HRC Blog

Retired Navy SEAL Comes Out as Transgender

Post submitted by David McCabe, HRC Digital Media Intern

A transgender, retired Navy SEAL is speaking publically about her experience in the service, as well as becoming aware of her gender identity and coming out to her fellow SEALs.

Kristin Beck, who served in the SEALs as Chris, decided not to come out while she was an active member of the Navy, since transgender service members are banned from the armed forces. She made the decision to begin hormone therapy after she retired in 2011 and, eventually to come out to her former colleagues by changing her photo on LinkedIn with the message, “"I am now taking off all my disguises and letting the world know my true identity as a woman.” In a new book, entitled Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy SEAL’s Journey to Coming Out as Transgender, Beck writes about the messages of support she received from her former colleagues, according to the Atlantic Wire.

“... 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,” wrote one of her fellow SEALs, as by Beck.

Beck was a member of SEAL Team 6 – the same group that would become known for the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden shortly after she retired. Over the course of a 20 year career with the Navy, she deployed 13 times. Another former SEAL told ABC News that within the elite group’s community, Beck enjoyed a good reputation.

OutServe Magazine, a publication of OutServe-SLDN, which advocates for and assists LGBT service members, praised the book. “The book could stand alone as an account of Beck’s distinguished career in the military,” they wrote, “but Warrior Princess has a bolder message to send to its readers: transgender people are people…and some of them are even our national heroes.”

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