Kristin Beck | Military | News | Transgender

Former Elite Navy Seal Comes Out as Transgender in New Book

Navyseal

A former U.S. Navy Seal is speaking out about her transition to a woman in a new biography published over the weekend called Warrior Princess. Beck was a member of the elite SEAL Team 6, earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star, and served in the unit that killed Osama bin Laden, though retired shortly before that raid.

ABC News reports:

WarriorprincessKristin Beck, formerly Chris, served 20 years as a SEAL and fought on some of the most dangerous battlefields in the world, but after she left the service she realized she wasn't living the life she wanted.

"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 Beck's biography "Warrior Princess," which was published over the weekend. Speckhard told ABC News Beck suppressed that secret for decades, however, through the trials of SEAL training and the harrowing missions that followed, growing a burly beard as she fought on the front lines of American special operations.

The Atlantic reports that Beck decided to undergo hormonal therapy some time after retiring in early 2011, and came out to colleagues by posting a photo of herself on LinkedIn. Beck said her SEAL colleagues gave their full support:

Soon, the responses from SEALs stationed all around the world suddenly started pouring in: "Brother, I am with you ... being a SEAL is hard, this looks harder. Peace" * "I can't say I understand the decision but I respect the courage. Peace and happiness be upon you...Jim" * " ... I just wanted to drop you a note and tell you that Kris has all the support and respect from me that Chris had ... and quite possibly more. While I'm definitely surprised, I'm also in amazement at the strength you possess and the courage necessary to combat the strangers and 'friends' that I'm guessing have reared their ugly heads prior to and since your announcement. ..."

The book is expected to have an effect on military policy toward transgender servicemembers, who are banned from entering military service.

Just last month, the Department of Defense recognized for the first time officially that transgender veterans have served in a uniformed capacity when they reflected the gender identification of activist and veteran Autumn Sandeen.

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Comments

  1. I thought I was reading The Onion for a second.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jun 4, 2013 8:31:32 AM


  2. well met, vanguard!

    i have to say, despite the repeal of DADT a few years back, it was pretty depressing to see so many people celebrating with a "we've won!" attitude, when we actually haven't won.

    you may think you have because you may not be transgendered, but don't fool yourself into thinking that transphobia and homophobia aren't sinuously linked together.

    as an example of what i'm talking about, check out the anti-trans, anti-"gender-nonconformity" troll posts that are likely to pop up on here.

    cheers to the bravery of Kristin Beck - one who served her country, and continues to serve it, and all of us, by putting a bold and unafraid face to this issue that still bothers many an ignorant idiot.

    And to Ms. Beck, or any of her friends and family who may read these posts, don't be upset by any negative comments made about her; they will only be made by cowardly anonymous hacks who are simply bitter that they don't possess an ounce of the resilience and strength that Kristin has.

    a navy SEAL who is now sharing her story of transition.
    A M A Z I N G.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jun 4, 2013 8:32:32 AM


  3. This is going to blow Rick's feeble mind.

    Posted by: ripper | Jun 4, 2013 8:42:19 AM


  4. @ripper - the good news, and trust that it IS good news, is that the anti-trans members of the gay (male) community are pathetic spineless worms.

    it's one of those things that i discovered when i was finally Of Age and able to go out into the big gay world, and not just toe-dip into it on the internet: all the hate you read online? barely exists in the real world. why? because the haters (to use their own language and ideologies) simply aren't Man enough to live and co-exist with other gay people.

    so, yes. this story will likely bring out the idiots. but posting idiocy online, anonymously, is all they have, and is indeed the extent of their reach.

    unlike this woman in the story, who's got a public face to her Story, and a book available.

    puts it in perspective, eh?
    ;-)

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jun 4, 2013 8:46:53 AM


  5. Sometimes I think it's tough bring gay, but I can't imagine how tough it is to be transgender. Despite her service to her country, this is probably the most courageous thing she has ever done. Best wishes, Kristin.

    Posted by: Mike in the tundra | Jun 4, 2013 8:48:27 AM


  6. Raymond Miller's favorite [sorry, favourite] kind of story, eh? Think Kristin Beck's father will now reject her, Ray? Or is his dad too busy being anally gang raped by black men and enjoying himself,Ray? At least that's the kind of things you say about my deceased dad.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jun 4, 2013 8:51:09 AM


  7. Isn't that a telling aspect of anti-gay prejudice, Mike? That one can go into combat, amid snipers and landmines and missile attacks....and yet when they come home, back to the "land of the free and the home of the brave"...there's a terror about people finding out that they're gay, or transgendered.

    it's an aspect of anti-gay prejudice that needs to be brought to the forefront more: just how damaging it is, and how much of a threat to the psyche.

    when people are more scared to tell Mom and Pop that they're in love with another man than they were to go headfirst into armed-enemy territory....well, that's the angle that needs to be discussed. anti-LGBT prejudice and bigotry are insidious cancers.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jun 4, 2013 8:59:26 AM


  8. rip sweet prince u r with the angles now. we no ur sacrifice was not in vain. repost this if u hate cancer! 98% of u wont!

    Posted by: Deng | Jun 4, 2013 9:00:23 AM


  9. Just because you grow your hair long and wear lipstick, it doesn't make you a woman.

    Posted by: Adam | Jun 4, 2013 9:07:31 AM


  10. Just because you have a penis, doesn't make you a man.

    Ratbastard might be the perfect self-descriptor I have ever witnessed.

    Posted by: Mikey | Jun 4, 2013 9:11:54 AM


  11. So happy for her and proud of her! Congrats Kristin on being true to yourself! It's stories such as this that affect change and inspire others. Can't imagine what Kristin was going through, the extremely stressful situation of being a SEAL while struggling with being closeted and not being herself as a woman.

    Just goes to show that we as a community truly are capable of anything and everything we put our minds to. Thank you Kristin for your service and your bravery.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Jun 4, 2013 9:38:22 AM


  12. What an amazing life. I will definitely add "Warrior Princess" to my must read list for this summer.

    Posted by: andrew | Jun 4, 2013 9:47:50 AM


  13. Incredible.

    I just watched PBS's "American Experience" about the Stonewall Riots and the lives of Gay people leading up to that event. When you watch documentaries about OPENLY GAY PEOPLE before Stonewall there was not a separation between Gay and Trans. When I watch "Paris Is Burning" Transfolk call themselves "Gay".

    And I have to tell some of y'all this but there many many many hetero folks do not know that there is any difference between Gay and Transgender. They understand that there is a difference between Gay and TRANSSEXUAL, but no difference in terminalogy between a Gay man who is masculine and a Gay man like RuPaul dressed up.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 4, 2013 10:03:05 AM


  14. I'm curious about Kristen's sexuality. Trans lesbian interested in women, or straight and interested in men? The article doesn't say.

    I admit to being entertained by the thought that this woman, formerly a man "tainted" by femininity according to some world views, could probably remove Rick's trachea with her bare hands.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jun 4, 2013 10:13:34 AM


  15. "I admit to being entertained by the thought that this woman, formerly a man "tainted" by femininity according to some world views, could probably remove Rick's trachea with her bare hands."

    Can we make that a PPV event?

    Posted by: ripper | Jun 4, 2013 10:22:23 AM


  16. what an amazing and inspiring story. I hope it makes life easier for Trans folks on the road to full respect and rights. I can't imagine the struggle they must go through just to be who they are.

    I like the idea of a kick ass Trans Seal swat team taking out bad guys around the world and then going back to their basecamp and painting their nails cherry red.

    This is going to make Christian and Islamic Fundy heads explode. Sublime.

    Posted by: Mike in nyc | Jun 4, 2013 10:36:45 AM


  17. what an amazing and inspiring story. I hope it makes life easier for Trans folks on the road to full respect and rights. I can't imagine the struggle they must go through just to be who they are.

    I like the idea of a kick ass Trans Seal swat team taking out bad guys around the world and then going back to their basecamp and painting their nails cherry red.

    This is going to make Christian and Islamic Fundy heads explode. Sublime.

    Posted by: Mike in nyc | Jun 4, 2013 10:36:46 AM


  18. Badass. We often get to watch spec ops guys jump out of choppers from our ships inport. They're like mythical creatures.

    Anyway, congrats to her!

    Posted by: J.J. in the Navy | Jun 4, 2013 10:46:13 AM


  19. At the root of all LGBT issues is gender equality. They say I can't marry a man because of my gender. We sometimes think we have more in common with the black civil rights movement, but in reality it is the women's movement we are a part of.

    Little boys are still told they can't wear pink and paint their nails. It points to gender equality, or should I say, equal respect for gender. When boys are told they can't look like girls, it is a form of misogyny.

    This former SEAL is a hero not only for the trans community, but for all women.

    Maybe some day the gay community will get behind a female president too (no matter how hot her male primary opponent is). GENDER EQUALITY.

    Posted by: Jude | Jun 4, 2013 11:08:35 AM


  20. I can't wait to read! She's gorgeous! & looks super-happy in her new photo, which is really the point.

    Posted by: Jem (truly outrageous) | Jun 4, 2013 11:15:40 AM


  21. "Just because you grow your hair long and wear lipstick, it doesn't make you a woman."

    You're right Adam. She was always a woman, but now her outside matches her inside.

    Posted by: Mike in the tundra | Jun 4, 2013 11:36:51 AM


  22. This is an amazing one-of-a-kind story.

    Which is precisely why that book cover needs to be redesigned ASAP. I'm no graphic designer but the typography looks cheap and amateurish. I'm surprised comic sans wasn't thrown in there for good measure.

    Posted by: Unicorn | Jun 4, 2013 12:00:53 PM


  23. thank you Mike in the tundra. I cant speak to her experience or feelings. but I dont think she transitioned to being a woman because she always was. perhaps her transition was to remove the shackles of society and stop pretending to be male.

    Posted by: Bellah | Jun 4, 2013 12:05:50 PM


  24. Jude, the gay community is already backing a female presidential candidate. Her name is Hillary Clinton.

    You're also right---gender equality and gay equality go hand in hand with each other.

    Adam is Jason and is a troll. Ignore.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Jun 4, 2013 12:12:46 PM


  25. I'm a dolphin! Respect me!

    Posted by: David Hearne | Jun 4, 2013 12:35:53 PM


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