My life as a Christian changed when I transition back on October 1, 2010. The following Sunday I had to face the toughest decision since my transition, whether to go to church again. The church that I was attending I loved, because it was the church where I gave my life to Christ. Back in my earlier days I use to be a DJ on the side at parties and make 8 track and cassette tapes. Ok, I’m really giving my age away and yes, I am 63 years young. Anyway, God drew me to him through music. I knew my old church wouldn’t accept me being Transgender, but I went a couple of more times anyway before I decided which church to go to. I knew it wouldn’t work for me since I transition, and it was against what the church believed.
A couple of months later I joined Twinbrook Baptist Church, being led by Pastor Jill McCrory. Since my first day at Twinbrook, I felt nothing but love from all the parishioners. I was very much involved as much as I could, with events that the church was involved with. Whenever I missed church on a Sunday, someone was calling to check up on me, or when I return the following Sunday, people were asking me if I was ok.
A few years later, I also attended another church called Restore Church in Silver Spring, MD under Pastor Aaron Thomas and First Lady Kerrie Thomas. I went to Restore to support a friend who was also a Transgender woman and coming out to the church for the first time. The Pastor and his wife were supportive towards my friend. Later that morning they learned to know from my friend I was also Transgender, but they didn’t care. Every so often I would attend their service, that didn’t interfere with going to Twinbrook. Restore would even invite me to all types of events that the women of the church invited me too. Later the women realized I was Transgender, but they didn’t care. My time at Restore I grew to love everyone there and they loved me. I started attending another church as well, called Rockville United Church under Pastor Scott Winnette on the same Sunday’s which also didn’t interfere with Twinbrook and Restore. A few months later, I was going to just two churches after Twinbrook closed. Unfortunately, I had to leave Restore because they changed their service time from 4:30 pm to 10:00 am. Now, I can only attend Rockville United.
At Rockville United Church, I was welcomed with open arms and hearts. Rockville United has shown me so much love and support for who I am and the support with the Transgender Community. They have cared so much for me and my safety, which led them to buying me a bullet proof vest. The reason they brought a vest for me is for my safety whenever I would do volunteer ride a-long work with Prince George’s County Police when talking with the Transgender Sex Workers in Fairmont Heights, MD. This area in 2019 was where two Transwomen were murdered. Recently I was asked if I would be interested in being on the church council overseeing security for the church. Hopefully I will be voted in next month.
I must say that I have “Loved” all my churches I’ve attended, past and present since my Transition. All of them have poured out so much “Love” for me. I truly have been Blessed, by them all, and I wish every Transgender person could experience what I have by the churches I have attended.
You can find me at email@example.com or visit my personal website at http://www.KKHolmes.com In my next article I’ll talk about “Life With My Family Today”. Until then Shoot for the Moon and even if You Miss, You’ll Be Among the STARS!
Karen Kendra Holmes works for the Federal Government as a Safety Officer. Besides her full- time job with the Federal Government she is a part-time radio host on WPFW 89.3 FM on the “Inside Out LGBTQ Show” on WPFW 89.3 FM. She also writes a column for Baltimore OUTloud under the column called “Trans Lives”. Karen received the Engendered Spirit Award from Capital Pride on June 7, 2018. She also was a TEDx Speaker with TEDx Asbury Park, NJ on May 19, 2018. In April 2017 she received the “2017 Monica Roberts Advocacy Award”. She was selected in January 2017 by LGBTQ Nation as one of the “Top 50 Successful Transgender Americans You Need to Know”. In May of 2015, she was honored in a special edition among 41 other women from around the world in The Platform Magazine, for up and inspiring females who have made a difference with their platform and inspired others with their positive values towards others. In April 2014 she received the “Willis Greene Community Service Award” and the “Unsung Hero Award-Team” by the Corporation for National & Community Service. In October 2013 she received “Soldier of the Year”, out of the country, by the State Guard Association of the United States out of 24 states and 23 thousand soldiers. In December 2012 she received “NCO Soldier of the Year” by the Maryland State Guard Association and The Maryland Defense Force. She was selected in August 2012 by The International Women’s Leadership Association, "A Woman of Outstanding Leadership in the Business Owner Division".
With the Maryland Defense Force under the Maryland National Guards she was a Staff Sergeant with Force Protection, the Chaplain’s Unit as a Chaplain’s Assistance, Honor Guard, and MWR. She has been doing volunteer work with the American Red Cross for the National Capital Region since 2009 on the Disaster Action Team. For several years, she has been volunteering with Community Emergency Response Team (CERTs) in Prince George's County, MD, and also with the Medical Reserve Corps. She sits on the board for the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) in Prince George's County, MD. Karen also use to sit on the board for DC Metro PFLAG working with the Transgender Community. She is now the chapter president of the Transgender Veterans Support Group (TVSG) for Maryland. Before Karen’s transitioned, she previously volunteered with the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission Park Police Prince George's County Division for 7 years, 5 of them as their President, and received several awards for her service, such as two Commander’s Awards and two Volunteer of the Year Awards. In December 2005 she received the Governor’s Crime Prevention Award for her outstanding work and leadership with Park Police Volunteer Association. She has her own side business called SafetyFirst DMV and is certified as an instructor through the National Safety Council (NSC). Karen believes whole heartedly in the importance of and Giving Back to her Community.