AU Press Releases

CNN documentary on Beck ’89 airs Sept. 4

CNN will air a two-hour documentary film, “Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story,” on Thursday, Sept. 4 at both 9 and 11 p.m. Eastern; the film is about a man, Christopher Beck, AU Class of 1989, who served in the military for 20 years and was a former member of Navy Seal Team 6 from Wellsville, NY who later became a transgender individual known as Kristin Beck. While in the military, Kristin was sent on 13 deployments, including seven combat deployments, ultimately earning a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

The CNN Films documentary has been screened at several film festivals, including those in Toronto and Austin, TX, but this will be the first time it will air on television.

CNN summarizes the documentary:

“Former U.S. Navy SEAL Christopher Beck embarks on a new mission as Kristin Beck. Her search for the American ideals that she protected as an American hero take on new meaning as she lives her life truthfully as a transgender woman.  For more than 20 years, Beck served as a member of the Navy’s elite Special Forces on SEAL Team 1 as well as for the United States Special Warfare Development Group - which many in the public refer to as SEAL Team Six. 

“Beck retired in 2011 with the rank of Senior Chief and continued high-level clearance work for the federal government while concealing her transgender identity throughout and after her service, knowing she would lose it all if anyone were to know her secret. 

“In 2013, approximately 18 months after her retirement from active service, Beck came out publicly on LinkedIn and on CNN’s ‘Anderson Cooper 360°’ surprising many friends, colleagues, and family. This documentary was filmed when the truth was still fresh and emotional for those closest to Beck. 

“Through exclusive interviews with Beck's family and friends about her service, this film explores their reactions to her coming out and includes exclusive footage of Beck in training and in combat during active service.

“While many around her have been supportive, some in the public have expressed more bigotry than she ever expected. After a lifetime of public service, Beck has learned that her fight for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness did not end on the battlefield.”