This is a letter that my mother wrote to her best friend’s husband about their friendship over my transition back in 2010. Later their friendship was reunited after they understood who I am. Here is that letter.

Well David under the circumstance right now I think it’s better Kate and I just distance ourselves for a while because whenever I talk with her it only make me feel worse.  I know she is having a hard time trying to understand what my son is going through and she is not interested in reading up on children born this way therefore she cannot be supportive of me accepting things the way I have.  To her it is a choice, but for me it is not a choice whether I accept this or not.  He is my son and I Love him unconditionally and always will and I will stand by him until I die.

At this time in my life, I cannot take anyone upsetting me especially if they cannot have an open mind and be willing to check things out before being so judgmental.  Hopefully one day she might be able to come to grips with this and at less try to understand how I feel and realize what pain and suffering my son has been going through all his life.  He has as much right as we have to live his life the way he wants to and be happy instead of living his life the way other people feel he should just so they can feel comfortable. Their lack of understanding is due to their lack of information which is available concerning transgender children.  I have learned a lot in the past 4 weeks.  Going to the support group and talking to the pastor has really helped me to better understand and adjust to the way things are.  Like they said it is not about me, it is about him and his happiness and it is not his problem it is our problem because we make it about us and what feel and want.  That is why I thank God for helping me see beyond the outside appearance and to look into the heart and soul of the individual.  For no matter what, inside he is the same person that I loved before.  It is like if you took a love story book and changed the cover to something totally different. Once you open the book it would still be a love store, only the cover was changed. What we all look for in life is not approval but love and I have loved Kate all these years, not because of, but in spite of. I am watching my son drifting away right before my eyes and turning into Karen “a beautiful woman”.  It is like watching a caterpillar transform into a butterfly.

You can find my TEDx or TED Talk “40 Years and Wandering No More”, when you Google my name. If you need to talk about anything, please email me at or visit my personal website at  Until next time Shoot for the Moon and Even if You Miss, You’ll Be Among the STARS!

Author Profile

Karen Kendra Holmes
Karen Kendra Holmes
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.