“After multiple combat deployments — more than many SEALs ever encounter, Chris returned back alive to fight this deeper battle in his soul and grappled with the moral and social decisions of living in secret or to transition into her true self.” – Cavan Sieczkowski
(The following excerpt taken from Kristin Beck, Transgender Navy SEAL, Comes Out In New Book by Cavan Sieczkowski originally appeared on huffingtonpost.com on 06/04/2013. To view it in its entirety please click on the link below.)
The United States military’s ban on transgender service members faces a challenge, and her name is Kristin Beck.
Beck is an author and activist who served 20 years as a Navy SEAL on 13 deployments and was once a member of the elite SEAL Team 6. She is also transgender.
Beck comes out publicly as transgender in her new memoir, Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy SEAL’s Journey to Coming out Transgender, which hit stores June 1. The book describes Beck’s life as Chris, a Christian boy who grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere and became a Navy SEAL. It describes someone who everyone viewed as “a hero, a warrior, a man” but who knew deep down she was transgender.
“Chris really wanted to be a girl and felt that she was a girl and consolidated that identity very early on in childhood,” Anne Speckhard, a research psychologist who co-authored the biography with Beck, told ABC News. Beck suppressed her transgender identity for decades while training as a SEAL and fighting in Afghanistan, “turning off” her sexuality and consuming herself with battle.
Beck chose to stay silent in respect of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” guidelines. Speckhard describes the inner turmoil she faced throughout her years of active duty.
“Chris describes his despair throughout this book and his desire to die honorably by serving our country and fighting terrorism — to keep us safe and so that he wouldn’t have to wrestle anymore with the emotional pain that stemmed from the lack of congruency between his gender identity and body,” she writes in the book. “After multiple combat deployments — more than many SEALs ever encounter, Chris returned back alive to fight this deeper battle in his soul and grappled with the moral and social decisions of living in secret or to transition into her true self.”