A former Navy SEAL who came out as transgender and has since detransitioned is warning young Americans to exercise extreme caution when considering gender affirming surgery — saying “you need to slow down.”
Chris Beck, a decorated Navy vet who served on SEAL Team Six, made headlines in 2013 with “Warrior Princess,” a biography detailing his 13 deployments, Purple Heart and Bronze Star during an illustrious 20-year military career — as well as his desire to live as a woman, Kristin Beck.
But nine years later, the 56-year-old veteran is saying his decision “destroyed my life” and is a cautionary tale that parents and teens mulling gender reassignment surgery should closely heed.
“I would’ve gone about my life and never said a word,” Beck told The Post in an exclusive interview Monday. “But right now, there are doctors doing surgery on 12-year-old children and that’s unacceptable.”
Beck, who underwent facial surgery and breast augmentation, said he has gender dysphoria — often described as a feeling of unease over one’s birth gender. He said he was authorized for hormone therapy by the Department of Veterans Affairs after just one meeting following his 2011 retirement and took the treatment until 2015.
But, Beck added, he never considered himself transgender.
“I was never transgender, male to female, or female to male, or anything,” he said. “For me, transgender did not exist. I had gender dysphoria and I had unnecessary surgeries.”
Rather than allowing him to figure out what that meant, he said clinicians pushed him into medical treatments that ruined his life. He has since reverted back to his given male name, and is engaged to a woman.
His experiences have led him to speak out on behalf of youths in the current political climate, where he said gender clinics across the US push medicalized treatment as a solution to gender dysphoria.
“Twelve-year-olds can’t get tattoos, can’t drink booze or do anything,” Beck said of teens like California’s Chloe Cole, who began identifying as a boy at age 12, started puberty blockers and testosterone treatment at 13, and underwent a double mastectomy at 15 before detransitioning back to female. “They have not fully developed as humans and anyone who has ever had a child knows this. We can’t allow these doctors to butcher children.”
Beck said he felt obligated to share his story after ultimately deciding not to undergo genital surgery.
He urged anyone considering facial or so-called “top” and “bottom” surgery to gather as much information as possible prior to speaking to gender clinics, psychologists and physicians, who he accused of rushing some children into transgender surgeries without taking the life-altering ramifications into account. Cole, now 18, still doesn’t know whether her eggs or long-term fertility have been compromised by the testosterone treatment she took from age 13 to 16. Camille Kiefel, 32, of Oregon, is suing the healthcare practitioners who removed her healthy breasts after just two Zoom calls. Although she would like to have children one day, Kiefel will never be able to breastfeed.
“I never wanted to go on the news,” said Beck. “But these doctors need to slow down. They’re doing things that they have no idea of what they’re doing right now. It’s shameful.”
In October, Cole bashed President Biden for his unfailing support of gender affirming medical treatment. “What Biden was saying is dangerous,” Cole told The Post. “He’s trying to advocate for further experimentation on children.”
Beck said he found it nonsensical that people must be at least 18 to get a tattoo, but can start taking puberty blockers or prescribed testosterone at just 13 years old, just as Cole did.
“These doctors are leading you astray,” added Beck, referring to America’s youth. “This is nothing against any kids who want to live their dream or do whatever they want. This is not about hating them or making them not want to be who they want to be. I want everyone to be who they can be to their greatest potential, but right now it’s so confusing. There’s not enough information out here from both sides. It seems very one-sided.”
Beck, who has worked as a consultant for companies like 3M since leaving the service, said he’s also experienced unforeseen psychological and societal effects from his two surgeries, even as an adult.
“I had respect,” said Beck of his time in the military. “I was in the middle of the Pentagon at the highest levels. And then I transitioned and now I’m living paycheck to paycheck on disability. I have family members who won’t speak to me, I have friends who won’t speak to me. So how is life better?”
Beck said he still gets death threats nine years after he told Anderson Cooper on CNN about his transition from a Navy SEAL who served in Iraq and Afghanistan to living as a woman. Now, he said he hopes to turn that anger into something positive for others he’ll likely never meet.
“To the younger audience, I would say, ‘Nobody hates you, you know, there’s a lot of love, we want to help,’” Beck said. “It’s a very confusing time. So what they need to do is slow down and really listen to their heart.”
Beck, whose fiancé’s name is Courtney, said he’s experienced more “on both sides of gender” than most and just wants to live a simple, quiet life in the “northeastern United States.”
“I do not want to be in the news,” he said. “I don’t want a movie, I don’t want a book. I want to go away and live on my farm. I just want quiet … I wanted to be quiet but I saw kids being hurt and I had to speak out.”
By Joshua Rhett Miller
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