Transgender Navy SEAL To Trump: 'Let's Meet Face To Face And You Tell Me I'm Not Worthy'

news
In this 2014 photo, retired Navy SEAL and transgender veteran Kristen Beck speaks at the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division in Clarksburg, W.Va.
Photo via Associated Press

A retired Navy SEAL Team 6 hero who is transgender had a message for President Donald Trump after he announced the US military would bar transgender people from serving.


"Let's meet face to face and you tell me I'm not worthy," Kristin Beck, a 20-year veteran of the Navy SEALs, told Business Insider on Wednesday. "Transgender doesn't matter. Do your service."

Beck said Trump's abrupt change in policy could negatively affect many currently or wanting to serve in the military. The RAND Corporation estimated in 2016 that there were between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender people serving. Many of them just want to serve their country like everyone else, Beck said.

"Being transgender doesn't affect anyone else," Beck said of the transgender ban. "We are liberty's light. If you can't defend that for everyone that's an American citizen, that's not right."

Beck is not just your average service member. Born Christopher Beck, she served for 20 years in the Navy with SEAL Teams 1, 5, and, eventually, the elite 6. She deployed 13 times over two decades, including stints in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. She received the Bronze Star award for valor and the Purple Heart for wounds suffered in combat.

"I was defending individual liberty," she said. "I defended for Republicans. I defended for Democrats. I defended for everyone."

In a series of tweets, Trump said the decision was based on the costs of medical services that transgender service members could use. But "the money is negligible," Beck said of the transgender ban. "You're talking about .000001% of the military budget.

"They care more about the airplane or the tank than they care about people," Beck said. "They don't care about people. They don't care about human beings."

When asked about potential problems with unit cohesion or war fighting, Beck said those were not issues that would arise from transgender service members, but from leadership.

"A very professional unit with great leadership wouldn't have a problem," Beck said. "I can have a Muslim serving right beside Jerry Falwell, and we're not going to have a problem. It's a leadership issue, not a transgender issue."

More from Business Insider:

WATCH NEXT:

A C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 911th Airlift Wing is towed across the flightline at March Air Reserve Base, California, Jan. 7, 2020. (Air Force photo by Joshua J. Seybert)

March Air Reserve Base in California will host nearly 200 U.S. citizens who were flown out of Wuhan, China due to the rapidly-spreading coronavirus, a Defense Department spokeswoman announced on Wednesday.

"March Air Reserve Base and the Department of Defense (DoD) stand ready to provide housing support to Health and Human Services (HHS) as they work to handle the arrival of nearly 200 people, including Department of State employees, dependents and U.S. citizens evacuated from Wuhan, China," said Pentagon press secretary Alyssa Farah in a statement on Wednesday.

Wuhan is the epicenter of the coronavirus, which is a mild to severe respiratory illness that's associated with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The virus has so far killed 132 people and infected nearly 6,000 others in China, according to news reports.

Read More

The number of U.S. troops diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury following Iran's missile attack on Al- Asad Air Base in Iraq now stands at 50, the Defense Department announced on Tuesday.

Read More
A U.S. Marine with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, assigned to the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command (SPMAGTF-CR-CC) 19.2, carries a sand bag to strengthen a security post during the reinforcement of the Baghdad Embassy Compound in Iraq, Jan. 4, 2020. (U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Kyle C. Talbot)

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The United States hopes to discuss the entire strategic framework of its relationship with Iraq soon, a U.S. envoy said on Tuesday, as the fate of a U.S. military mission there remains in doubt after a drone strike that killed an Iranian general.

Read More
On Jan. 28, 2020, four Marines were awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for their actions in June 2018, when they rescued a family that had been caught in a dangerous rip current. (U.S. Marine Corps/Staff Sgt. William L. Holdaway)

In June, 2018, when a group of Marines noticed a family was being swept along by a powerful rip current at Atlantic Beach in North Carolina they immediately swam out to save them. Now, more than a year later, those Marines have been recognized for their actions.

Read More
An Army Combat Fitness Test instructor watches 229th Military Intelligence Battalion Soldiers attempt the new fitness test at the Presidio of Monterey, California. (U.S. Army/Marcus Fichtl)

Any excuses that soldiers have for not being able to prepare for the new Army Combat Fitness Test are growing slimmer and slimmer, as the service has released a revamped physical readiness training (PRT) mobile app.

Read More