Cavan Sieczkowski in the Huffington Post:
The United States military's ban on transgender service members faces a challenge, and her name is Kristin Beck.
Beck is an author and activist who served 20 years as a Navy SEAL on 13 deployments and was once a member of the elite SEAL Team 6. She is also transgender.
Beck comes out publicly as transgender in her new memoir, Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy SEAL's Journey to Coming out Transgender, which hit stores June 1. The book describes Beck's life as Chris, a Christian boy who grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere and became a Navy SEAL. It describes someone who everyone viewed as “a hero, a warrior, a man” but who knew deep down she was transgender.
“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, a research psychologist who co-authored the biography with Beck, told ABC News. Beck suppressed her transgender identity for decades while training as a SEAL and fighting in Afghanistan, “turning off” her sexuality and consuming herself with battle.
Beck chose to stay silent in respect of the “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” guidelines.