Spectra Alliance Presents:

The Lived Experiences
of Transgender Service Members and Veterans

Given the changes in policy as it concerns gender identity in the military, Spectra Alliance will host a panel discussion on December 4, 2019 from 5:00PM to 7:00PM in the Lohrfink Auditorium, called The Lived Experience of Transgender Service Members & Veterans. This event will serve as an opportunity for our special guests, Paula Neira, Karen Kendra Holmes, and Charlotte Clymer to share their stories and experiences with the objective of raising awareness of transgender service members and veterans. On this page, you’ll find the event schedule below followed by short (and full) biographies of our guests.

Guests are kindly asked to RSVP
For directions to the Lohrfink Auditorium, please consult this map.

Event schedule

4:30-4:50: Arrival of guests
4:50-5:00: Guests are asked to be seated
5:00-5:10: Introduction
5:10-6:10: Moderated Panel Discussion
6:10-6:20: Questions from the audience
6:20-6:30: Closing remarks
6:30-7:00: Reception with beverages and h’oeuvres d’oeuvres

The panel discussion will engage undergraduate and graduate students across many disciplines representing full-time and part-time programs university wide. Georgetown faculty and staff are also invited to attend as well as other interested parties from the community including veteran and LGBTQ+ advocates.


Paula Neira
U.S. Navy veteran

Paula M. Neira, JD, MSN, RN, CEN graduated with distinction from the United States Naval Academy in 1985. A Surface Warfare Officer, she served as a regular and reserve officer including serving in mine warfare combat during Operation Desert Storm. Her military decorations include three Navy Commendation Medals, the Navy Achievement Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon as well as numerous unit, campaign and service awards. For more information, please read Paula’s full bio.

Karen Kendra Holmes
MD Defense Force veteran

Karen Kendra Holmes was a Staff Sergeant with Force Protection, the Chaplain’s Unit as a Chaplain’s Assistance, Honor Guard, and MWR in the Maryland Defense Force under the Maryland National Guards. In December 2012 she received “NCO Soldier of the Year” by the Maryland State Guard Association and The Maryland Defense Force. 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. For more information, please read Karen’s full bio.

Charlotte Clymer
U.S. Army veteran

Charlotte Clymer is the press secretary for rapid response at the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest civil rights organization dedicated to advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) equality. She serves on the D.C. Commission for Persons with Disabilities, the Board for the Center for Law and Military Policy, the Military and Veterans Advisory Council for Outserve-SLDN (Servicemember’s Legal Defense Network), and the Advisory Councils for Running Start and the Lone Star Parity Project, organizations working toward gender parity in elected office. For more information, please read Charlotte’s full bio.

The Lived Experiences of Transgender Service Members and Veterans is a Spectra Alliance event, presented as a collaborative initiative by GradPride, OUT@MSB, and the Georgetown University Student Veteran Association. We are supported by McCourt’s Civil-Military Association as well as the Military Law Society. Our sponsors include Georgetown University’s Veterans Office, the Tagliabue Initiative for LGBTQ Life, the LGBTQ Resource Center, and Center for Social Justice.

If you’d like to help in promoting the event, please use one of our flyers (PDF or JPG) or other promotional images suitable for emails and social media.

For more information regarding The Lived Experiences, please contact gradpride@georgetown.edu.