Joining the Maryland Defense Force

Getting sworn into the Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) as a state guard soldier one evening in November 2011 was something I’ll never forget. This is Maryland’s state defense force. The MDDF is organized as a volunteer military organization, parallel to the Maryland National Guard, which it is designed to augment during stateside emergencies. Before getting into my journey with MDDF let me take you back to August 2011. It was a summer day in August when I was with the Prince George’s County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). The CERT program trains citizens to prepare for emergency situations in their communities. […]

Transitions | My First Day Back to Work

Like everyone in our community, my first day back to work after I transitioned full-time is a day I will never forget. For me, the day was October 12th, 2010. Let me take you back four months earlier – to June 2010 – when I attended the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference (now called the Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference). While attending this conference I saw five, six, seven-year-old kids enjoying themselves and having fun, only to find out they were transgender kids. I attended the workshops only to hear stories of lives just like mine. The more I heard, the more […]

TRANS LIVES: My Journey Rolls On

Hello Everyone, my name is Karen Kendra Holmes and I am so excited to have my column and I welcome you all to “Trans Lives”. Within my column I will be talking about various topics that I want to share and yours if you care to share with other readers. I want to shed lots of faith, hope, and love that we give respect and earn the respect that we so deserve. From each article written I want you all to know that I have you each in my heart and you have a close friend in me. I just […]

Karen Kendra Holmes: My Journey

The question you may be asking is “Who is Karen Kendra Holmes?” To start things off, I am an advocate for the transgender community. But let me take you back to the time before I became an advocate for my fellow sisters and brothers in the community. I recall as early as 13 years of age when I started dressing in clothes designed for women. I wasn’t sure why or when I decided to do that, but I felt right within myself to wear women’s clothing and I was more comfortable with myself when I did. For years I purchased […]