San Diego couple Dwayne and Jonathan talk about making a wish on their first date, a Pride parade proposal, Don't Ask Don't Tell and the perfect wedding. To mark the publication of our Wedding Issue (availab...
After 20 years in the military and as part of the SEAL unit that went on to kill Osama bin Laden, Kristen Beck has come out as transgender in a new memoir, "Warrior Princess."
The book, to be published Tuesday according to The Atlantic, tells how Beck finally decided to transition to female after retiring from the Navy in 2011.
What makes this story especially important is that the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell does not include allowing openly transgender people to serve in the military. But when a soldier in the elite, and tough, Navy SEALs comes out, people have to listen. And it appears fellow soldiers are on board.
Beck said the news of her being transgender was greeted warmly by her fellow SEAL soldiers:
Soon, the responses from SEALs stationed all around the world suddenly started pouring in: "Brother, I am with you ... being a SEAL is hard, this looks harder. Peace" * "I can't say I understand the decision but I respect the courage. Peace and happiness be upon you...Jim" * " ... I just wanted to drop you a note and tell you that Kris has all the support and respect from me that Chris had ... and quite possibly more. While I'm definitely surprised, I'm also in amazement at the strength you possess and the courage necessary to combat the strangers and 'friends' that I'm guessing have reared their ugly heads prior to and since your announcement. ..."
There were many poignant moments Monday evening as about 200 Atlantans gathered in Piedmont Park to mark the end of the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. But none were more touching than when Danny Ingram, national president of American Veterans for Equal Rights, brought to the podium the very officer who had discharged him from the Army for being gay almost 20 years ago.
Former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, who as a senator from Georgia helped lead the fight for the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, now says he agrees the policy can be repealed.
"Society has changed, and the military has changed," Nunn told the Associated Press this week.
The Senate Armed Services Committee held hearings on repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" last week, after the Pentagon released a report that found a large majority of military service members do not believe openly gay troops would have a negative impact.