The military currently bans trans service members, but a new memoir could open the policy to scrutiny
By Katie Mcdonough
Monday, Jun 3, 2013
The 2011 repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” ended the military’s official policy of discriminating against gays and lesbians in the armed services, but a ban on transgender service members remains in place, meaning that trans men and women are still barred from serving.
But some advocates say that may change, or may come closer than ever before to changing, with the release of a new memoir from a former Navy SEAL. Kristen Beck (formerly Chris Beck) was a SEAL for 20 years — and a member of SEAL Team 6, the unit that killed Osama bin Laden — before retiring, coming out as transgender and beginning her transition from male to female in 2011.
Beck’s honest discussion of her gender identity, which she grappled with for years while in the military, is a major first, and could clear the way for others to come out with their own stories. And, as J.K. Trotter at the Atlantic Wire notes, Beck’s fellow SEALs were supportive of her transition: