Kristin Beck, born June 21, 1966, is a retired United States Navy SEAL who gained public attention in 2013 when she came out as a trans woman, the first openly transgender former U.S. Navy SEAL.
Beck, who served for 20 years in the U.S. Navy SEALs before her transition, took part in 13 total deployments, including seven combat deployments.
Furthermore, Beck was a member of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group, a special counter-terrorism unit popularly called SEAL Team Six, and received multiple military awards and decorations, including a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.
Now that President Trump have banned transgender people from serving in the military in ‘any capacity’, Beck took it upon herself to speak out.
via Business Insider:
“Let’s meet face to face and you tell me I’m not worthy,” Kristin Beck, a 20-year veteran of the Navy SEALs, told Business Insider on Wednesday. “Transgender doesn’t matter. Do your service.”
Beck said Trump’s abrupt change in policy could negatively affect many currently or wanting to serve in the military. The RAND Corporation estimated in 2016 that there were between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender people serving. Many of them just want to serve their country like everyone else, Beck said.
“Being transgender doesn’t affect anyone else,” Beck said. “We are liberty’s light. If you can’t defend that for everyone that’s an American citizen, that’s not right.”
The ban comes despite the fact that a 2016 study commissioned by the Defense Department concluded that letting transgender people serve openly would have a “minimal impact” on readiness and health care costs, largely because there are so few in the military’s 1.3 million-member force. About 2,450 of the estimated 1.3 active military members are transgender, making up about just 0.1-0.5 percent.