National News

Staff sergeant responds to Trump's transgender military ban

Posted July 31

— Days after President Trump's tweet barring transgender people in the military, some feel their future is uncertain. ABC2 spoke with a highly decorated member of the military, who now feels like she's in limbo.

"We're not out there with a "t" on our uniform saying hey I'm trans. We just want to be a normal person, living a normal life," said Karen Kendra Holmes.

Holmes transitioned from a man to a woman seven years ago. She wasn't even in the military at the time. Afterwards she joined the Maryland Defense Force.

"We're good people," she said. "We're doing great things in the military."

The Staff Sergeant is still shocked by Trump's tweet Wednesday.

"It really hurt the fact that after last year we were accepted finally by the DOJ and now we're able to serve openly and all of a sudden he's in office and now it's getting reverted back to we can't serve," Holmes said.

She had her gender reassignment surgery in April 2016. Every document she owns from her driver's license to her birth certificate carries her new sex as a female.

"I just wish he'd get to know some of us personally, my story, other soldiers stories," she said.

While Trump classified transgender people serving in the military as a distraction, Holmes says reverting to a don't ask, don't tell policy is what's dangerous.

"If we're being our true authentic self, being who we really are, I think that's going to make things better for us as soldiers because we can really get into the trenches and be who we are," Holmes said.

Staff Sergeant Holmes said the military did not pay for her surgery. She says she paid for it through her own private insurance.

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