Today we are profiling Kristin Beck. She is a former United States Navy SEAL who came out as transgender in 2013.
Beck was born in 1966 and was raised on a farm in Western Pennsylvania. According to her story her first thoughts on being born in the wrong gender occurred at the age of 5, but she was encouraged by her family to be more masculine. In a June 22, 2015 article by Ben Terris for the Washington Post, she describes an event where her father caught her wearing a pink tutu describing “He gave me a good enough scare that it would be a real long time before I ever did it again in front of anybody.” After a childhood filled with gender dysphoria and often running away from home she attended the Virginia Military Institute in 1984.
“I’ve been Conan [the Barbarian], and I’ve been Barbie,” she said, “But both parts make up who I am.” – Kristin Beck
Beck then joined the United States Navy where she became a Navy Seal and member of the well known SEAL Team Six. It was during this time she married her first wife Shelly and had two sons. She participated in 13 deployments, often going back into harms way to avoid the pain of dysphoria and not being true to herself. After 20 years of fighting for her country and against herself, Beck retired from the Navy in 2011. During her career she received multiple military awards and decorations including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. The wear and tear of her career left her with damaged discs in her spine, damaged knees from a hard parachute landing in Afghanistan, problems with her ribs and scars from a rocket explosion she suffered on her 42nd birthday courtesy of the Taliban. Kristin Beck retired as a hero who fought for her country but she had one fight left. She decided it was time to fight for her existence as her true self.
In September 2014 her documentary “Lady Valor” premiered on CNN. Beck has been a champion for the transgender cause and is one of the reason’s the United States Government is currently reconsidering their policy which does not allow transgender citizens to openly serve.
Though estranged from her two son’s Beck moved to Maryland and is now engaged to her fiancee Heather. She is also running for Congress in Maryland’s 5th which has it’s primary on April 26, 2016.
You can view the trailer for Lady Valor below.
You can learn more about and lend support for Kristin’s campaign campaign for Congress at http://www.beck4congress.us/
Kristin Beck’s story is truly an incredible one and I recommend checking out Lady Valor. Her story reminds me that even though we all share a common narrative we are so diverse within our own community. We all have a story to tell and Kristin’s is certainly one worth learning about.