Friday, May 11, 2012

A Reader's Guide to Transgender in State

Welcome to the reader's guide or, rather, table of contents that should make it easier to navigate the chronology of my story as I relate it in this web journal.

Over the course of ten months beginning in July 2011, I wrote 24 posts of a retrospective nature that give historical background about my life experience as a transgender person.  I intermixed these with an equal or greater number of other posts describing my life as it was moving forward in 2011 and 2012.  That intermixing makes it difficult to decipher the chronological progression.  My hope is that the table of contents below will make this task easier for anyone who may wish to know the full story, chapter by chapter, from beginning to end.  From 2012 onward, the progression is mainly chronological in nature, describing:

  • My life in Romania (2010-13);  
  • My journey to Thailand for gender confirmation surgery (2013);  
  • My year in the US when I served as president of GLIFAA, the official employee association for lgbt+ employees at the Department of State, USAID, and other foreign affairs agencies (2013-14);
  • My three years in Kazakhstan (2014-17) including "Project Sultana" and reaction to the election of 2016; and
  • My life after returning to the US (2017-present) in the aftermath of the election and the failure of "Project Sultana."
While in Kazakhstan I briefly maintained a parallel journal that did not include transgender issues.  It can be found at

Best to all from Bucharest, Washington, Astana, and from my adopted state of Maine!

NOTE:  Parts 1-3 give historical background.  The posts therein were written between July 2011 and May 2012.

Part 1 -- So How Far Back Does This Go (1954-2002)? 
  1. The Early Years
  2. Where Were You on July 22, 1972?
  3. WahooWa!
  4. Under Transylvanian Moons
  5. CSC:  The Only Limitations Are the Ones You Bring with You
  6. My Great Purge
  7. Hubble Goes Up, I Go Down
  8. Heaven Can Be Yours Just for Now
  9. NoTransition
Part 2 -- The Day my Universe Changed (2002-2010)
  1. A Dinner Conversation
  2. Looking for George Kennan
  3. Povorot
  4. Mission to Moscow
  5. Decision on Gros Morne
  6. I Wish I Was in the Land of Cotton
  7. Pacing the Cage
 Part 3 -- A Nine Month Story (October 2010 - June 2011)
  1. Kyna
  2. The Education of a Transgender Rip Van Winkle
  3. Fortochka
  4. Liftoff
  5. Stepping Out in Bucharest
  6. Stepping Out in Court
  7. My Guy, My Son
  8. Mâine 

NOTE:  Parts 4 and beyond were written in real-time and describe daily life and events beginning in July 2011.

Part 4 -- Looking Strange and Enjoying It (June - November 2011)

  1. My Coming Out Letter to my Friends at NASA
  2. Electrolysis in the Land of Vlad the Impaler
  3. Письмо моим русскоязычным друзьям; A Letter to my Russian Speaking Friends
  4. Thank You, Madam Secretary
  5. Looking Strange and Enjoying It: Two Months of HRT
  6. Interlude:  Bucharest by Bicycle
  7. How We Kidnapped Irina Nita
  8. Tears for a Colonel
  9. On Finding and Losing a Boyfriend in Seven Days
  10. A Bushel and a Peck and Up Around the NEC
  11. The Odd Joys of International Travel while in Transition 
Part 5 -- Real Life Experience (RLE) (November 2011 - December 2012)

  1. The Big Day:  A Letter to My Sister
  2. After the Ball
  3. A Bucharest Christmas
  4. Of Friends, Mammograms, and Van Gogh
  5. Old Clothes and Transgender DADT
  6. Transitional Bicycling and a Night of Lunacy
  7. What Do Uranium and a Transgender Foreign Service Officer Have in Common?
  8. March 8 and Me
  9. Diplomatically, Socially, and Congestedly Yours
  10. Voice: The Acid Test
  11. If Thy Friends Doth Protest Too Much, Do Not Remove Thy Clothes
  12. Rising for the Moon: Farewell to a Dear Friend
  13. Remove the Document, and You Remove the Man
  14. Proudly from Tirana
  15. Proudly from Bucharest
  16. Looking for Spa Therapy
  17. 3F@RM's, Stepbystep_ts, and Our Transsexual Summer
  18. Try to Remember
  19. To Peris(h) by Bicycle
  20. Foreign Service Bidding and Transgender DADT
  21. Turning to the East
  22. Autumn Comes to 45-deg N
  23. An Exclusive Halloween Ogre Just for Us
  24. Love Is but a Song We Sing: A Message of Peace and Love to Friends
  25. My First Anniversary
  26. November Postcards
  27. Hamlet and Healing

Part 6 -- Gender Confirmation -- or -- The Exclamation Point (December 2012 - March 2013)

  1. My White Romanian Christmas
  2. So You Want to Be in Pictures?
  3. The Journey Begins
  4. Our Day at the Beach
  5. OD Checks In; I Check Out
  6. Fates that Intertwine
  7. Like a Natural Woman
  8. All in the Zadnitsa
  9. Simple Gifts
  10. Collapse of the USSR
  11. A Matter of Depth
  12. We Interrupt this Program
  13. Vodka without Beer?
  14. My Million Baht Body
  15. My Own General Contractor
  16. Home Sweet Home in Romania

Part 7 -- Romania Farewell (March - June 2013)

  1. Back in the Saddle
  2. Radio Days
  3. On Losing a Daughter
  4. Both Sides Now
  5. The Carpet, Too, Is Moving Under You
  6. Bucharest Farewell
  7. Mâine, a Reprise
  8. Standing Proudly with Friends, 2010-13

Part 8 -- Bringing Myself Home (July 2013 - September 2014)
  1. A Tale of Two Katahdins
  2. In Homage to Allyson Robinson
  3. Chelsea Manning, Roasting Vegetables, and Me
  4. On Reading "Middlesex"
  5. Bucharest and Roxana on the Potomac
  6. Rising from the Ashes
  7. Our Exclusive Halloween Ogre Visits Again
  8. November: What I've Lost
  9. November: What I've Gained
  10. JFK, LBJ, and Their Gift to Me
  11. Our Winter Love: Thailand Anniversary and Return to Bucharest
  12. Please Continue to Hold During the Silence
  13. Proudly from Washington, Proudly from GLIFAA
  14. Bringing Myself Home

Part 9 -- My Life on the Steppe (October 2014 - August 2017)

NOTE:  See also companion web journal, "Alice in State," at

  1. A Stealthy Guest Appearance
  2. Proudly from Astana, Remembering '75
  3. Auld Lang Syne; Saying Goodbye to a Friend Five Years: Looking Back, Looking Forward
  4. Resistance Is Not Futile
  5. Trotsky, French Novels, and Us
  6. Petlura at the Gates
  7. What Would George Kennan Say?
  8. Project Sultana: A Plea for Help
  9. Yes, We Can!
  10. Waters of March
  11. Letter to a Respected Senior Colleague
  12. My Declaration
  13. Interview with Botagoz Omarova

Part 10 -- Return to the US . . . and Home?  (September 2017 - present) 

  1. My Journey . . . Home?
  2. A Stranger Among My Own 
  3. Out of the Muck

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