Amidst yet another clusterfuck of a day brought to us by a series of tweets from Trump, a retired Navy SEAL hero, who is also transgender, spoke out.
“Let's meet face to face and you tell me I'm not worthy,” Kristin Beck told Business Insider yesterday. “Transgender doesn't matter. Do your service.”
Kristin Beck served as a Navy SEAL for twenty years. She served with not just one special counterterrorism unit, Team 6, but also with Team 1 and 5. She deployed 13 times, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Bosnia. She also earned a Bronze Star for valor and a Purple Heart for wounds suffered in combat. Beck was certainly not a average service member.
However, she did not come out as transgender until 2011, after leaving the military.
Trump’s abrupt policy announcement completely disregards any currently out trans service members, while also discouraging those who are not out. The RAND Corporation estimates that there are between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender people currently serving in the military, whereas the National Center For Trans Equality says there are over 15,000 active duty trans service members. Those stats simply prove that many trans people just want to serve their country as any other American.
“I was defending individual liberty. I defended for Republicans. I defended for Democrats. I defended for everyone," Beck said.
During the last months of President Obama’s administration, the Defense Department initially approved a policy, though still under review, that would allow transgender Americans to serve openly in the US military. And now Trump's announcement of a reversal of that policy has sent this country back. His tweets were fueled by hate, but were intended to be disguised based on the “burden” of costs of medical services that transgender service members could use.
“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.”
This is a disaster; just another day under the Trump administration, just another human’s rights being encroached.
Watch this 2014 trailer for the CNN documentary on Kristin Beck, "Lady Valor":
Photo Credit: Kristin Beck/Facebook
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Bry'onna Mention is a digital editor at BUST and a wavvy womanist who is always ready to square up against misogynoir and respectability. She can usually be found running through the burbs with her ‘fro. Catch her on the internet at @radsadblackbry or firstname.lastname@example.org.