A former Navy SEAL who transitioned from male to female in 2013 decided to detransition this year, no longer lives as a woman, and regrets having advocated for being transgender.
Chris Beck, now 56, discussed his transition and detransition on a video podcast with conservative director-producer Robby Starbuck posted Dec. 1.
Deployed 13 times and the recipient of dozens of awards and accolades during a 20-year Navy career, including the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, Beck was the subject of a 2014 CNN documentary called “Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story.”
During the two-hour video interview on “The Robby Starbuck Show,” Beck occasionally rambles, but his position on two things is clear: He regrets his transition from male to female and says children are too young to go down that path.
Here are five warnings from this former Navy SEAL.
1. Many gender transitions are due to social contagion or a ‘craze.‘
When he decided to transition to female in 2013, Beck recalls, it wasn’t a popular thing to do and cost him his job and his friends. Now, about a decade later, gender transitions are all the rage.
Referring to America’s transgender population, Beck said:
It [was] like about 1% in those days, it was a real low number, and now it’s upwards of what, 20%? I mean, nobody knows, you know, but that kind of a jump—it was like this really long line and then boom, it just jumps up. What happened? That’s what I’m asking. And now there’s thousands of gender clinics being put up all over America.
UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute published a study estimating that the U.S. population includes 1.6 million transgender individuals 13 and older—double the estimated number five years ago.
Likewise, Beck says in the interview, health professionals today jump to the conclusion that struggling young people need to transition to the opposite gender:
As soon as they go in and say, ‘I’m a tomboy, I like to do this, it makes me feel comfortable’—they give all their reasons why—and then a psychologist or psychiatrist says, ‘Oh, you’re transgender.’ And then the next day, you’re on hormones? And the hormones they’re using are the same hormones they used to use for medical castration—it was like a chemical castration—for pedophiles. Now they’re giving this to healthy 13-year-olds. Does this seem right?
Beck suggests that when skeptics advocate caution, they should stop using the term “normalize,” because transgender activists weaponize that term and retort that they are “normal.”
“It’s not being normalized. It’s being popularized,” Beck says.
2. Underlying mental health issues are at the root of many decisions to transition.
One largely overlooked aspect of the transgender “craze,” as Beck calls it, is the existence of other mental health issues, or comorbidities, in those who have gender dysphoria.
Beck said he wishes all health professionals would take into account other possible mental health problems and previous or current trauma, especially when children go to them with their struggles:
We all suffer. I wish I would have figured it out. I wish I would have had someone who would have helped me. I would have seen a lot of trauma, I would have seen isolation, depression, anxiety, I would have seen some adjustment disorder. I did all this after I got out of the military. Twenty years in the military. I had some trauma.
Beck alluded to childhood issues with bullying and other mental health problems, as well as the trauma experienced in his Navy career, including seeing war up close, that contributed to his desire to transition to female.
Although studies show that children with gender dysphoria also have considerable comorbidities, mental health professionals often view a comorbidity as another symptom that accompanies dysphoria, not the root issue.
3. Health professionals rush to gender transitions as a cure, and few people understand the consequences.
Beck sounds adamant that he didn’t understand the consequences of transitioning to female, especially the effects of cross-sex hormones.
After just one hourlong meeting at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Beck recalled, he was offered cross-sex hormones, which contributed to his dissatisfaction.
“Everything that happened to me for the last 10 years it’s just horrible,” he said in the interview. “It destroyed my life. I destroyed my life. I’m not a victim. I did it to myself, but I had some help, darn it.”
Beck said he hasn’t taken cross-sex hormones for at least seven years, but his body hasn’t recovered from the damage.
He soon saw thyroid issues, he said, explaining: “Hormones are systemwide. It’s not just a sex organ. Hormones are our entire body. It regulates everything. I had so much going wrong … when I was taking those.”
Too many health professionals are prescribing cross-sex hormones to young people and adults as the first-choice solution for gender dysphoria. A wait-and-see approach is far more cautious, a lot less life-altering, and paves a path that won’t trap a child in a body that might look different but will be beset by a host of other problems.
4. The transgender craze is fueled by greed.
Another aspect of the transgender craze that is rarely discussed is how much money can be made in offering both minors and adults cross-sex hormones, sex-change surgeries, and more.
In the interview with Starbuck, Beck said the craze has spiked so dramatically in part because of pure greed.
“This is a billion-dollar industry between psychology, between surgeries, between hormones, and chemicals, between all the follow-up surgeries and everything else,” Beck said. “Thousands of gender clinics are popping up all over our country.”
It’s his opinion, but Beck likely is not far off. One study showed that the market for sex-change surgery will be worth $5 billion by 2030.
The amount of money to be made in the industry should cause anyone, especially parents, to pause when they consider that a struggling child could be a perfect target for health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry looking to lure in a repeat customer.
5. Children are too young to make the life-altering decision to make a gender transition.
Although Beck sounded passionate throughout the interview with Starbuck, right from the beginning his main warning was to parents.
Sweden, the former SEAL said, has facilitated gender transitions for some time and has more data on what’s happened to young people who took prescribed cross-sex hormones. Children are too young, he said repeatedly, not only to make such a decision on their own but to receive any kind of transition-related treatment, whether medical or surgical.
“I’m trying to tell America to wake up,” Beck said during the interview, adding:
I am not transgender. And everything you’re doing to these children right now. I am not that. I’m probably something else and I don’t know what it is. This is what we need to talk about. …
Do whatever you want if you are over the age of 25, and I keep saying 25 because when I was studying human development, 25 years old was the ending age of your brain being fully developed. If you are 25 or older, in my heart, when I look at you, [I’ll say] go do surgeries, go do whatever you want, you’re an adult.
But, Beck said, kids are being “manipulated,” “brainwashed,” and “coerced” into believing that they are transgender and need immediate treatment that includes transitioning with hormones and surgery.
Beck made several points that parents, health professionals, and transgender advocates alike should take to heart, from the rush to put people on cross-sex hormones to the fact that so many mental health issues are ignored in favor of labeling someone transgender.
The Left celebrated Beck’s transition in 2013, yet it’s unlikely the Left will heed his urgent, desperate warning today. But parents with struggling kids can.
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