June 6th, 2013
11:51 PM ET

Exclusive: Transgender former SEAL tells her story

Watch Part II of  Anderson Cooper's interview with Kristin Beck:

After years spent fighting in some of the world's worst wars, former U.S. Navy SEAL Kristin Beck says she knows what she wants.

"I want to have my life," she told CNN's "AC360" in an exclusive Thursday night.

"I fought for 20 years for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I want some happiness."

Beck recently came out as transgender.

She wrote about the experience in a book, "Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy SEAL's Journey to Coming out Transgender."


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Filed under: 360° Interview • LGBT • Navy
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Barbara Ballard

    A friend saw this interview & told me about it. Just recently my son, after a marriage and 11 years in the Army, has begun the same journey and is now my daughter. I'm just starting Kristin's book, and I hope it helps me understand this process more. I love my child and will support her in this journey. All you want for your children is that they are happy, and this makes her happy. To turn my back on her is NOT an option.

    July 2, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
  2. Wendy

    It would take the bravery of a Navy Seal to make this journey. This world has so many cruel parts. Just know that not everyone is against you. There are many people rooting for you, including me. The way someone treats you is often a direct reflection of how they feel about them self. Proof that confidence doesn't come easy for most people. You are representing women well all the way around. Just keep doing whatever it is you are doing in your pursuit of happiness. That is what it is all about. Best wishes to you and yours.

    June 15, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
  3. Tom

    Wow...what an awesome and inspiring person. To be honest, I was a bit squeamish about it when I first started watching it, but a couple minutes into it, how could you not like such a well-spoken, humble and brave person, man or woman? I'd hang out with you, anytime. You go, girl!

    June 15, 2013 at 6:06 am |
  4. Justin

    Kristen, you're beyond admirable and brave to come out to the public. Some might say that your credibaltly,however I strongly disagree with a passion. Most of the haters don't have the coconuts you have to serve and be open.I will never know you and you probably won't know me, but you're a hero to look up to.

    June 14, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
  5. Chad

    First, thanks for your service to our country! I hope you are able to find true happiness...and I think you are well on your way!! Your story was told with CLASS on AC360, and I hope many people watch it and learn...if nothing else, learn to not judge just bc someone is different than they are. Best of luck to you! God Bless!

    June 14, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
  6. Jennie

    As a post-op transsexual and retired Army Ranger First Sergeant, I understand your journey very much and wish you the best..... Thank you for having the courage to be so public Kristin. I had the the same fears of being killed even though I gave everything I had as an Airborne Ranger for 20 years.... It will get easier but some will never accept you and that's okay its based on ignorance. It is there loss. Gods speed to you.... RLTW!

    June 10, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  7. Donna T

    Why can we all just be? Be who we want to be?
    Thank you for your service to our country. Cheers to you...I hope you find your happiness, everyone deserves to find that spark and just be!

    June 9, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
  8. Fiona

    Kristin displays so gently and truthfully who she really is (and always has been) as a transgender woman. Even after all the years of suppressing her true female self, now finally she is a princess warrior who shows even greater "strength and honor" and courage in a whole new way. I am sure she has legions of supporters and well-wishers. Hopefully those who are now prejudiced and close minded will let the light of her truth shine into their hearts and souls - at least a little glimmer. Kristin, Thank you for coming out to all of us on ac360. My prayers and best wishes are with you, sister. –Fiona

    June 9, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
  9. Dana

    She's an incredibly brave and stalwart woman. Being transgender myself and having felt that seclusion and fear I'm so very glad it's another great light in the darkness that Kristin has brought to the fore. In many ways, what she's done takes more strength than too few seem to want to understand. That society is adjusting some regarding this gives me hope for our trans-youth that they'll never know the isolation many of us have had struggle with.

    To be forced to abjectly deny one's core-self is to inflict painful subjugation and mutilation of one's own soul. I'm so glad to know she's broken free of that socially enforced misery. All my very best hopes and love to you Kristin and my deep appreciation to Anderson for giving her the platform to speak.

    Remember, gender isn't preference. It's identity. It's interaction. It's intimacy. Personality, philosophy and expression. We're a planet of individuals. We should all know ourselves and be able to peacefully explore our futures with the comfort that comes from simply being who we each really are.


    June 8, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • Cyndy Klein

      Right on Dana for such a good and loving response. I hope that in our lives acceptance of all people can happen, and we can learn to love each other warts and all!

      June 16, 2013 at 1:27 am |
  10. Helen

    Our postwoman is going through this process right now. The bravery of her and Kristin is far beyond anything I would ever be capable of. I wish them both and anyone else undergoing this incredibly difficult journey happy ever after

    June 8, 2013 at 6:15 am |
  11. Martin Hopkins

    Thankyou so much for the interview with Kristin it was an amazing emotional lift for me as i have dealt with the exact same situation in my life.I too supressed my true feelings for many years until i finally decided to speak to some of my close friends about it..I found just how supportive my friends are & because of that i have been able to fully embrace the feelings & emotions that i have supressed for so many years.
    Watching the interview & listening to Kristins words were like a breath of fresh air & her words have inspired me to continue on the path of the real me.
    Since embracing my true emotions & feelings plus the amazing support i receive from my friends,my life has become so amazingly wonderful.
    Thankyou Kristin for your courage..I admire & respect you so much..Hearing your interview was like listening to my own thoughts.
    Thankyou Kristin & Anderson

    Martin/ Mika

    June 8, 2013 at 2:26 am |
  12. Allison

    Incredible piece on such a brave soul. Thanks Kristin and Anderson. Society may be very surprised to know how many men suppress their feminine side to different degrees. It's not like having a fetish means one wants to trans fully 24/7 by any means. Too much ignorance about this aspect of transgenders. Many are not attracted to men and can be the best husbands ever or some identify as trans-lesbian..

    June 7, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Catrina2

      Allison, so true. Thank you for your wisdom.

      June 10, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
  13. Jack Dempsey

    I have untold respect and admiration for Kristin. Very few people know or understand what it takes to accomplish what she has. If I was in uniform I would take great pride in saluting her, OO-Rah!

    No one has earned the right to be and express who they truly are than Kristin Beck. My admiration for her goes beyond my poor ability to find the words; I am so humbled by her. Her character, integrity and courage go past anyone's ability to measure or challenge. I would be honored to stand shoulder to shoulder with her in support of her expression of who she is.

    I wish I could do more to present my admiration and whole hearted support for Kristin and I offer by very best wishes for her success and happiness, you deserve both. God's Speed!


    June 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Ola Gordinier

      You said it very well and I agree with every word. What a great person ! Soul has no gender, as she says in her book, and she's simply a great soul.

      June 8, 2013 at 9:31 am |