AU Press Releases

Transgender former Navy Seal Kristin Beck to give lecture at Alfred University

Kristin Beck, 1989 Alfred University graduate

Kristin Beck, 1989 Alfred University graduate

ALFRED, NY – Kristin Beck, a retired Navy SEAL and an Alfred University alumnus, will speak on the AU campus Thursday, March 22.

“Warrior Princess: A Lecture by Kristin Beck” will be given at 7 p.m. in Holmes Auditorium, Harder Hall. The lecture is being offered as part of Queering Space collective, an art exhibition that examines where queerness meets form, which opened Feb. 2 and runs through March 28. Several events, including Beck’s lecture, are being held in conjunction with the exhibition.

A 20-year veteran of Navy who retired in 2011, Beck came out as transgender in 2013, the same year she published her memoir, Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy SEAL’s Journey to Coming Out Transgender. She is the first openly-transgender Navy SEAL.

Beck grew up in Wellsville as Christopher Beck and graduated from Alfred University in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. During her career in the Navy, Beck took part in 13 deployments, including seven combat deployments (Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan among them). She was a member of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (also known as DEVGRU), a special counter-terrorism unit popularly called SEAL Team 6, and received multiple military awards and decorations, including a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

Beck has been outspoken against President Donald Trump’s 2017 executive order banning transgender Americans from serving in the U.S. military. She published this video op-ed in the New York Times (login may be required to view).