‘Lady Valor’ defies societal rules

Retired Navy SEAL to tell story of coming out transgender

Marshall University will present U.S. Navy SEAL, Kristin Beck, and the screening of “Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story” at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the John Deaver Drinko Library Room 402.

“Lady Valor” tells the story of Beck, a former U.S. Navy SEAL, and her journey to living as a transgender woman. Beck will speak after the film about her experience.

She served for more than 20 years as a member of the elite special operations forces of Navy SEALs on SEAL Team one and SEAL Team six. She came out in 2013 after retiring in 2011.

Eric Del Chrol, director of classics, said Beck felt disconnected between her external gender and her internal gender.

Chrol said Beck always knew she was a woman.

The film features interviews from Beck’s family and friends about their reaction to her coming out and footage of Beck as a Navy SEAL.

Part of what makes her story so interesting is that people often will say that the warrior spirit is just masculine.

— Eric Del Chrol

“Part of what makes her story so interesting is that people often will say that the warrior spirit is just masculine,” Chrol said. “I think that this complicates that perspective because, if my understanding of her book is correct, she has always felt that she was a woman.”

Beck’s book, “Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy SEAL’s Journey to Coming Out Transgender,” co-written with Anne Speckhard, gives readers insight into her story. “Warrior Princess” chronicles Beck’s journey to self-actualization, her fear of rejection and her strength to overcome society’s rules.

“I do not believe a soul has a gender, but my new path is making my soul complete and happy,” Beck said. “I hope my journey sheds some light on the human experience and most importantly helps heal the socio-religious dogma of a purely binary gender.”

Marshall sexuality studies, women’s studies, religious studies and the West Virginia Humanities Council are sponsoring the event.

Hannah Harman can be contacted at [email protected].