THE QUEERTY INTERVIEW

EXCLUSIVE: Chris Crocker Tells All, Describes His Weird Fame, Gender Transition And Porn Plans

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You may remember Chris Crocker as the femmy “Leave Britney Alone” guy, but he isn’t. At least, not anymore.

Or you may know him as the butched-up Maverick Men porn performer. But that’s all in the past, too.

So if he’s not a sobbing teen lady or a barebacking beardo, who is he? That’s a question that nobody, even Chris, can easily answer. In a wide-ranging interview with Queerty this month, Chris opened up about how weird fame has changed him, how he’s tossing aside his former boyish look (again), and his plans for the future — including a gender transition and raising kids.

One thing we know for sure: with 119,111 Facebook followers, 179,000 Twitter fans, he’s one of those self-invented social media icons that we love, a little messy, more than a little sexy, completely unguarded and fluent in a new language that is changing at lightening speed how we see ourselves and the way the world sees us.

Chris first rocketed to fame in 2007, when simply everyone watched his YouTube video. But he’d been fiddling with internet fame for years before that, posting cute photos and engaging in unabashed online combat. A homeschooled boy, he was mostly raised by his grandparents after his teen mom ran into difficulty. Isolated geographically in Tennessee, he found companionship on the internet. And though he’s moved around the country since then, the internet seems to be where he’s most at home.

As of just a few days ago, Chris and Justin’s latest move is back home to Tennessee. There, they’ll finish up Justin’s military commitment, away from what Chris calls the “mental fog” of Los Angeles. And they’ll also plan their next moves. Chris and Justin are young people at a crossroads: together, they’ve built a life and a brand and a colossal following. Now they just need to figure out what to do with it.

We caught up with Chris and his boyfriend Justin at Food + Lab in West Hollywood for a conversation in three acts. (Part II & Part III are now available.) Justin’s a few years younger than Chris — 20 and 26, respectively — and appeared with Chris and some friends in that porn.

Did you set down roots in LA?

Chris: I would prefer to be somewhere where I’m seen as a person and not a persona. And I feel like New York is somewhere where I can really dive into my creativity and hone in on that, rather than the publicity angle of everything. But I’m obviously here for a reason, so I thought I would stick it out for a year. And it’s approaching a year. And I’ve done cool things. I’ve been able to do TV appearances and stuff. But it’s not going exactly as I hoped.

[Chris recently appeared in Toddrick Hall’s parody of Mean Girls, which he says was one of the best things he’s gotten to do in LA.]

Is “Chris Crocker the Persona” a business?

C: I guess. It was never the goal. I never got my GED, so I was never going to have a 9-to-5. … I’m not really qualified to do things that aren’t entertainment related. But it’s hard to get those auditions and show people I am not just a crying lunatic, I have a bigger capacity. I don’t have a publicist. It’s just me doing it.

What have you been doing in LA?

C: Dr. Drew, I just did that. He’s wanting me back as a recurring pop culture person I guess. And I’ve done Tosh.0 on Comedy Central a couple months back. And I’m working for Russel Simmons’ new online company. We’re doing a web series for him called Hungry. So that’s fun.

If you could do any personal project, what would it be?

C: We have this really pretty courtyard where I live, and we were thinking it would be “The Courtyard with Chris Crocker.” And you come over for coffee or tea and we talk about your problems. I want to do something a little more conversational, with an open dialogue … to show more of me, but also something that involves other people. It’s a little boring when you’re constantly filming yourself.

I already know my potential, but it’s really hard to showcase that when you’re constantly this one-note high-strung gay stereotype to people. Which I’ve participated in perpetuating that for my own benefit, but ultimately it was my own downfall. So now it’s time to do everything to expand.

Seems like you’re breaking away from your past.

C: I started very androgynous. And now I’ve kind of gone … 360. So now I’m starting to wear girls clothes again, and I’m trying to grow my hair out, because I feel I wasn’t happy living as an everyday masculine guy. I was actually trying to just …

Justin: You were trying too hard.

C: It wasn’t that I was trying too hard — I wanted to experiment, and become the kind of guy I’m attracted to before I committed to getting boobs and whatever. I wanted to see if I liked living as an everyday guy. But I’ll never be an everyday guy, so it didn’t work.

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So have you found the identity you want to stick with?

C: Some people get a haircut. I change genders or gender aesthetics. I don’t know that I’ll ever be content just one way or another. But I’m on the journey to figuring that out.

It keeps coming up: do I want to transition? Because I’m getting older. I’m 26, and you start hardening in the face and everything else. So it’s hard, because I know I would have no problem completely transitioning for myself. … But I come from a Pentecostal family, so you know. And it would change our [his and Justin’s] relationship a lot. He says he would still stay with me, but I know he wouldn’t be as attracted to me. So I don’t know.

Is it an issue for you, Justin?

J: No. We’ve been on and off for like three and a half years, and if that is what he wanted to do to be a hundred percent complete with himself, I would a hundred percent accept that. And it might change, like, certain things, but I have an open mind to be accepting.

C: But obviously you wouldn’t be as physically attracted. We’d have to start talking about an open relationship and all this stuff. And then it also effects who is attracted to you. Like if we did have an open relationship so he gets satisfied being with a guy, it’s so complicated. But it’s ultimately, I know I can’t live my life for other people, even if it is Justin.

Seem like a chameleon lifestyle.

C: I think I’m getting tired of that chameleon lifestyle. Like I said, I know I would be 100 percent happy living as a girl. But it’s a lot of work, and it’s a lot of therapy you have to go through. And I’m willing to put in that work. But I need to be really confident. So I’ve been working back towards getting my confidence back so now I’m just playing around with getting girls clothes again. For so long, when I would go out in public, I couldn’t even go to the girls bathroom or the guys bathroom like in airports.

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[In part two, we’ll talk about the couple’s foray into porn, and Chris reveals how RuPaul helped him avoid a trainwreck.]

Read Part II 

Read Part III