Journeys of Transformation: Stories from Across the Acronym

Journeys of Transformation by Reid Vandenburgh

A few years ago, I got the idea to write a book about mid-transition issues. I interviewed a number of former clients who had transitioned awhile ago, to see how life was treating them now. But the book wasn’t quite gelling, it seemed to need more (as my wife pointed out). A few months ago, I had an “Aha!” moment over lunch with a good friend. So, now I’ve written “Journeys of Transformation: Stories from Across the Acronym.”

Pre-order now, just $24.95! The first 100 copies are going to be a limited special edition.

Here’s the Preface and Table of Contents:


GLBTQQIAA… all look at each other from their particular vantage point in the acronym, but often with little understanding of each other. Yet the shorthand acronym is “GLBT community,” implying an umbrella. Is there basis for actually forming that umbrella? Politically, absolutely, though sometimes the G and L issues predominate and the other issues are left behind. But socially? The gulf of understanding has made social coalitions difficult. This book will explore, primarily through personal stories, the common ground and the differences, furthering our understanding of each other.

You will notice there are more stories of trans people in this book than of gay or lesbian people. This is deliberate – there has been much less visibility of trans people until fairly recently. I have fielded many questions from gay men and lesbians, wanting more information and hoping to be supportive. My hope is that readers will find the stories that are most different from their own, and seek to find the common ground. Though tempting to read stories of others who share our identity, ally work means reaching out to those who aren’t like us. We may find we’re more alike than we realized.

Throughout this book, I’ve included quotes from various people, leaving their identity blank; I invite you to try to fill in the blanks. (The answers are in the back of the book.) If we are going to be lumped together by people who work against us, it is in our best interest to find ways to be allies to each other. Finding our common ground is a good place to start.

Table of Contents

Who We Are — Time does not change us, it just unfolds us. (Max Frisch, Swiss playwright)

Paths Toward Authenticity: GLBTQQIAA – what does it all mean?
How We Hide: The different ways in which denial of identity plays out in terms of sexual orientation and gender identity
The DSM Difference: How we got from the first iteration of the DSM (1952) to where we are today
Building Community: Building gay/lesbian communities, barriers to forming trans community, fitting the “T” into “G/L”communities

How We Live — We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same. (Anne Frank)

The Twentieth Generation: Joe and Vince both transitioned in the 1950s
The Next Generation: Dana transitioned at 14, what’s her life like now, at 24?
I Believe in Miracles: Audrey tries to live as a bi-gendered person internally, remaining a man to preserve her marriage
I’m One Too: Mary is a lesbian who experiences the fall-out when she falls in love with a man
The Inherited Relationship: Michael inherits a relationship from his pre-transition self – now what?
The Joy and Pain of Starting Over: Phyllis came out as a lesbian in the 1990s, losing her best friend in the process
A Brother’s Journey: Peter is a gay man who comes to terms with a sibling’s convoluted path toward living in authenticity
An Unorthodox Orthodoxy: Marcus is a transman who finds he resonates with Orthodoxy when he falls in love with a woman who is Orthodox Christian
Subject to Change Without Notice: Carmen goes on her own journey, remaining married as her husband transitions
A Non-Traditional Non-Traditional Family: Peg, a psychiatrist, comes to terms with owning a lesbian identity in the 1960s
It Gets Better: Seda and Kristin remain married through transition, despite Kristin losing attraction for Seda
The Invisible (Trans)Man: Kevin is a transman who finds it hard to accept that he’s trans, and deeply wishes he was cisgender
Transcendence Through Music: Karen is a mid-fifties transwoman who is avoiding transition until after retirement, music is one way she copes
Better Late Than Never: David is a 70-something gay man who tried everything not to be gay
The Exceptional Transition: Trina’s transition defies every stereotype possible
Call Me Yommy: Emily’s sons adjust in different ways to her mid-life transition
Once Upon a Time: Jean learns after he died that her lifelong best friend Howard was a gay man

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