looked in the mirror and felt opposite,” she said Friday. “I’ve had these feelings since my earliest childhood. I remember it at age 7.”
Known as Lindy Rust, the longtime music director at Del Norte High School took students on trips to Europe to see the birthplace of classical music, put on concerts around town and was a prominent figure in the community.
The dam held tight for years, but once it started leaking, Rust decided to retire in 2008 after 30 years at DNHS and started contemplating what life would be like in Crescent City after physically transitioning from a man into a woman.
The decision to stay
About a year ago, Rust started privately telling close friends that her brain was wired to be a woman and not a man.
By then, she’d already begun electrolysis to remove facial hair and was taking hormones. This year she had gender surgery.
On Dec. 9, she told her choir students at College of the Redwoods-Del Norte that she was transgender. The next day, at age 55, Rust joined friends to go out to eat as Lynn, no longer looking like Lindy.
Rust had made the decision to “align the body with the brain,” but feared what the repercussions might be in a small community.
“I was frightened to death to come out,” Rust said. “I was ready to move out of Crescent City and transition up in Washington — that was my plan.”
Even though state law protects transgender teachers, Rust felt it would be best to retire before undertaking a new gender identity to protect her students from possible ridicule.
“I didn’t want to transition while being a teacher,” she said. “I love my students too much.”
After retiring from Del Norte, Rust planned to make the change and find a non-teaching job. However, when the economy tanked in fall 2008, it was hard to find a job, she said.
“I thought to myself, ‘Could I transition in Crescent City?’” Rust said.
One friend said to Rust that, given the chance, the community might be more supportive than she thought.
Family and friends have been accepting, she said. Since “coming out,” as she calls it, as transgender, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, Rust said, adding her fear was “way overblown.”
“I thought I would probably have half and half; that some people would walk out,” Rust said about the reaction she expected when she privately told people.
“Most had one comment that was prevalent through every conversation: ‘I know you and know the kind of person you are inside and that’s not going to change.’”
Negative things have been said, but not directly to Rust. As more people found out, gossip and even misinformation spread, such as that Rust was flying to Europe for Christmas to get a sex-change operation.....ORIGINAL ARTICLE