Retired Navy SEAL Comes Out as Transgender, “Patriots” Freak Out


Kristin Beck

Tuesday morning, I came across the story of Kristin Beck, the retired Navy SEAL who just announced that they were now living and dressing as a woman, and were preparing for a gender reassignment surgery. I was truly saddened, (but not surprised) at the comments I saw below the story as it appeared on a number of websites.

The absolute vitriol and hatred which spewed forth from these people — the same people who slap Chinese-made flags and yellow “Support The Troops” decals on their vehicles — was truly disgusting. These are the same folks who casually dismiss the deaths of thousands of foreign civilians, but God forbid a retired member of an elite military unit decide to finally be truthful with themselves and others about who they really are.

The one thing I wanted to ask each and every one of these keyboard commandos is, “Why the hell should you care?” Honestly, what difference does it make whether or not it is Chris Beck who looked like a member of “Duck Dynasty” or it’s Kristin Beck, who in my heterosexual opinion is pretty attractive as a woman? Therein may be the problem for a lot of people, especially men who cannot fathom the idea that a person they find attractive currently or previously possessed male genitalia. To them, this is even more confusing and threatening to their fragile sense of masculinity than a stereotypical gay man making a pass at them. Not to mention that this is a woman that could probably kill them in a dozen ways in less than 5 seconds. I’m sure that severely messes with their heads as well.

In addition to all of the above, this is a huge blow to their conceived notion of the SEALs as a hyper-masculine, lead slinging unit. Just two years ago, the SEALs eliminated the most wanted man in history and in 2012, the movie “Act of Valor” further lauded what is considered to be the most elite force out of all four branches of the military.

Over and over again, commenters enjoying the protections of hurling transphobic and homophobic slurs from behind the safety of their computer screen reminded me how far we have yet to come as a country when it comes to transgender issues. Even other SEALs were supportive of Kristin, which really makes me wonder who the real patriots are? The delusional gun nuts with Rogaine and Cialis prescriptions, or the members of the military who have put their lives on the line repeatedly?

The one place where support or polite indifference seems to have been SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) was on which is a site that is geared towards members of the Special Forces community and not armchair patriots.

Even as society becomes more tolerant of gays and lesbians, there is still a serious lack of acceptance — or even just minding your own damn business — when it comes to the attitude towards the transgender community. If I were to make a guess, I’d say that they’re 3 or even 4 decades behind gays and lesbians on the path to equality, and that’s a damn shame.


Facebook comments

  • Donna Enyart Adkins

    I didn’t read the comments because I knew they would be filled with hate.

    • George Melby

      Actually, the comments have been pretty supportive, not much hate. My sincere kudos to the trans-sexual people who have put their lives on the line for this country and their supporters, and a big boo-hoo to those twits who give them trouble!
      Blessings, peace, joy!
      Dakotahgeo, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain

  • ShoreBudMike

    Yep. Minding one’s own damned business would be a start. Or slitting their own wrists would be helpful, too.

    • zoro

      oh come on now. you say you are a progressive, but you’re being just as bad as the rest of the people out there who hate. they hate gays because they’re different. you are telling to kill themselves because they believe something differently than you. while i don’t appreciate their bigoted mindset in my presence, i wouldn’t ever tell them to go slit their wrists. people who think they’re better and more sophisticated because they identify as a “progressive” but say things like this need to sit down and have a reality check. you’re just as bad as the rest.

      *rant over*

      • amyetkind

        Just because we’re Progressives doesn’t mean we have to be pussies. I’m frankly so sick and tired to the freak show that the GOTP has become that I just want to slap someone.

      • amyetkind

        It’s not about their beliefs, it’s about their actions. Talk is cheap (and we all know the GOTP LOVES to talk about how they support the troops!), action speak louder than words (the more they bang the drum of war, the more likely they dodged the draft. Mitt Romney, Dick Cheney, Saxby Chambliss, Rush Limbaugh, to name a few, got deferment after deferment, effectively dodging the draft.)(With the exception of John McCain, most who have fought don’t relish the thought of sending our young men and women into war without STRONG provocation, and Saddam Hussein dissing “Pappy” ain’t enough. Nor is the divvying up of the Iraq oil fields to close friends of Cheney.) And people will ALWAYS SHOW you PRECISELY who they are. And when they do, believe them. These armchair hatriots blather on about supporting the troops, but they don’t want to put those words into action. It’s a whole other kettle of fish when those troops come home and want to go to school, buy a house or *GASP* get medical treatment for their wounds under the promise we made to them, namely the GI Bill. The GOTP can just leave, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Linus

    Thank you, Manny for your totally accurate assessment of the comments. When will people ever learn not to judge others, especially using their own warped fears and insecurities?

  • What happened to writing?

    But I cringed at the writing in this item which means she is more than one person – “. . . a SEAL . . THEY” did this and that and that . . . you mean SHE did this, and that, and that.

    • Fire the editor!

    • Micah

      using “they” is, in academia, proper fashion to address someone in a gender neutral way. Why the author needed neutral terms when female would have been proper and sufficed, however, is beyond me.

    • bdouglas

      Its also important to recognize that “they” are still in transition. Of course the author could have played it safe by using the “she” pronoun since that is the direction that “they” are going, but since its for a rather short intermediate period, I think it appropriate use of the word in such a unique situation. You might compare it to someone with multiple personalities, that feel like they represent two different people… may want to be referred to in the same way.

      • Landon


    • Brian Katcher

      I agree…look at that picture and tell me her gender is ambiguous…that’s a ‘she’ if I ever saw one.

    • grantsformation

      If you talk to people in the transgender community, you will find that each has his/her/their own preference for the use of pronouns other use when referring to him/her/them. It’s not a cut and dried issue or “one pronoun fits all”. Just like sexuality.

    • Drew Danielson

      That’s a tough sentence to choose a pronoun for, actually.

      “Navy SEAL who just announced that SHE was now living and dressing as a woman” – OK if she’s a woman what’s the big deal.

      “Navy SEAL who just announced that HE was now living and dressing as a woman” – disrespectful use of a masculine pronoun for someone who identifies as a woman.

      Best choice would have been to skip the pronoun altogether – “Tuesday morning, I came across the story of Kristin Beck, formerly [Malename Beck], a retired Navy SEAL who is now living and dressing as a woman”. Not the best copy edit, but avoids getting pronoun goo all over the place.

    • Rheneas

      “They” is used “in academia” to refer to a non-specific person in a gender neutral way. This article is about a specific person with a specific gender identity. Use of the correct pronoun is all the more important since the article is about her gender identity and the cruel responses it is evoking. I would find it hard to believe that any transgendered person trying to substantiate a gender identity would prefer to be referred to as “they,” regardless of where on the transitional path he or she might be.

      • Morel Ardell Carr

        Yes! And, in transition or not, she is a woman. She identifies as a woman.

    • Morel Ardell Carr

      I noticed that too, and it bothered me, proper or not.

    • Carl

      It’s a little clunky, but many who aren’t transgendered – even myself and I am completely supportive of transgender rights – can find the transitionary period a strange period to address properly when using pronouns.

      Then you add to the matter all the different ways individuals prefer to be addressed and it becomes an absolute minefield of eggshells waiting to be stepped on. So, sometimes, the gender neutral path seems the most suitable one – and at least the author avoided the horrific use of “it”, which treats the individual as a thing and not a person.

      Now, personally I would have used she, but I can at least grasp the reasoning behind using they from an author a little uncertain of the proper ettiquet

  • Ron Thibodeau

    Who are the ‘they’ in the article?

    • grantsformation

      Read above. Transgendered people have different preferences for the use of pronouns to refer to themselves.

      • Ron Thibodeau

        Sounds as if they are bi-polar.

      • grantsformation

        Wow. Sounds like you are intolerant AND ignorant.

      • Ron Thibodeau

        Hardly. My sister-in-law’s mother had gender reassignment from female to male and we didn’t know until her female lover murdered her. She never used the pronoun you stipulate as necessary.. I have a cousin who is bipolar. The mood swings in the two were similar. Take your authoritarian attitude and shove it.

  • Pat

    5 branches of the military

  • bruce

    this is the second seal team member i know of to have made this change. i have a friend that did this about 5 years ago. she is now living a much happier life after their change

  • Sean Gossage

    I’ve always liked s/he as a pronoun.

    • Alec Radecki

      most people don’t.

    • George Melby

      And s/he IS the correct grammatical pronoun! The Spelling/Grammar Police, jejeje!

  • dsdjkhjb

    how sad that you continue to spew your hatred while damning others for doing the same.. you are the pot calling the kettle black..

  • Toni

    I myself am a transgender woman currently in transition. I am also a personal friend of Kristin Beck.

    The main problem facing most transgender people at this point in time is not same sex marriage, it’s simply equality. We are treated as societal pariahs,second class citizens, and companies will not hire us due to discrimination. Try getting hired as a transgender person and you will see. I have been in transition for over three years, and on HRT for two and a half. Before I began transition I was an IT professional with over 15 years of experience earning in excess of 85k per year, yet now I have great difficulty just getting hired for a retail minimum-wage job. I do great with phone interviews, but the second I have an in-person interview, I am dropped like a hot potato and never hear from the company again. The usual excuse is that “they found someone better qualified” or they “decided to go with an internal candidate”.

    Even though anti-discrimination laws exist in a growing number of cities and states, there is little to no enforcement and virtually no way to prove their discrimination.

    This is the major problem that most transgender people face. Our families disown us, our former friends reject us, and we become mired in poverty which we cannot escape due to corporate/business discrimination.

    It is beginning to change, but for many of us it can NOT happen too soon.

    If you have any heart or compassion, please support and urge Congress to pass ENDA – the Employee Non-discrimination ACT.

    Many transgender lives depend on it.

    • Matt Cyr

      I know this may seem lowbrow but your friend is sexy as hell. Great for her!

      • Toni

        Yes she certainly is. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Anonymous

      We have two transgender M to F in my office and one F to M. AT&T in Texas (yeah Austin). FYI

    • Guest

      had a huge positive reply…wondering where it went too?

    • Seasons Sparks Koll

      Not everyone & everywhere is like this. I think/hope it’s getting better. From my Portland, OR bubble, it looks promising. I own a store & I employed someone throughout their transition. They were hired as a woman & within the 6 years they worked for us left as a married man with a new adopted baby. They adopted the baby in an open adoption with my employee listed as transgender and him being very open about it; they were given the most gorgeous baby girl within only a couple months. In the 6 years he worked for us there was never an instance of lack of acceptance by customers or coworkers. He was promoted more than once & is greatly missed by all, now that he has left us to be a nurse. We can’t all live in liberal freedom loving cities like Portland, but it still gives me hope that there are many many people who accept people for who they are. Hopefully we can all help open up the minds of those who can’t accept others; most of them are that way because they don’t feel OK with being who they really are. The more we spread the message that it’s OK to be yourself, the more things will get better.

  • ychick

    I won’t read the negative comments but wanted to say that I so admire this person for risking just this kind of prejudicial response and, having been a member of the military, it must be even more of a risk as you KNOW, first hand, how narrow-minded some people are. What Kristin Beck is doing for transgender people is monumental — thank God for her taking this stance. It’s the beginning, like all other “equality issues” that seem to require the few willing souls who risk having all the spotlights focused on THEM, of changes that will come, must come. My gratitude to Kristin for being willing to “be the change” so many of us want to see in the world.

  • Jennifer

    Well, I am patriotic. Born and bred. I’m slightly confused as to what that has to do with this person’s choice. Or how it factors in on how people feel about the issue. I respect all military, especially our war veterans. I also respect this decision if it is going to lead to a happier, healthier, productive life. I read the comments below and am amazed at the difference of opinion. Does it matter if it is a SEAL or an IT admin? No. The bottom line is the issue of respecting one’s decision. Let’s start working on that instead ;).

  • Good for them. Whatever makes them happy.

    • zoro

      best comment on here in my opinion. you’re not attacking anyone and telling them why their comment or idea is wrong but merely stating that you support the person that this article is written about ๐Ÿ™‚

      i agree. whatever makes the person happy. ^_^

  • Tillmann Puschka

    hee hee looks like this is where all the patriotic bullshit comes to an abrupt stop, huh? you bigots love your country and the “heroes” who protect it for you as long as they don’t challenge your bigoted thinking and way of reasoning- is that it?

    • theabby

      You hit the nail on the head, Tillman.

      • Greg Weaver

        Let’s not forget that these are the same people that booed a gay war veteran during the Romney campaign.

    • Rob_Grant

      That’s the truth! Patriots and GOP are all about freedom, Constitutional rights and choice until someone wants something you they don’t like. Then it’s shoot em down, lock em up or kick em out.

  • Sam Stephen

    I dare you all you freaking idiots with all your nasty comments to say it to her face! You will be face down holding your privates , whining like a BITCH!

    • George Melby

      And if I had anything to do with them, they wouldn’t HAVE any privates to worry about when I got done with these macho “pukereeots,” errr, patriots!!

  • Kirk

    Well I guess I don’t care he /she would have died for our freedom All I have to say is THANK YOU!!!

  • PhilW

    I was struck by the non-muscular frame which I always associated with one that does as much strength training as a SEAL.

    • Toni

      Phil, hormone therapy changes your body fairly radically in the first year. Muscle mass tends to melt off rather quickly. I myself went from 230 to 145 lbs in the first year of my transition, and even though I had lifted weights extensively and had fairly large biceps and pectoral muscles, they disappeared rapidly over that first year.

      • WhyteRaven74

        If you see the pictures of her in her field uniform in some other stories, even before hormones she wasn’t very muscular.

    • MarkTemporis

      I was thinking that her arms still look really toned and muscular from what you can see in the pic. I probably wouldn’t guess she was an M-to-F, but would think she looked stronger than your average woman.

    • WhyteRaven74

      There’s a logical reason for that. The bigger you are the more energy it takes just to keep yourself going. Now add on 50 lbs of gear and you really start burning a lot of energy. More energy you burn just moving faster you exhaust your own stores and end up with the issues, like mental fatigue, that result.

  • Phillip Marsh

    Good luck Kristen!!!!!!

  • chedar888

    This again prove that consciousness play an important role in each one of us. Think of his consciousness taking rebirth in the wrong body (as a man and later rethink he has to take that off and become a woman). Much like a dog with consciousness taking rebirth in the animal form. It is true.

  • JamieHaman

    Congratulations to Kristine Beck. She has Paid Big Time for the right to live any way she wants too. Pity the fool who tries to rape her.
    Live well Kristine, laugh often, and love forever.

  • Anonymous

    To all you idiots arguing over the word “they” rather than contributing anything useful to the conversation – you are all a bunch of pretentious twats. Rather than focusing on the content, and the greater message, you choose to argue over semantics. Pathetic. Stop trying to be the smartest guy in the room ad contribute something of value for fuck’s sake. Or jump off a bridge, I could care less

  • mechgogo

    A)She’s gorgeous. B)She busted her ass and served this country at a higher level than most people could ever hope to achieve. Show the lady some respect or bug off. Toni please tell Kristin at least one person commenting about her said thanks for her service and not to listen to the haters. After what she’s done with her life she’s got nothing to prove to anyone.

    • George Melby

      Thank you mechgogo! You have my, and many thousands more, support! Pastor Dak!

  • Rheneas

    Manny, I thank you for bringing light to the blatant insensitivity and cruelty that is still too widespread in our modern society against LGBT people. Unfortunately, in your effort to right a wrong, you are helping to perpetuate it. Calling an individual person, especially a transgendered person, “they” is only encouraging and validating the disrespect you are speaking out against. It’s a throwback to the closeted ’70s and ’80s when we were afraid to talk about our partner with they correct pronoun in fear that someone might figure out what was really going on. It was silly (and pretty transparent) then, and downright unnecessary and offensive now. If we can’t show respect for ourselves as LGBT members of the human race who have a gender identity, by birth or otherwise, then how can we expect people who don’t understand to show any respect for us? Kristin is a “she” not a “they” – which is the whole point in the first place. Welcome to the 21st Century!

    • grantsformation

      No, it isn’t. I know transgendered people who REQUEST that you use “they” when referring to them. It’s a preference and a complicated social issue, albeit little understood or respected.

  • Sherri Ann

    From a Transsexual veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps , I say Congrats to you Kristin ….”Oorah !!!!” and welcome to the civilian world where you can be your self….Last but not least…. Sailor I thank you so much for your service

    • George Melby

      Thank you Sherri Ann! You have my, and many thousands more, support! Pastor Dak!

  • Julie Kristia Owen

    As a Prior Service Marine,and a transwoman, I am all for what she is doing. Its hard for some of us to fathom how society treats us when we come out publicly. The shear hate that spews from so many…. But, there are those out there that are supportive. That help us when we are down. I was happy to read the news about this, and hope that more people will open their eyes and minds, and see we are people just like them, that we have hopes and dreams for our future. We ask just to be treated as an equal….

    • George Melby

      Thank you Julie! You have my, and many thousands more, support! Pastor Dak!

  • Steve


    • George Melby

      Silly boys… always reading the Holy Writ and putting their own spin on Bible stories. I would gladly take the time to ‘splain Leviticus to you but you’re too stupid to keep it from leaking out of that little crawfish head of yours. And you being in the military is not helping our men and women further the cause of this country either. Study and educate thyself.

    • MarkTemporis

      Limp-wristed? Gal was a Navy SEAL, and if you look at her picture now her arms still look pretty damn toned. I’m pretty sure she could kick your and my ass both.

      And FUCK Leviticus. I’m not giving up my polyester, bacon cheeseburgers and lobster bisque for anyone or anything!

      • George Melby

        LOLOL. Thank you, Mark! I support you 100%.
        Dakotahgeo, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain

    • Steve


    • WhyteRaven74

      I assume you never eat shrimp or pork, never wear clothes of mixed fibers, have never laid in bed with a woman on her period…

  • George Melby

    Not only do I fully support Kristin Beck, but I fully support her as a honorable military hero that she is. These so-called “patriots” in military clothing but who have pansy-assed attitudes need to exit the military and let the “real” men and women do the job the “patriots” seem to have a problem with. The current Senate hearings of the Military commanders will be interesting to follow. I don’t think the Military leaders are going to be very happy with the legislation that will come out of these hearings regarding sexual assault against women and men. It would behoove the weaker-minded sexualized “boys” to get out of the military while the getting is good. Your future does NOT look too rosy right now!
    Dakotahgeo, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain

  • good for you!

  • Jake Criss

    Beautiful lady, thank you for serving our country.

  • WhyteRaven74

    It’s funny watching the armchair types get all up in a tizzy because here’s a former SEAL who doesn’t conform to their made up image of a SEAL as some hypermasculine macho type. Thing is, you wouldn’t find any SEAL who fits what they think SEALs are like in the first place.

  • Jack Dempsey Wahl

    You know the people whom seems the most upset about this story are the folks that can’t find enough little girls panties to wet themselves in on a whole duffel bag of issues. Same folks who’ll say that this is Obama’s fault too.

  • alex peterson

    perfect use of they. the world can certainly use more women like Kristin.

  • Elsheyin

    Congratulations Kristin, for having not only the heart and soul to make your way in an elite fighting force such as the SEALs, but for having the courage to follow your heart and make this enormous change. I hope the haters take a lesson from you – a beautiful person is a beautiful person, regardless of gender, and every bit of that shows in your smile!

  • gypsysailor

    I’ve have absolutely no problem with this because after all, you are what you are. The only real things that matter here is whether or not she supports the country. And it is obvious that (he)she does. And can she put steel on target? Well I for one would not want to be down range to find out.

  • The bigots make me sick, but that’s nothing new. As ugly, irrational, and reactionary as they are in their homophobia, they are sadly, frighteningly, worse in their transphobia. And, make no mistake about it – phobia it is; fear is the driving force. Fear of change, fear of their own internal sexual insecurities, and, as Martha Nussbaum has explained, fear of ‘the other’. Then there is fear of humiliation in that they are attracted to a transgender woman.
    But enough about the Neanderthals. Congratulations to Kristin Beck in having the courage to follow her true nature and her bliss.
    However, one point I’d like to mention is: even in some of the kind and positive comments, might there be a bit too much emphasis on Ms. Beck’s physical appearance? I’m sure she’s pleased as punch to be complimented on her lovely looks, but not all transwomen are as fortunate.
    There are women just as courageous as she and Toni who are not as naturally attractive; who have difficulty ‘passing’ no matter how they do their hair and make-up. These transwomen too deserve our support and society’s protection through aggressive new laws that are frustratingly lacking. This country has a lot of growing up to do.

  • Betty G.

    Kristin Beck is a beautiful woman and she should be proud of herself. Best Luck to her. By the way, who cares what others have to say. Haters will always be around. Ignore them ๐Ÿ™‚

  • kfleisch

    You may not have heard of the Marines, but there are five branches of the U.S. military: Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Marines.

  • sadSack

    ouch- im glad i decided NOT TO BECOME A MILITARY GURU… that is disturbing on so many levels. i have no regrets as i am realize that i am a WARRIOR trapped in a MANS body…GOD help us..that is truly one of the MOST pathetic stories i have ever experienced…the MEN that have DIED for this COUNTRY slash CUNTRY are turning in their GBTG graves…OMFG….welcome to the end…that sucks seal dick.

  • agathoszoe

    If a person is planning to get a sex change operation, why should anyone care? They want to be a woman – they don’t want to be a homosexual. I’m straight so I don’t fully understand why or how a person could live an entire life as one sex and then change it medically. However, this makes more sense to me than living as a homosexual. Afterall, we did evolve (or were created – depending on your belief) as binary – male and female.

  • lessthantolerant


  • Simian

    Call me whatever hateful thing you like but I find trans-genders appalling. Its just the level of self mutilation is disturbing and the emotional torment they put their loved ones through is just selfish and abbhorent.