INDEPENDENCE DAY

Born On The 4th Of July: 12 American LGBT War Heroes

kbeckKristin Beck

As Chris, Beck was a decorated Navy SEAL, involved in seven deployments overseas, awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, and even serving a tour in the elite SEAL Team Six, which found Osama bin Laden. The entire time, however, she felt like a stranger in her own body and came out recently as transgender with the memoir, Warrior Princess.

Though Autumn Sandeen became the first transgender servicemember to have her records accurately reflect her gender identity, it was the result of years of struggle. Once a civilian, Beck was free to be herself, but she says she gave her life to a military that vehemently opposed her inclusion. “I gave true brotherhood. I did my best, 150% all the time, and I gave strength and honor and my full brotherhood to every military person I ever worked with.”