Kristin “Chief” Beck, the first former Navy SEAL to transition to a woman, is this week’s guest on The American Legion Tango Alpha Lima podcast.
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Beck was a member of SEAL Team 6. Among Chief’s service medals are the Bronze Star with Combat Distinguishing Device and a Purple Heart. After retiring from the U.S. Navy in 2011, Beck came out two years later.
Chief was born Christopher Beck on a farm in rural Pennsylvania. After coming out, she wrote her memoir, “Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy SEAL's Journey to Coming out Transgender.”
“My story is kind of wild,” Beck says, recommending that people don’t overthink how they address her. “Don’t walk on eggshells around me. Just be a human. Just be compassionate. That’s enough. I don’t care about pronouns.”
Beck’s podcast appearance comes as proposed federal legislation (House Bill 8170) calls for public schools to comply “with specified requirements related to parental consent and student gender identity” or lose federal funding.
“I don’t want you to give me anything extra because I’m Kristin Beck, or because I’m a Navy veteran who got blown up and have bad hearing and all these other things,” Chief says. “I don’t want anything extra. You know what I do want? I want what everybody else has. I want freedom. I want liberty. I want you to leave me alone. I want my government to leave me the heck alone. There’s enough laws on the books for everything. We do not need any more laws.”
Beck covers a lot of ground, including snippets on wearing dresses while growing up, fitting in today and what it means to be an American at this time in our nation’s history. “America is a great country today.”
This episode is among nearly 140 that are all available in both audio and video formats here. You can also download episodes on iTunes, Stitcher or other major podcast-hosting sites. The video version is available for viewing at the Legion’s YouTube channel.