From Out Serve: http://outservemag.com/2012/09/war-journal-trans-deployed/
By Keith Thompson
12, Sep 2012
I choose to go by Keith. It isn’t my real name, but a pseudonym I selected to protect my identity. I am a female-to-male transgender Soldier, currently stationed in Afghanistan. At home, I am married to my wife—the most supportive person that I know. Nobody in Afghanistan knows I am trans, and I prefer to keep it that way, for obvious reasons.
The command climate in my unit during pre-deployment was harsh for me. The Soldiers in my unit think that I am a lesbian, serving openly and proudly. They do not know I am trans. I have never had an issue with any of my immediate colleagues about my sexual orientation. Just before we deployed, however, we received a new “butter bar” in our ranks. I started to feel that I was treated differently from the rest of the crew, chosen for the jobs nobody really wanted. Most of all, I could tell that this officer had a huge issue with me. Whenever I attempted conversation with her, she would ignore me.
I was lucky that a few of my colleagues witnessed this treatment and agreed to write statements on my behalf. With their help, a complaint was filed with the company’s equal opportunity representative. Because of this investigation, this officer was not allowed to deploy with our unit, which was a relief. When I deployed to Afghanistan, I was nervous after the incident, but now feel accepted with open arms.
When the colonel came to visit our company while on a mission, I was asked about my family and my life at home. I looked at my first sergeant, who nodded her approval, and I spoke freely about my wife. I was rather surprised the colonel seemed interested. My superiors had genuine and honest curiosity about my home life.
The base here has an OutServe chapter, but I haven’t been to any of the gatherings. I feel guilty, but I mostly pass the time with three online college courses, and something about discussing LGBT issues openly in military groups still makes me hesitant. That nervousness has kept me from getting involved in OutServe here, at least for now.
Continue reading at: http://outservemag.com/2012/09/war-journal-trans-deployed/
By Andrew Tilghman – Staff writer
Posted : Monday Oct 15, 2012
She’s a lesbian, and almost everyone in her unit knows it.
She wears her hair cropped short and has a distinctly boyish appearance.
And she’s becoming manlier by the day, now that she’s started taking male hormones.
Call her Keith. That’s the name this 26-year-old specialist, now deployed to Afghanistan, plans to take when she completes a transition begun several months ago when she started giving herselftestosterone injections every other week, under the direction of a civilian doctor who specializes in gender changes.
“It’s going well. My voice is deeper, I’m getting more muscle. I feel more energy. I feel more like myself,” she told Military Times in a recent interview via Skype from her containerized housing unit in Afghanistan.
Keith declined to be identified by her real name because under military policy, troops diagnosed with “gender identity disorder” are deemed medically unfit for service and face administrative separation.
The repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” in September 2011 cleared the way for gay troops to serve openly but did not address transgender individuals, defined as people who don’t identify with their birth gender.