A former U.S. Navy SEAL who spent 20 years serving in one of the military's top branches has revealed that she is transgender in a new memoir, "Warrior Princess."
Kristin Beck, formerly Chris, 46, has endured 13 deployments, served time on the exclusive SEAL Team 6, and has been awarded a Bronze Star with valor and a Purple Heart, but all along, she was struggling with her inner identity.
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"Chris really wanted to be a girl
and felt that she was a girl and consolidated that identity very early on in childhood," Anne Speckhard, co-author of Beck's biography "Warrior Princess," which was published over the weekend, told ABC News.
Beck essentially turned off her feelings for decades as she faced rigorous SEAL training and fought on the front lines of American special operations.
"For years Chris had turned off his sexuality like a light switch and lived as a warrior, consumed with the battle — living basically asexual," the book says.
Beck retired from the Navy in 2011, and it was then that she came out as Kristin and began living the life she believes she was meant to live.
"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," the book reads.
Beck works as a private military contractor in the Tampa, Fla., area, and is currently undergoing hormone therapy in preparation for gender reassignment surgery. Her former SEAL colleagues have reportedly been very supportive.
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Even after the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, which barred gay service members from discussing their sexuality, transgender individuals remain banned from entering military service, but Beck hopes her memoir will pave the way for even more inclusion in the armed forces.
"[I want] to reach out to all of the younger generation and encourage you to live your life fully and to treat each other with compassion, be good to each other, especially in your own backyard," Beck wrote in the book's preface.
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