Chris Beck's transformation from a decorated U.S. Navy SEAL member to a woman, now known as Kristin Beck, is retold in her memoir titled Warrior Princess: A US Navy SEAL's Journey to Coming Out Transgender, an eBook published on Saturday.
It comes at a time that same-sex marriages, gender reassignment and public outing of celebrities are hitting the headlines in different parts of the world.
The memoir was published two years after the U.S. Congress repealed a ban on openly gay soldiers, prompting Beck to dedicate the book to people who are afraid to declare themselves as transgender.
What makes the memoir standout from other coming out stories is that Beck was not an ordinary male, but was a decorated soldier who used to be part of the elite Team 6 that captured Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011, although by then he had retired from service.
As Chris Beck, he served 20 years in the military, going through 20 deployments, seven of which were combat deployments. Through these years, he had suffered from inner turmoil because of his gender preference.
"[Beck] 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," she wrote.
While he suppressed urges to genuinely express his true sexuality, Beck lived basically an asexual life while in the service where he was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star medals when he retired in 2011.
With much free time on hand, Beck pursued his heart's desire by going through hormonal therapy. The next step was shaving the beard and wearing women's apparel.
When Beck felt it was time to reveal Kristin, the retired soldier published a photo of herself as a woman standing before an American flag. The picture, which was published on Linkedin, had the explanation: "I am now taking off my disguises and letting the world know my true identity as a woman."
However, instead of being rejected, many of Beck's former military colleagues even welcomed her. Here are some samples of their messages for Kristin.
"I can't say I understand the decision but I respect the courage. Peace and happiness be upon you."
"I just wanted to drop you a note and tell you that Kris has all the support and respect from me that Chris had ... and quite possibly more."
"While I'm definitely surprised, I'm also in amazement at the strength you possess and the courage necessary to combat the strangers and 'friends' that I'm guessing have reared their ugly heads prior to this and since your announcement."
Anne Speckhard, who co-authored the memoir, said, "Chris describes his despair throughout this book and his desire to die honorably by serving our country and fighting terrorism - to keep us safe and so that he wouldn't have to wrestle anymore with the emotional pain that stemmed from the lack of congruency between his gender identity and body."
Beck established Healing Grounds, a nonprofit organisation in Florida that provides psychosocial support to returning solders through landscape assistance and gardening experience.
Read also the journey of a young Filipina singer's journey after she outed herself as a lesbian in the following articles:
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Charice Pempengco Not Losing Fans Despite Former Glee Star's Admission She is Lesbian
Former Glee Star Charice Pempengco: I Knew I am Lesbian Since I was 5
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