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Former Navy SEAL Comes Out As Transgender Woman

kristin-beckA decorated former Navy SEAL has come out as transgender with the publication of a new autobiography over the weekend. Kristin Beck was born Chris, but she was never truly at ease with a male identity, even as a little boy.

“Chris really wanted to be a girl and felt that she was a girl and consolidated that identity very early on in childhood,” said Anne Speckhard, co-author of Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy SEAL’s Journey to Coming out Transgender.

ABC reports:

For 20 years, Beck served as an enlisted petty officer in the elite Navy SEALs, amassing seven warzone deployments, a Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart — as well as a tour in Seal Team Six, the secretive unit that went on to kill Osama bin Laden. Born and raised as Chris Beck, she was a man’s man — a football player, avid motorcyclist, and war hero.

According to the book, Chris “had considered living as the woman he felt himself to be for a very long time, but while he was serving as a SEAL he couldn’t do it.”

“For years Chris had turned off his sexuality like a light switch and lived as a warrior, consumed with the battle — living basically asexual,” the book says. “For Chris the other SEALs were brothers and in the man’s man warrior lifestyle, even if he had wanted to entertain sexual thoughts, there really was never any time to be thinking too much about sexuality.”

It was only after retiring in 2011 that Chris felt the time was right “to make his body match his identity.” Speckhard says Beck is currently on hormone therapy in preparation for sexual reassignment surgery and generally wears long hair, make-up and women’s clothes.

While the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” lifted the ban on openly gay soldiers serving in the military, transgender people are still prohibited due to discriminatory medical regulations. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that 20% of transgender people serve in the military — compared to 10% of all Americans.

However, in an unprecedented move, the Navy agreed to change transgender vet Autumn Sander’s sex on her personal records after years of fighting. Beck’s decision to publicly discuss her journey adds another crucial voice to the call for equality and non-discrimination in the armed forces.

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10 Comments

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Thanks for the sacrifice you made for our country. I wish you peace and well-being.

  • ouragannyc

    Is that a joke?
    I kinda don’t believe it.

  • Homophile

    @ouragannyc:

    Is what a joke? Your ignorance?

  • Tommysole

    She truly is a Warrior princess and has my utmost respect, loyalty and support. As a former navy man, I can say that being gay in the Navy in the time before, Dont ask dont tell, was difficult at best.
    Always hiding my sexuality, and having sex with men 20 to 30 miles away from the town I was stationed in so I wouldn’t be seen in a gay club.
    If I were seen or caught, it would have been dishonorable discharge.

    Going to a pride event? Forget it! you couldnt so it.

  • Teleny

    Thanks to Kristen & Tommy for their service. So often the media sensationalizes us, but these positive stories will continue to be told. So proud of you folks for bearing all of that on your shoulders.

  • kevininbuffalo

    Kristen, I wish you love and happiness in your life.

  • FLOGGERDADNYC

    Dear Ms. Kristen Beck:
    from us to you, thank & Gracias for all you did for so many. Glad you are doing so much for yourself now and forever!
    Philip & John/NYC

  • Stupid

    Hero. Congratulations, thank you, and bless your heart!

  • balehead

    So cool…

  • MickeyP.

    Wishing you all the love and happiness in the world. Thank you for fighting for the right to be you and for helping US be able to be who we are!

Comments are closed.