Warrior Princess: US Navy SEAL comes out as transgender.
Chris Beck played high school football. He bought a motorcycle, much to his mother’s dismay, at age 17. He grew up to become a U.S. Navy SEAL, serving our country for twenty years on thirteen deployments, including seven combat deployments, and ultimately earned a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. To everyone who saw him, he was a hero. A warrior. A man.
But underneath his burly beard, Chris had a secret, one that had been buried deep inside his heart since he was a little boy—one as hidden as the panty hose in the back of his drawer. He was transgender, and the woman inside needed to get out.
This is the journey of a girl in a man’s body and her road to self-actualization as a woman amidst the PTSD of war, family rejection and our society’s strict gender rules and perceptions. It is about a fight to be free inside one’s own body, a fight that requires the strength of a Warrior Princess.
Kristin’s story of boy to woman explores the tangled emotions of the transgender experience and opens up a new dialogue about being male or female: Is gender merely between your legs or is it something much bigger?
[Blurb for Warrior Princess via Amazon.]
(ABC article content by LEE FERRAN (@leeferran), 3 JUN 2013.)
Kristin 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.
Brandon Webb, a former SEAL who served on a different SEAL team than Beck, said that Beck’s reputation in the SEALs was a good one and said she was, by all appearances, the “consummate guy’s guy.”
But the book says that Chris “had considered living as the woman he felt himself to be for a very long time, but while he was serving as a SEAL he couldn’t do it.”
"For years Chris had turned off his sexuality like a light switch and lived as a warrior, consumed with the battle — living basically asexual. For Chris the other SEALs were brothers and in the man’s man warrior lifestyle, even if he had wanted to entertain sexual thoughts, there really was never any time to be thinking too much about sexuality," the book says.
After her retirement in 2011, however, “Now seemed the right time to go for it — to make his body match his identity — or at least start by dressing like a woman in his regular life.”
Speckhard said Beck first announced her decision to friends online with the declaration “No more disguises” and the book describes her going out to gay bars in Florida as a woman.
Beck is currently on hormone therapy in preparation for sexual reassignment surgery and generally wears long hair, make-up and women’s clothes, Speckhard said.