​Kristin Beck Comes Out As Transgender Navy SEAL​​

Transgender Kristin Beck has served more than 20 years as a U.S. Navy SEAL, and has been deployed 13 times under the name Chris Beck, a war veteran.

Transgender Navy SEAL

“I want to have my life,” Beck told CNN’s “AC360″ in an exclusive Thursday night. “I fought for 20 years for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I want some happiness.”

Beck recently came out as transgender.

She wrote about the experience in a book, “Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy SEAL’s Journey to Coming out Transgender.”

It chronicles her life as a young boy and man, known then as Chris Beck.

Beck deployed 13 times, serving in places such as Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. She earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart along the way.
Though she’s felt trapped in the wrong body since grade school, Beck didn’t come out until after she left the military in 2011.

Doing so earlier would have been too big a risk.

Transgender men and women are banned from service.

“That’s a chance that if I took it, I might be dead today,” she said.

“There’s a lot of prejudice out there. 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.”

Beck says she doesn’t need people to love, or even like, her.

“But I don’t want you to beat me up and kill me. You don’t have to like me, I don’t care. But please don’t kill me.”

Beck explains her years of hiding as living like an onion.

Deep down, under various layers, or skins, she hid her female persona.

“It is a constant, but as you suppress and as you bottle it up, it’s not like on that surface,” she said.

“You would never notice it because I can push it so deep, but then it does kinda, like, it gnaws at you. So it’s always there.”

Looking back, Beck believes she might have wanted to become a SEAL because they are “the toughest of the tough.”

She thought: “I could totally make it go away if I could be at that top level. … Maybe I could cure myself.”

But the feeling of being born in the wrong body never went away.

And for her entire career, Beck kept her mouth shut.