WOW, I am so excited to say that coming up on April 8, 2020 will be my fourth year Anniversary from having Gender Conformation. I can honestly say without a doubt I would never turn back, and I am 200% Happier than I’ve ever been in my life. On October 1, 2010, I went full time with my transition living as a woman 24/7, but there was still something missing in my life that needed to be done. Having Gender Conformation at the time was very important for me to have. Normally a Transgender person must wait a year after they transition living as the opposite sex. After my transition God placed it in my heart to wait five years to have the surgery, which I am glad I did. My plan was to take a loan out of my TSP in five years to cover my surgery. In waiting the five years to have my surgery what would have cost $45K, it was only $450.00 for my co-payment. WOW, “Let’s Roll”, my Gender Conformation for surgery was scheduled for April 8, 2016.
After my surgery, on April 25, 2016 I was interviewed by ABC2 News out of Baltimore, MD about my life. I was very happy about having my surgery, so if I had other surgeries later no one would know I was Transgender. In the past whenever I was under anesthesia, I was always wonder before I had my gender conformation is what the operating team was thinking when they saw I had male genitalia. Now when go to drill and staying overnight, going to the fitness center, or the pool, etc., I don’t worry about someone seeing me. Although women are very self-conscious of their bodies, this is still one stress I didn’t have to worry about anymore. Some of my coolest things to wear now is a bathing suit without the skirt, tights, yoga pants etc. My happiest in life right now, is I feel great about my body.
There are some challenges I have face now since my gender conformation, and that is using the lady’s bathroom at concert, sporting events, and movies with long lines that go out the bathroom door and down the hall. Before I sit on the toilet to take a pee, I have to wonder is the toilet seat wet or is there toilet paper. I used to wonder when I was married why my ex-wife would go through so much toilet paper, and now I know why. My life is not like it used to be when I had male genitalia, I could just shake it and go. Now I must wipe and if I do both, it is having to use more toilet paper. For those who don’t understand, for women or post-op Transwomen we must use more if we do both number one and two. We must wipe forward for number one and wipe back for number two. The challenge for me now after 45 years in learning something one way when I was male and having to learning a new way to wipe as a woman. The worst for me now is if I must take a pee bad is having to just un-zip and pee, rather than un-zip and pulling down my pants. Oh, and the really bad thing as a woman having to pee and you are in the car traveling on a trip, you can’t just pee behind a tree or in the car with a jar, LOL. In all this change in my life, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Sometimes now, coming up on my fourth-year celebration of Gender Conformation I still have these “Aha Moments”, that I had the surgery, and I am a full woman being my true self. My life now is a dream that has come true.
You can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my personal website at http://www.KKHolmes.com In my next article I’ll talk about “Being Loved By The Church”. 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.