|The photograph in Life Magazine: Kim with back to camera, Chrysis at front.|
Kim and Chrysis each left home and shared a tiny apartment in the area that later became New York's SoHo. They met sex magazine pioneer and editor of Exotique magazine, Lenny Burtman who arranged photo-shoots and other favors. Kim had a boyfriend who worked with her to soften her Bronx accent. She got to know New York female impersonators such as Tammy Novak, and performed at Club 82 as a stripper and as a showgirl. Her song was the theme music from A Man and a Woman. She toured North America as a female impersonator. Kim and Chrysis had uncredited roles in the chorus line in the 1967 contest that became the film, The Queen. In 1968 a photograph of Kim and Chrysis appeared in Female Mimics. By 1969 Kim was being kept by an oil tycoon.
|Kim with her mother|
She also starting doing photography for Eros Publishing Company, which published Eros, Mode Avantgarde, Hooker and Exposé. When Female Mimics was relaunched in 1973, the first issue featured Kim winning a Los Angeles beauty contest. In 1979 Kim became editor of Female Mimics,which was owned by Jennifer Jordan, one of Lenny Burtman's ex-wives, and the name was changed to International Female Mimics. The transsexual content was increased and eventually explicit photographs were introduced. Kim also became editor of Exotique, a revival of Burtman's pioneering fetish magazine from the 1950s.
Also in 1979 Kim was in Los Angeles doing a photo-shoot when he discovered Sulka in the audience. The next year he put her in the film Dream Lovers, and then after her surgery, in The Transformation of Sulka, 1981, and Sulka's Wedding, 1983. He became a major producer of she-male and fetish porn – spanning 8mm, VHS and DVD. He also made straight porn.
Kim met and married a woman. Their marriage has lasted: they now have grandchildren.
In 1998 Kim was won an award as Best Fetish Producer. The same year he edited the original run of Exotique in book form. In 2001 he edited The Christy Report, a historical survey of sex and fetish images. He was inducted into Adult Video News (AVN) Hall Of Fame in 2004, the first transgender person to be so.
“I am married to my wife. I am with her. Something I learned from all my years working with clients all over the world: Men and women can both be very fluid in their sexuality. Plus things like certain sexual scenarios can engage a person deeply for a time. Sometimes it’s same-sex activity. Some people stay attracted to one gender or another all their lives. I was with men — when I lived as a woman — who never would have called themselves gay, but they were not unhappy about my extra parts at all. Like I said, back then we did not name things so much. I never thought of any of the things I did as who I was. They were things I liked. Things I did.”*Not the horse exhibitor.
- James Mills. "The Detective: a good cop fights for law but the deck is stacked against him". Life, 3 Dec 1965: 90d-132. http://bit.ly/1cJ6A0B.
- "These are the twins - Kim and Bobbie". Final section in George Alpert. The Queens. New York: Da Capo Press, 1975.
- "Kim Christy". Guys in Drag, 1,4,1977: 3-4.
- Kim Christy (ed). Letters to Kim Christy. North Hollywood, Calif: Leoram Productions, 1986.
- Kim Christy (ed). The complete reprint of Exotique: the first 36 issues, 1951-1957. Köln: Taschen, 1998.
- Kim Christy & John Quinn. The Christy Report. Taschen, 2001. Review.
- Christopher Harrity. "Kim Christy's Lost World". The Advocate, February 12 2011.http://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/photography/2011/02/12/kim-christys-lost-world.
- Ms Bob. "Female Mimics Magazine — Part 1, The Early Years". TG Forum, Jan 16, 2012. www.tgforum.com/wordpress/index.php/female-mimics-magazine-part-1-the-early-years.
- Jim Beaux. "Leonard Burtman, 1921 – 1994", "Jennifer Jordan 1938 - ????", "Kim Christy" The Transsexual Erotica Archive of Magazines and Films, May 2013. http://www.hungdevils.com/index.php?/topic/18134-the-transsexual-erotica-archive-of-magazines-and-films-we-need-your-help/page-2.
The Internet Adult Film Database (IAFD) entry on Kim is a bit dubious. See Jim Beaux’ comments. The image supposedly of Kim is actually of Carnal Candy in a 1984 film. It lists Kim’s years active as performer: 1984-2001 – except that Kim never performed in any adult films.
Ms Bob wrote a 3-part history of Female Mimics for TG Forum. Bob lists Kim as appearing in the magazine, but says nothing at all about Kim becoming the editor.
I couldn’t find any photographs of Kim after the early 1970s.
In the Advocate article, Kim says that her aunt and then her mother recognized her in the Life Magazine photograph. As she has her back turned, how could they be sure?