Kristin Beck, Transgender Former Navy SEAL, Tells Anderson Cooper She’s “The Toughest Of The Tough”

Screen Shot 2013-06-07 at 8.01.29 PMAnd we couldn’t agree more!

After 20 years of serving as a Navy SEAL, transgender woman Kristin Beck appeared on Anderson Cooper‘s AC360 last night to discuss her life plans after military service and her new book about living in secrecy in during service, “Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy SEAL’s Journey to Coming out Transgender”.

Beck told Cooper that she knew she was trapped in the wrong body since grade school, and believes joining the military was her way to prove she was “the toughest of the tough.”

“I could totally make it go away if I could be at that top level,” she told Cooper. “Maybe I could cure myself.”

But after 20 years in the military, 13 deployments in the Middle East, one Bronze Star and one Purple Heart, Beck knew it was the right time to retire and come out as a transgender woman. Today, transgender men and women are still banned from military service.

“There’s a lot of prejudice out there,” she condintued. “There’s been a lot of transgender people who are killed for prejudice, for hatred. When the book came out — some amazing support and some amazing praises — but also some pretty amazing bigotry and hatred.”

Though no one ever had the chance to meet “the real me,” Beck 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.”

Watch the rest of Beck’s story and her full interview with Anderson, at CNN.