Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story (DVD Review)22 Oct, 2014 By: Angelique Flores
The courageous Christopher Beck served as a U.S. Navy SEAL for 20 years, surviving 13 deployments including combat missions in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. The highly decorated war veteran became a beloved hometown hero and respected colleague.
After retiring, he shocked everyone when he came out as a transgender woman, now known as Kristin.
This moving documentary sheds some light on transgender issues, and Kristin opens up about her life with a clarity she didn’t have while trying to live life as a man.
Chris had volunteered for deployment more often than normal, preferring to be away — and sometimes not caring if he survived or not — to avoid facing who he really was. Having survived combat missions that left his body with numerous lingering injuries, Kristin now feels that facing the bigotry and hatred as her true self is more mentally and physically rigorous than some of her missions as an elite SEAL. Still, in other ways, she’s finally happy being who she really is.
She is divorced and estranged from her ex-wife and two sons, a tense and painful situation that seems to have been brewing long before Kristin came out, and which probably was a result of the anger she displayed while holding back her true identity as well as the mental stress of having served so many combat missions.
It was natural for CNN to create this documentary, as Kristin appeared on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” to tell her story. That appearance has made Kristin’s life a public one, making her a sort of poster girl for transgender rights. Some might argue that it’s hard to deny civil rights to someone who fought 20 years for this country not just as a soldier but as a top Navy SEAL.
Yet, Kristin finds herself in a constant battle for dignity and respect. She has received hate mail and death threats. One colleague admits that if he had not known Chris and had not fought behind this tough soldier, he probably would not have accepted Kristin.
For some of Kristin’s friends and family — who candidly speak here about her and her situation — they worry that she’s unnecessarily putting herself in more danger now than ever by remaining in the public eye. However, she feels it’s important to tell her story, set an example and be an advocate for civil rights.